Motivation, Life Stuff, Trying to be Healthy

This post is something a bit different from usual…although I guess posting anything at all at this point is different from usual 😛 As many of you may know, I’ve been struggling to maintain motivation in a lot of things. I thought I was quit of smoking, didn’t have one for three years, and then started up again and have been struggling to quit a second time. I started exercising regularly and eating more healthy foods…then got depressed and stopped caring. I didn’t take my medicines for PCOS, I stopped exercising, I binged and snacked and stopped even the most basic of water drinking. I laid around on my butt and didn’t even find the energy to do my writing. (You may have noticed even FEWER posts from me) While I had a few spurts of creativity and spurts of reading and writing, I have been nowhere near regular with any of it.

That is changing this week, today, RIGHT NOW! I have exercised at least 25 minutes 3 out of the last 4 days (I was sick one day…no pushing too hard!). I didn’t want to. I wanted to sit, I wanted to binge watch a show or just play pointless games on my phone. Instead, I went out and exercised. I pushed past the anxiety of ‘what if I can’t’ and ‘what if there are PEOPLE’ and I went. I ignored my anxiety at telling my family I wanted to eat better and not go out as much, they actually really dug the idea! My best friend, who has started exercising for at least 25-30 minutes a day and eating smaller portions etc., has been an amazing support, pushing me to believe I can…and to go and do it!

Today I took my daughter to the library for the summer reading program hour they have on Monday’s. While I waited for their hour to be up, I wandered around and checked a few areas I don’t normally attempt with a 4 yr old. I didn’t mean to check out any books for myself today…I checked out 7. BUT, 3 of those were cookbooks. Mom is a vegetarian and I found 2 cookbooks for her and, more exciting for me, I found a cookbook by Lisa Lillien called “Hungry Girls 200 UNDER 200″…a book of 200 recipes that each have less that 200 calories per serving…and guys, I CANNOT WAIT to try a lot of these! They look and sound amazing.

I’m working out. I’m eating better. I’m drinking more water. I’ve gone almost 3 full days without a cigarette twice in the past week…I have none right now and intend for it to stay that way. I’ve been working on a new novel and getting ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in July. I’m reading a few good books and, man, I am fired up to be the healthiest, mentally and physically, that I can be! Hopefully, I can keep this up and make it a habit this time!

I would love to hear about your stories….are you working on something like this? Let me know how you stay motivated, how you keep your wits about you and emotions in check, and what your favorite part about the journey is.

Have a great day everyone!

A Light Bit of Housekeeping

Hello! As the title might make you suspect, I have a few things to go over with you today. The first and foremost thing for us to discuss is that the blog will be changing. I’ve spent the past couple of days setting up an “Author’s Blog” here on WordPress and any strictly writing posts, including glimpses at and excerpts from my writing, will be posted there. I will share the odd post on Here There Be Dragons but if you don’t want to miss out on those posts, it might be better to subscribe to Soul Stained Ink (estyreesoulstainedink.wordpress.com). This blog will continue to be used for book reviews and posts about everyday life.

Speaking of reading! I’ve been given a personal challenge, both by some friends and by my own pride, to read George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. As I have a Mass Market Paperback edition, this book is slightly over 800 pages. So I thought, WHY NOT MAKE IT A READ_A_LONG/BUDDY READ? SO…If you would like to read-a-long with me or just follow my journey, please feel free to join my new Buddy Reads with Beth Goodreads Group! If you don’t have a Goodreads or prefer not to join the group, that’s fine! I’ll be attempting to remember to post weekly Game Reads updates on this blog and I’ll have updates and chats on my BookTube channel if you’d rather go watch my face talk about my thoughts on the book.

You can also keep up to date on Twitter (twitter.com/writerbaby13), where I’m sure I will be lamenting my choice to do this!

I am also getting ready to do a series of book recommendation videos, which I will link on Here There Be Dragons AND I will recommend a few books in the same genre/age level to just you guys, something special for you 😉

Finally, I am contemplating starting a newsletter that would include writing and life updates, perhaps images, and snippets from current works in progress. If that is something you might be interested in receiving via e-mail please leave me a comment letting me know! If several of you might enjoy that, I will get it set up and linked for subscriptions soon.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed week. Don’t forget to check out Soul Stained Ink, the blog and/or the BookTube channel, and get your copy of A Game of Thrones ready!

 

 

 

Saturday Stories…ON Sunday (again)

So I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t take the time to write this yesterday. It was a fairly busy Saturday, but that’s no excuse (right?). Anyway, the point is that I’m here now. So here we go!

My goals for the past week were completely switched around and messed up but that’s what happens!

First off, I’m not gonna lie…I finished Aesop’s  Fables but put Emma back on the shelf. I just wasn’t able to sit down and read large chunks all together and was getting frustrated with doing that so I set it aside and did a big library haul. I finished “A Study in Charlotte” already and absolutely adored it.

I am a few more chapters into Wired for Story and have videos up for the first several chapters.

As for the writing…well I haven’t gotten caught up yet and most likely will not get to my goal for the month. However, the point is that I tried and will continue to try. I will keep writing and will, eventually, surpass that goal and any others I set.

Here is part of what I did write this week…chapter 5 of The Way We Were (part 2):

Chapter 5

“Oh my gosh,” the blond highlights in front of him blinked owl-like golden eyes and dropped to her knees, babbling apologies like an infant cooing as she scrambled to help Lee collect the groceries that had flown from his arms.

There was something familiar about her backlit curls, her long eyelashes, her…her. There was just something about her. Lee couldn’t shake, or place, the feeling and so he bumbled, grumbled, made a right ass of himself and, with cheeks flaming from the humiliation, turned to stalk away.

The well-manicured fingers lightly glazing his bicep stopped him cold in his cracks. In her other hand, held out between her fingers, was a folded receipt with a number scrawled hastily across it.

“My name is Cecily,” she murmured self-consciously, “Call me sometime and I’ll take you out for some apology coffee.”

“Lee,” Lee responded stupidly, unable to force his mouth to shape itself around any other words.

“Come on Cee,” Another set of highlights and manicures called from the store front, “You’ve been in here for ages!”

“Gotta go,” one more brilliant smile and she was off, jogging with her lethal cart to the checkouts.

Lee looked around bemusedly and tucked the highlight’s – Cecily’s – number in to his pocket before wandering outside.

A well timed text reminding him not to forget the eggs propelled the poor man back in to where his hapless groceries were still sitting in the middle of an aisle, waiting for him to wake up and buy them.

 

Saturday Stories April 16th

This week did not end with a huge amount of writing completed. HOWEVER, I read 3 full books for #genrethon and am in 3 others (I will discuss this down below). I did write a bit, about 3000 words I believe, which is not bad at all…unless you think about the fact that I’m supposed to be writing at least 834 words a day in order to complete my personal goal of 25,000 words in April (Yay Camp NaNoWriMo…crushing dreams and spurring both writing sprees and depression/self-disgust all at once.) But I digress.

Here is the breakdown of this week’s goals:

I wanted to finish at least 3 books for #genrethon, which ended last night. I was able to complete:

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson – this is the first in a MG trilogy. I am really looking forward to the other 2 books in this grouping.

be different by John Elder Robison – this is a non-fiction pseudo-memoir short story collection meant to offer advice on how to handle having Aspergers, or dealing with people who do. While I enjoyed it for the most part, I feel as those the advice was very buried within a testosterone fueled autobiographical feed.

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton – this series of cozy mystery novels is well written and hilarious. This was my third listen to an audio book adaptation (so it counted for 2 genres *raise the roof*) and the adaptations, at least the ones that my libraries Overdrive have, are actually radio plays performed by the BBC Radio personalities and WOW. They are the reason people used to gather around their radios and listen to radio plays. It not only brings a bit of nostalgia for when my dad would turn on the radio play he enjoys (I cannot think of the name…I want to call it Wildwood but I’m sure it isn’t). As a small(er) person in the backseat I would often pause reading or just lay back half-asleep listening to the hilarity and these audio books really bring that feeling back for me.

I did start four other books and am currently working on three of them.

The one I am not working on is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I had to return this audio book to the library so I’m waiting for another go at it.

While I wait I am reading Wired for Story by Lisa Cron (I will be posting a chat about each chapter on YouTube and will link it here as well), Emma by Jane Austen, and Aesop’s Fables.

As for my writing, I’ve done a few flash fiction pieces (started my own wattpad, which I’m still a little unsure of), a short story (as requested for a bed time story from a friend who couldn’t sleep…talk about a proud moment J ), and about 1500 words on The Way We Were, Part 2. It took me awhile to get anything done on TWWW, but then I shot a character and that really helped the baddie get it together so hopefully next week will be a bit better for writing.

And now, since you’ve managed to get this far with me, I give you the piece of flash I wrote on Friday. Please enjoy! (now I’m begging people…walks away with head hung low).

 

So there I was man, swimming along, minding my own business, and looking for some nice plankton to have myself a tasty snack and some BIG ship lilts over and blocks out the sun. Thanks moron, I only see in black and white and you take my light away. While I was trying to get my eyes to adjust to your wobbling shadows, all the plankton ran off. You let my snack get away! I have BLOOD SUGAR ISSUES!

Drunken Spaniards.

Oh, yeah…there ya go. Just run into the coral reef. Do you KNOW how many of us are trying to live or eat over there? Great, run off my snack and level my favorite diner. Seriously, what is that noise? Screaming, crying…you’re acting like my cousin Fred last year when he swam through a shipwreck…oh, a shipwreck. You totaled it.

Yup, serves you right! All I wanted to do was eat. You’re lucky I don’t come over in the shallows and knock you around. Silly little sticks with legs sitting on wooden things and thinking they have any say over what happens in the waters. That’s right, row away…oooh look, a squid.

 

 

Saturday Stories 4/9

Hello Friends. This week has not been the best. I won’t go into details again here but suffice it to say that the week has been long, difficult at points, frustrating, and a little surreal. Yesterday, however, was great.

So let’s talk about my goals real quick:

This week I wanted to get Leonard the Lemur completed and ready. Guess what?? I DID! As of yesterday afternoon you can find Leonard on Amazon and Createspace for paperback and as an e-book on Kindle!!

I cannot put into words how amazed, grateful, and proud I am to have the opportunity to put this together. I love all my book babies, but I truly believe that Leonard is something special. Please go check him out.

This week I also kept saying that I was going to focus on finishing up the first draft of Paulonious Punk and the Search for an Adventure. My first children’s book, this was a lot more difficult to write than I had expected. The first draft is rough and I’m sure there are a lot of things that need edited and revised…but I did it guys. I FINISHED IT!! Yesterday morning as I awaited my class’s completion of their quiz, I jotted down a few pages of things that were twisting in my head and suddenly (because I had no idea it would be that quickly) I was writing ‘to be continued’ on the bottom of a page. I’ve finished the book and I may have started a series.

I was at school 3/5  days this week and I don’t typically read while the kids are in class UNLESS it is an AR reading day (in which case I model by reading a page or two and then I get up and walk the class) because it is very difficult to monitor the and read at the same time. I don’t know how so many people do it. However, I was able to read 30 more pages in Rachel Caine’s Prince of Shadows and start John Elder Robison’s Be Different, in which I’m on page 29. I am still enjoying both immensely and will be sure to review them for you when I’m done. Genrethon starts tomorrow so I’m hoping to finish them up and get a few more things ticked off the to-be-read pile in the coming week.

Finally, here is the short story. I began this at some point last week. It has no title and is not a completed work. However, I did write it in the past week so here you go 😛

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. (trigger warning – abuse and foul language (mild) )

He took three quick, mincing steps towards her and raised a fist, swinging his body just short of releasing it. She stared him down without flinching. Only a very observant onlooker, who knew what to look for, would have noticed her subtle push of feet and skull backs into the brick wall she leaned on. To the world, she looked completely at ease. The veneer of nonchalance was thick and shiny across her surface. She had worked years to make it so. Worked years to bury the past and move on. It wasn’t going to all be lost just because of one asshat that raised a fist to her. He probably couldn’t hit half as hard as her ex had anyway. This guy was just an old mistake. Sometimes they liked to pop back up to remind her how far she’d come. All of this would fly through her mind later, at the moment all she could think was don’t flinch, don’t flinch, don’t look scared. Concentrate, you have to watch for weaknesses and listen so you can make a sassy comment in a minute. Be the strong female lead in your own life. Don’t flinch. DO NOT FLINCH.

She didn’t flinch, but boy howdy he did. When she had gathered herself up and used the foot propped behind her to shove quickly off the wall, his forward momentum couldn’t be stopped. The fist meant for her soft nose instead smashed into the side of the old building, sending dust softly fluttering down around them as he howled in pain and anger.

“What was that?” She asked softly, examining her nail beds as he rounded on her again. “Did you hurt yourself? You really should be more careful.”
“That smart mouth of yours is what got you in this mess,” he ground out between teeth clenched in pain, “You might want to keep it shut before it gets you hurt.”

“So far it seems that your anger is only hurting you,” She retorted smartly, “My mouth had nothing to do with that.” “Why you little whore,” he growled, “You’ve been talking shit on me and now you’re blaming it on me too?”

“No honey,” she purred, name calling only serving to help strengthen the walls she put up. “I’ve only been telling people the truth when they ask. Besides, whores get paid and I barely even get anything.”

“You had me,” now his anger took on a whine that made him sound like a petulant child.

Saturday Stories: The Mystery of the Missing Fat Man

ITS SATURDAY!!!! Not only is Saturday a sleep in and hang out in your pajamas day (in my house anyway) Saturday is STORY DAY! So settle in and get ready..but first, let me update you on my goal chasing for the week.

If you don’t subscribe to my BookTube channel, you probably didn’t see my weekly goals last Sunday. That’s fine, the good news is that you can go right HERE and check them out (don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there 😛 )

So how did I do? Well, I completed Liar and a review will be up on the channel sometime soon while a written review is already available on this blog: here.

Monkey and I told the story of Little Monster and you can view that video HERE.

I am waiting for my illustrator to complete the final picture needed for Leonard the Lemur, but she’s in the finishing stages and the rest of the book is ready and waiting for that addition.

I did not write anything at all on Paulonious Punk , nor did I write any short stories *hangs head in shame*. I have, however, joined Camp NaNoWriMo and written the first 2k on the second half of The Way We Were. Progress is progress..write? *ahem* I mean, right?

I am planning on focusing my will power on Pauly P. and his adventure today but first, I’m going to tell you a little true story. Ready?

George and the Mystery of the Missing Fat Man.

Last night my daughter and I pulled a book from her shelf and settled in to read a bed time story. The book we chose was Curious George Flies a Kite by H.A. Rey. The edition was an old one I’d found at a thrift shop and has a page torn from it. We know the stories by heart and didn’t think that would be a big deal. BOY HOWDY it was. Want to know why? The new editions are updated for new generations and adapted to the television show. The edition we were reading was published in 1958. In the 1958 edition there were 3 different stories and one was what we know now as “Curious George Goes Fishing.” In this story George sees a man walk by with a long stick that has a long string attached and he realizes the guy is going fishing. In 1958 the fisherman is referred to as “The Fat Man” several times. In the 2012 Curious George’s 5 minute stories the tale of “Curious George Goes Fishing” refers to the fat man as ‘A Big Man’ when George first sees him, and then just as ‘the man’ for the rest of his part of the story. So the original beloved children’s tale was ‘tweaked’ and now the fat man is missing.

I realize that we live in a time of political correctness and fight against body shaming and all of that jazz…but this is a children’s book meant for small kids. Maybe I’m just naïve about how other people raise their children, but mine didn’t blink an eye or start pointing and laughing or anything even resembling fat shaming. She did say “Hey look, that’s a BIIIG fishing rod!” So why change it?

What do you think? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Saturday Stories 2/27

Hello my friends! Sorry I’ve been so MIA the past two weeks, I seem to have had time getting away from me lately. Though looking back on the month I don’t seem to have really accomplished all that much, but I have been extremely busy. So, let’s figure out how I did and get to the short story reward, like the gooey chocolate at the center of crunchy cake pop :).

To recap my ‘goals’ for the week, you can go watch this video and see what I thought I could do.

Goal Updates:

Writing – 

I was supposed to type up everything I have handwritten and ready to type. Unfortunately my much loved laptop has been a little too loved and my programs are not working as well as they should (and I procrastinated a little) so I only got a few pages of Paulonious Punk taken care of. I did, however, purchase a new laptop so I can move my hundreds of word documents over and get back to writing!

 

Reading –

I completed Truthwitch and gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. The writing is gorgeous and the story is a fast paced thing of beauty. I’ll have a full review up sometime soon(ish).

 

Sewing/Coloring/Exercising – 

I managed to get a princess dress cut out for the little monkey and am going to try to sew it up today around my band practice schedule.

I did not complete the coloring pages, but I did a little more coloring on them and expect to have both completed this weekend.

As for exercising, I was able to go 3 days this week and the other 2 I was very active at home. I also upped my weight training weights to the next level, which made me super excited!

Now on to the good stuff! This week’s story excerpt is from a novel I began several years ago…and then kind of abandoned in pursuit of a different story. Here is the first bit of Sylvester, hopefully there will be more some day.

Sylvester

“I have to.” The words were simple, the gaze steady as Annabelle watched Sylvester pace the clearing. “No, you don’t. Those people don’t even know you, you don’t know them. Why are you so intent on helping those who would cast you aside if they knew who you really were?”

He was irritated, and had a right to be. His girlfriend, the woman who he had been on the brink of proposing to, had just informed him she was going to hop worlds and help people she had never met to defeat some nameless threat. Not only that, but to do what she was planning, she would disappear from their world and become a baby in the other. He might never see her again, all for some people she had only seen in a dream.

“I’m sorry, I have to. I hope you’ll understand someday love. Goodbye.”

Then she was gone. A world away a child screamed into the night. “It’s a girl.”

Chapter One

As a child, Brianna had dreams of another world. One where magic was as natural as air and people watched and waited for her. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, Bri knew these people. Sometimes she could remember their names, and would excitedly turn to them, but she would always wake at this point, dream memories niggling at her brain until she pushed them aside. As she grew the dreams became more in depth, more real. She would wake smelling the scents of otherworldly kitchens, feeling the softness of otherworldly grass.

She began seeing the people from her dreams out of the corner of her eye, in broad daylight. She would sense them watching her, urging her to something she couldn’t understand, or rather, felt as if she couldn’t remember. In defense, she turned to the things all teenage girls find interest in: sports, music, books, friends, and, of course, boys.

If there were those that watched her grow, rejoiced for her achievements, grieved in her failures, that was their business. And if there were those that watched a little more closely than others, whose heart broke a little with each new boyfriend, they did so in silence. All watched with bated breath as she began the path that would lead her to her destiny. Some watched, wishing they could help. Some watched waiting for their chance to foil her fate. None of them, though, could have imagined what would come next.

Saturday Stories – 2/6/16

I had a fairly lengthy list of goals for last week and I believe I did a phenomenal job of not getting them accomplished. Let’s go over them:

Writing:

  1. Completing the final few pages of the original Paulonious Punk notebook so that I have to start writing in the new book this weekend. Ok I actually completed this goal as of a few minutes ago. (word count – approximately 1,000 untyped words)
  2. Completing the organization of The Way We Were – hahahaha I’ve had that on my goals list for a few weeks now and I’ve gotten a little done on it but, on the whole, I’ve been focusing Paulonious and short stories. 
  3. Reading over The Wishbone Tree and working on that story – Ok, I did read it again and make a few notes so I’m going to count that as completed goal!

Reading:

  1. Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch – I decided to give up on reading this book for the moment. I am still incredibly interested in it, but I just haven’t gotten into it this time around.
  2. Sara J. Maas Crown of Midnight – I completed this book yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS! I rated this a 5 star on Goodreads because there aren’t half-star options. In reality, I’ve placed this somewhere around 4.5 stars, there were a few slower places but I’ll discuss that more in the actual book review.

Other Goals: 

1. Coloring – I finished one color sheet last! That’s not much, really, but it made me happy! 

2. Catching up on shows – I got addicted to the Great British Baking Show and somehow have not watched any of my other list! I’ll do better next week 😉

 

Now that you’ve slogged through my weekly wrap up, here is a reward! The following short piece is one I originally wrote in February of 2014 as one of my first Short Story Sunday pieces (I wrote one short story a week for the entire year) and find that I enjoy it more now than I did when I originally posted it. SO…here it is,

The Stream

It was just a stream, really. A sometimes babbling, sometimes rushing section of water that crashed over, around, and between the moss covered stones.

The bank was slippery, treacherous to climb most days that he went, the water much too cold to swim in unless during the height of summer, and the woods surrounding the clearing became terrifyingly spookier as twilight neared.

So why was he drawn here, day after day? He had not played here in his youth. He hadn’t even known of the nearby town’s existence until moving to Maine from New Mexico two years before, armed with a brand new teaching license and an offer to teach eighth grade math.

Quite frankly, the enveloping verdance and frequent rain showers unnerved the poor fellow. Yet day after day her left his classroom, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse one town over, grabbed his bag and bottled water, and, occasionally accompanied by the cat, made his way through the field and down the path to a large, almost hollowed out stone. Here he would sit during all but the worst weather, protected by overhanging vegetation as he graded papers, wrote lesson plans, or just sat.

Little thoughts and one liners were jotted down. Characters and plot ideas were placed on note cards, and all of it was unceremoniously shoved into an ever growing binder.  The time passed, though his twilight unease did not, and the young man began to hear the wind’s whispers and see the flitting wings in his surroundings.

Though he was offered better paying jobs elsewhere throughout the years, he would always stay in that same small school, with his ever changing stream.

Years later, with numerous best-sellers under his belt, the now older and much more famous man took the stand as a commencement speaker at that same small school.

“Life,” he said, “Does not always do what you think it should. Do not be afraid to face your fears, to do your best no matter what, and to go where you must. And always remember that sometimes all you have to do is sit down, shut up, and listen.”

He then walked down the silent aisle, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse in the next town over, grabbed his notebook and bottle of water, and made his way home.

Weekend Posts

The weekend got away from me without my posting of my weekly word counts, wrap up, goals, etc. So here are the quick videos I made for the BookTube channel and some numbers for you:

Writing –

I wrote approximately 2,500 words last week. While many people seem excited about that, I have been known to write 5-10 thousand words in a day and am not to pleased with myself. However, I know that sometimes you just don’t get as much done and if I write at all, I win. Mostly 😉

As for reading, I got through about 20 pages total (which is discussed a little more in the videos)

How did you do last week? Can you believe January is already over???

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to an even better February! Happy month everyone!

Saturday Stories

I’m going to be completely honest with you right now…I have no idea how much I wrote last week. I know I wrote around 3 thousand (plus) words if we combine the blog posts, short story, and chapter book work. However, most of that was admittedly on one article. I haven’t typed up Paulonious Punk’s wordage for the week so I can’t know what the exact count is there…it isn’t anywhere close to the 2000 I wanted. I’m going to guess that count was less than 500.

So why am I admitting this to you? Well, I want to be truthful and I want to be held accountable for my goals, even if that means telling all of you lovely people that I failed for the week.

What did I do?

  1. wrote 4 handwritten pages of Paulonious Punk.

2. wrote 1 flash fiction story 1st draft for contest.

3. turned in the short story I’ve been working on to the contest for which it was intended.

4. read about 200+ pages in 3 different books…but haven’t completed any of them yet. I’m hoping to change that today.

5. Had a Marvel Movie Weekend with my mother and daughter

How did your week go? Were there any goals you met, or didn’t meet, that you’d be willing to discuss? Leave me a comment and let’s get a conversation going!

On to the Short Story! This week’s excerpt is from Dragon on My Neck, Book 1 of The Stone Dragon Saga (currently available on Amazon)

“I bet that silver will look great with your complexion,” Jane announced, “Try it on!”

“OK, you don’t have to twist my arm,” Arianna giggled and slipped the heavy silver choker around her neck. She jogged through the kitchen and hallway to admire her image in the bathroom mirror.

“Oh Jane, isn’t beautiful?!” Arianna gushed, moving her head from side to side in order to better see the glint of her necklace against her pale skin.

“Very nice,” Jane agreed, “I like the way the silver and stones peek through your dark hair, it’s like you have lights under there.”

“COOL!” Arianna moved her head some more to catch the effect and the girls giggled.

“Nice? COOL?” A tiny but deep voice interrupted, “How about gorgeous? I like that one, or Handsome, since I am a male.”

Jane stared again at Arianna’s necklace as she watched its head move and its mouth open again, “Well…ladies have you lost the ability to speak? I’m sure you were speaking English. Let’s see, how about French? German maybe? Irish?” The dragon repeated himself in many languages, including a clucking noise that sounded like chickens running through a farmyard. When the girls finally answered though, it was in English again.

“What’s going on?” Arianna asked, too scared to try removing her necklace as it moved and chattered on her neck.

“I…I have no idea,” Jane replied, still gaping at the miniature dragon as it finally stopped talking and began to glare balefully at the roommates.

“Ummm…Mr. Dragon sir,” Arianna looked down at the bobbing head under her chin, “How can you talk to us?”

“I can talk any language, including animal and magical,” The dragon rather proudly announced, unlatching his tail and slithering down to the counter.

“Oh, How? I mean, no offense but you’re a necklace.” Arianna grimaced, “Or I thought you were.”

“I am,” The dragon grinned suddenly, a surprisingly cute addition to his features, “I am also a dragon that moves and speaks. I shoot fire from my nose and ice blasts from my throat.” This time he growled and puffed himself importantly.

“Fire and Ice?” Jane asked incredulously, “That’s pretty amazing, especially for a dragon of your umm…stature.”
The dragon snorted a flame in Jane’s direction and turned it to a ice pellet with his breath, wheezing out what sound like a giggle as it hit her arm.

 

“Ok, well…obviously I was mistaken.” Jane took a few steps back from the counter and earned another smile from the creature on the counter.

 

“What’s your name?” Arianna asked, “I hate to keep calling you ‘the necklace’ since you’re alive and all.”

“Thank you,” The dragon nodded his head regally at Arianna, “My name is….Al.”

 

“AL?”

 

“Its short for Aliphonsore,” he shuddered, “My mother saddled me with that name.”

 

“OK, Al…I like it,” Arianna decided, “I’m Arianna and this is Janice.”

 

“Jane, please,” Jane replied, “And I call her Anna.”

 

“Pleased to meet you,” Al answered, happy to finally be getting to know his new mistresses.

 

“Al, how did you become a necklace?” Arianna wondered aloud.

 

“Let’s go find somewhere comfortable for you two to sit, and I’ll tell you.”

 

After gathering hot tea and snacks, the girls settled onto the soft couch in their living room and Al positioned himself on the coffee table, beginning to stretch his wings as he contemplated how to begin his story.