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.

Updates and Promotion

I did manage to write somewhere around 5,000 words last week, leaving myself 10,000 to sclepp through in the final few days.

While I work on finishing up this first draft…or at least getting my minimum word count in (because I don’t think I’m anywhere near the end of the book yet!) why don’t you relax and go back to the beginning with my first book Dragon on My Neck, which will be free for e-reader download Sunday, April 27th thru Tuesday April 30th.

I want to thank everyone for their support and understanding during Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I have gotten a lot of work done, though not necessarily in the area I was looking to work in! Here is an excerpt from last week’s work,

 

Chapter 30:

“See, I can control my own diet,”” Jonsturney announced snottily, the almost constant joked about his food intake finally taking their toll on his usually happy personality. “Mm, Mm, Mm, Saladation.”

“Saladation?” Polly repeated, looking up from her own lunch/study session and trying not to smirk at the still growing dragon teen.

“Yes, Salad-ation,” Jon confirmed with a sassy head wag at his friend. “You know, like validation but with lettuce. Yummy, water filled, healthy lettuce.”

“I’m very proud of you,” Polly smiled and offered up half of her dessert, “Would you like a little chocolate to celebrate your salad?”

“Yes…wait,” Jon pursed his dragon lips and allowed his eyelids to droop a little as he thought it out. “No, I want some fruit for dessert, but thank you.”

“Wow,” Polly tossed him a container of blueberries before returning to her pile of dust smeared and leather bound volumes. Absentmindedly eating her own slices of fruit between page flips, Polly was concentrating so hard on the fading words that she didn’t realize Jon was looking over her shoulder until ten minutes later, when he spoke again.

“What ya doin?” The mostly forgotten fruit soared in all directions as the mercifully paper plate hit the floor.

“DO NOT DO THAT TO ME!” Polly carefully pronounced each word as she rushed to wipe juice from the book she had been reading.

“Sorry, I was just asking,” Jon shrugged his shoulders and started to lumber back to his pillow couch.

“I’m sorry Jon,” Polly, who clearly remembered the first time she had ever seen the large dragon, dressed in a bright sweater and pretending to be a lizard, had a soft spot for Jon and quickly went to rub the third spike from the front of his head (his favorite spot). “I was just doing some research into old Spanish beliefs, myths, and legends. I thought I might be able to find something on your family…and I may have.”

“Really??” Jon leapt up, hit his head on the ceiling fan, knocked Polly over, and broke a glass shelf. “Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t get so excited in here.” He looked around sheepishly, “But maybe I should find a broom my size.”

 

“I have one ordered for you,” Sir Brandon assured as he walked in the door and surveyed the mess Jon had just made. “Now then, what’s all this ruckus about? We heard you out on the tennis courts.”

“Salad,” Polly kept a straight face as a piece of blueberry soaked lettuce dropped from the fan and onto Sir Brandon’s white shirt.

“Salad,” Brandon sighed, “Why do I have the feeling that there’s more to it?”

“Because Polly is an exceptionally poor fibber?” Broyli guessed, stepping around more of the scattered fruit and snatching up a book from the pile. “Looks to me as if she’s taking some of her time off to do a little research.” He waved the stained and cracked spine toward the girl, “So the real question here is what did you find?”

“I found something that might explain why a king would remove valuable and mythic statuary from his castle, send said statuary overseas on a pirate ship covered in mystical ancient runes, and never mention it in anything ever again.” Polly smiled at the bemused expressions on her friends’ faces. “However, I’m not completely sure yet if that is the case. I could have just found some old recipe for tartar sauce.”

“Tartar sauce??!?!”

“Ok, so probably not tartar sauce,” Polly laughed, “Right now all I know for sure is that the story involves a rather large stone statue that I’m pretty sure will turn out to be of a familiar dragon family’s parents. Jon interrupted me before I could get much further than that.”

Peppy Goals

There are ten days left in this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo and I have at least 2,000 words a day to write if I want to finish on time. I could be upset, I could be depressed, I could do the usual and completely forsake writing for a week in order to crochet and watch movies before futilely racing to write in the final hours of posting time. Not This Time!

This time I won’t do any of that. Maybe it’s because I’m another year older and, ostensibly, wiser. Perhaps it stems from the fact that we moved in the middle of November last year and my final NaNo word count was so pitiful that I’ve attempted to block it from my mind. Or possibly, and most probably, is that I don’t want to teach my daughter to give up…especially on something you love. So today’s pep is really this…if you love it, if you really want it, achieve it. As Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) says in Sister Act 2: “If you wake up in the morning and you can’t think of anything but singing, than you should be a singer.” I say, if you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t think of anything except what happens to your plotline next, you should be a writer.

Now that the semi-pep talk is over…wait, one more thing…Sister Mary Clarence also says “If you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.” (If you haven’t watched the movie…WATCH THE MOVIE)

Now then, I’m all out of the almost-pep so now that its over, here are my goals for this week:

1) Write at least two articles for Yahoo! Contributors Network

2) Work my fingers off and my brain gooey to get the rest of my word count, and beyond, for Camp

3) Practice drawing some more dragons and ships…I’ve drawn exactly one full dragon so far.

I’ve named him Bill the Ner…he doesn’t much look like what I imagine my dragons to be, but he’s family 😀

4) Use my daughter’s snuggle times as actual down times. I’ve been trying to research and write…even just on my phone…during these times and I’m not getting much extra done but I am missing out on snuggles. So instead of binging on Netflix and not writing at night, I’ll binge on My Little Pony and Tinkerbell during the nap time portion of the day. It might work.

5) write this week’s short story BEFORE I post it on Sunday.

What are your goals for the week? Campers, how are your word counts coming along? Do you have any tips, advice, or comments for me…please leave them! I love to hear from you all!

 

 

Saturday Updates and Excerpts

 

Between articles, blogs, and Camp I’ve written around 6,000 words this week. Though not nearly as much as I was hoping for, I think that’s pretty respectable. However, for as much time as I spend writing, I need to amp it up a lot more and stop trolling Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest when I should be boosting my count (Seriously though, I find cool stuff so you should probably follow me on all 3! 😀 )

Though I didn’t quite get caught up on my Camp project, I did manage to bring down my minimum daily word count from 1700 to 1400. I may be able to handle that…Wait, I CAN HANDLE THAT! Now that I’ve brought you up to speed on my woeful inability to complete all of this week’s goals *sigh…bigsigh* I will leave you with something that makes me proud of what little I did accomplish last week…an excerpt from Dragons in the Deep.

Chapter 28:

“Excuse me sir,” Julie mumbled, shuffling across the cabin’s floor to whisper into Flynn’s general direction, “I have a message from Mr. Janxson for Mr. Ferdinand.”

“So give it to him,” Flynn shrugged and jerked his head toward the computer station, where Anna, Jane, and Ferdinand were gathered around Nickel as she showed off her hard work.

“I-I don’t feel comfortable with telling him this,” She whispered even more quietly, “Maybe you should do it.”

“What?” Flynn looked up from his own stack of papers and filed with a look of bewildered frustration etched across his features. “What are you talking about? Old Man Janxson probably just wants to make sure we’re being nice to his friends and thinks I’ll lie to him.”

“No sir, Mr. Janxson had me write down a very specific message about Mr. Ferdinand’s wife,” Julie was almost not making any noise at this point, so worried and embarrassed by the message that she seemed about to pass out from the anxiety of it all. “I just don’t feel right giving it to him though.”

“Julie,” Flynn spoke calmly and clearly, sometimes Julie’s anxieties made her a little stubborn and hard of hearing, “If Mr. Janxson wanted Ferdinand to get the message, it must be very important, right?” she nodded so he continued, “And Mr. Janxson entrusted this message to your care, right?”

“Only because no one else answered the line, sir.”

“But if he didn’t think you could handle, he wouldn’t have given you the task, would he?”
“I guess not.” Her voice wavered but she straightened her back with determination, “I’ll go give it to him right now.” She stopped mid turn to add, “But don’t expect me to wait on him to read it!”

Shaking his head at her obvious issues, but allowing curiosity to get the better of him, Flynn watched the ship’s steward scurry across the room, tap Ferdinand on the shoulder, hand him a piece of paper, and without saying a word, turn tail and race back out of the cabin.

“I wonder what that was all about,” Jane turned inquisitive eyes to the folded sheet in the Fairy King’s hands.

To Be Continued…

 

Tuesday-ish Things

Since I’m a day behind this week, today’s post will be all about GOALS (which is normally a Monday deal). I have several writing goals this week, including catching up on my Camp NaNoWriMo word count (I’m only about 15,000 words behind at the moment 😀 ). I also have 3 articles to turn in this week and, of course, my blogs (Wouldn’t want to leave you hanging!). I’m setting the total word count goal for this week at 20,000. A fairly manageable goal if I get my NaNo word count back to where it should be.

Ok, I tried to make it look as if the pen was on fire…but it just looks like a flame under the pen. pfft

My goals also include reading some of that stack of books I have in my room…they keep staring at me belligerently.

What about you? Do you have any goals to met this week? If so, what are they?

Aside

What are you “Writing” Wednesday

Since my decision to be a part of Camp NaNoWriMo this month, writing has taken up most of my usual reading time. Since I know that several of you are in the same boat, or should be anyway *hint, hint*, I have decided to dedicate my usual reading Wednesday to writing.

What are you writing about? If you aren’t writing, what do you wish you were writing about?

Are you taking part in Camp? If so, have you attended any virtual write ins or weekend writing sprints?

So far, I have written almost 3,000 words…I need to step up my game! But I am finally about to introduce both factions of characters (old and new) to each other in what should be a rollicking good time for everyone reading who isn’t an actual character! I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Join us at http://www.campnanowrimo.org

(please excuse the long links…I haven’t quite figured out how to make hyperlinks work!)

I would love to hear what you are working on right now! Or even what you are reading, if you aren’t a slave to the pen and ink at the moment, so leave me a comment and let me know what goes on in the real world 😉

 

Birthday Trees

I bought my Dad a tree for his birthday. When most people hear that, they look at me like I’m insane. A tree? Really? Yes, a crape mysrtle Red Rocket sapling that is gorgeous and will provide much shade and beautiful flowers for us over the next several years. However, in the process of an impromptu day trip to visit my aunt (finally got our Christmas presents!), taking care of the toddler, and helping Dad plant…I haven’t written much over the past few days. My camp word count so far is stuck just below 2,000 and is not wavering as of yet.

If I look at the stark numbers of this, I become depressive and wonder why in the world I would want to do Camp NaNo when I’m already doing NaNoWriMo in November. But if I think of it as a tree, who’s leaves fall to the ground and who’s branches dry and wither and yet still comes back the next year, bigger, stronger, and prettier than ever before…if I think of it like that, then I look forward to my spare few minutes of writing time that I know I will steal away tomorrow. And I watch for those red flowers slowly coming into bloom.

 

Day One Update

Are you participating in NaNoWrimo or one of its offshoot programs? Leave me a message and tell me about your first day(s)!

Today was my first day of this year’s NaNo and I am JAZZED at my progress. Yes, there were several people who blew past my word count today, but I blew past what I thought I would be able to manage today.

You see, I was ready to give myself all sorts of excuses…I have a 14 month old who refuses to nap, a severe head cold and chronic bronchitis, and we move in two weeks so I have to pack. All of those things are good reasons that I could pull out if need be, if only to assure myself that a few hundred words wasn’t too bad. Instead, I wrote 2,977 words on the fourth book in my Stone Dragon Saga series, packed several boxes, and managed to NOT cough on my daughter while I spent over an hour trying to coax her into a nap. I’m feeling pretty good about this over all…and I am SUPER PROUD of the nano-ers this year, no matter what your word YOU, my friend, are a beast!

 

I wish you all Good Luck, Good Month, and Good (amounts of) Words. Have a Blessed Time of it!