Collaborative Story: Day Two:
Hi all,
Erin York here. Sorry for the delay in the second part of the story. I hit some real writer’s block this past week. Maybe it had to do with all the turkey and stuffing I ate. But here’s the second piece. Look forward to Jere’s and Tamara’s posts coming up!
…
From within the flames, I watched cloud cover darken what had once been my world. But no rain fell. Instead, ashes came down like snow or tears. They swallowed Steph. Then I saw nothing. Only grey. All that was left of planet Earth.
Somehow I always knew the world would end this way. If not by ice, then by fire, as Robert Frost said. But—
I turned to face the two figures. “Is Earth really gone? What’s happened to Steph.”
"Your world never was," replied the first.
"Khet is a nonbeliever," the woman who held his hand said. "Even now that he has seen Earth, he refuses to believe he has seen it."
"But Steph—"
"We go and come," the woman continued, "whenever and wherever the match is struck. Now you will travel with us." 
"But—"
"Fireborn." The man held his palm out to me. Burnt into the flesh was an emblem of flame. "She called us, so we could take you away. Far away from that place."
Still, I couldn’t seem to understand. Who were these people? Why was I meant to go with them? Where would we go, if not to come home again? Home to Earth. Where I’d been raised. Where I’d convinced myself I belonged.
"What if I want to go back?"
The woman threw back her head and laughed. The walls of flames danced around her, blanketing us all. Then, I could not even see the grey ash, all that was left of the Earth, any longer.
"Why would you go back when you can go forward?"
She swept her hand out. This time, the flames gave way, as if her gesture carried all the wind in the world. I looked through the tunnel. Saw the city beyond.
I’d thought Hell would be a city made from fire, brimstone, and lava rock. Perhaps Hell still was just that. But the city beyond was too beautiful, too beckoning to be Hell. And from rafters I had to squint to see, I heard music. And the music drove the flames. And all here was as one.
All except for me.
Let go. Let Earth and Steph go. You can be a part of this place,the voice in my head chanted. 
But I couldn’t. I was like the diamond heart flames could not reach. I could never go forward if I didn’t know what had become of the world I so loved.
I took a step backward, then another, and another.
"Where are you going?" Khet asked.
"Once you leave this place, we may never be able to bring you back." Sweat beaded on the woman’s high forehead. Her hands trembled as she reached for me.
"I’m sorry," I said. "I’ll try to find you again."
I stepped out of the wall of flame. The fire shrank. White ash buried it. But in the blanket of ashes, I saw Steph’s matches.
I picked them up, turned, and vowed to brave a dying Earth to bring her with me.

Collaborative Story: Day Two:

Hi all,

Erin York here. Sorry for the delay in the second part of the story. I hit some real writer’s block this past week. Maybe it had to do with all the turkey and stuffing I ate. But here’s the second piece. Look forward to Jere’s and Tamara’s posts coming up!

From within the flames, I watched cloud cover darken what had once been my world. But no rain fell. Instead, ashes came down like snow or tears. They swallowed Steph. Then I saw nothing. Only grey. All that was left of planet Earth.

Somehow I always knew the world would end this way. If not by ice, then by fire, as Robert Frost said. But—

I turned to face the two figures. “Is Earth really gone? What’s happened to Steph.”

"Your world never was," replied the first.

"Khet is a nonbeliever," the woman who held his hand said. "Even now that he has seen Earth, he refuses to believe he has seen it."

"But Steph—"

"We go and come," the woman continued, "whenever and wherever the match is struck. Now you will travel with us." 

"But—"

"Fireborn." The man held his palm out to me. Burnt into the flesh was an emblem of flame. "She called us, so we could take you away. Far away from that place."

Still, I couldn’t seem to understand. Who were these people? Why was I meant to go with them? Where would we go, if not to come home again? Home to Earth. Where I’d been raised. Where I’d convinced myself I belonged.

"What if I want to go back?"

The woman threw back her head and laughed. The walls of flames danced around her, blanketing us all. Then, I could not even see the grey ash, all that was left of the Earth, any longer.

"Why would you go back when you can go forward?"

She swept her hand out. This time, the flames gave way, as if her gesture carried all the wind in the world. I looked through the tunnel. Saw the city beyond.

I’d thought Hell would be a city made from fire, brimstone, and lava rock. Perhaps Hell still was just that. But the city beyond was too beautiful, too beckoning to be Hell. And from rafters I had to squint to see, I heard music. And the music drove the flames. And all here was as one.

All except for me.

Let go. Let Earth and Steph go. You can be a part of this place,the voice in my head chanted. 

But I couldn’t. I was like the diamond heart flames could not reach. I could never go forward if I didn’t know what had become of the world I so loved.

I took a step backward, then another, and another.

"Where are you going?" Khet asked.

"Once you leave this place, we may never be able to bring you back." Sweat beaded on the woman’s high forehead. Her hands trembled as she reached for me.

"I’m sorry," I said. "I’ll try to find you again."

I stepped out of the wall of flame. The fire shrank. White ash buried it. But in the blanket of ashes, I saw Steph’s matches.

I picked them up, turned, and vowed to brave a dying Earth to bring her with me.

FoF Collaborative Flash Fiction - Fire’s Embrace

Hey all, Sabrina here. This week’s FoF challenge is to take a writing prompt from NaNoWriMo.org and begin a collaborative story with it that all of your fabulous FoF contributors will add to. After reading through a couple prompt lists, I have found one that spoke to me. I found it here. Thanks, Marie Klein.

PROMPT: They stood together, hand in hand, and watched the world burn.

Fire’s Embrace

The flames separated to form an image of two people, hand in hand, walking away from me. I glanced toward Steph and said nothing as she moved her hands closer, seeking warmth. I knew she’d be freaking out if she saw them. My gaze returned to the fire.

The figures turned toward me and beckoned me to follow. I leaned closer. Something was odd. I mentally rolled by eyes. People made of flames beckoned to me from my campfire and the fact that they have tails seemed odd? Their mouths moved and I realized that their faces were no longer formed of flame but were large eyed and a mix of feline and human.  

"Fireborn, we need you."

I glanced toward Steph again, to see if she heard or saw anything, but she had her arms wrapped around her legs and her head lying on her knees. Praying for someone else to take the burden of having to hide because of me, no doubt.  Again, I kept my silence. She’d have given me her scrunched-forehead look and prayed for her god to free me of the demons that caused my visions. They were why we hid in this dirty old cave, after all. The voices from the fire people grew louder, regaining my attention. I leaned closer. 

A gust of wind interrupted the still night. The flames surged. Something pulled me forward as if a string were attached to my head. Fire embraced me as the two people smiled, hand in hand, and watched my world burn…

***

I usually prefer to write in 3rd person and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try my hand at 1st person. Let me know what you think of my attempts. Tune in on Friday as Erin York continues the story. I can’t wait to see where she and the others take it.

Sorry for posting my photo late, guys! I just didn’t have any good chances to take a snapshot from my life until today.
Here’s me at work at the college, goofing off. We do a lot of that. In fact, many days I actually get some good writing/editing done in the downtime…
Until next time!
Erin York signing off…

Sorry for posting my photo late, guys! I just didn’t have any good chances to take a snapshot from my life until today.

Here’s me at work at the college, goofing off. We do a lot of that. In fact, many days I actually get some good writing/editing done in the downtime…

Until next time!

Erin York signing off…

This is me, Sabrina A. Fish, one of your FoF contributors giving myself a pat on the back.
Why?
Because this month is national novel writing month or NaNoWriMo, and despite a jam packed schedule I have managed to write something every day. I don’t think I’ll reach the 50,000 word goal, but I hope to be pretty darn close. 
For NaNo, I’m working on a new fantasy project. So I thought I’d post a tiny little excerpt, totally unedited, for you to enjoy.
~Excerpt from Diomere’s Prince by Sabrina A. Fish~
“Hey—,” he cried out as he hit with a splash and went under. His grip tightened on his fishing rod for a moment and then released. That moment of hesitation was enough as he found himself caught by the current and pulled deeper into the darker waters of the sea. Time slowed as his world spun around, his lungs burning with no air. Unable to stand the burning any longer, Reis inhaled. As water filled his lungs, something inside him awoke. A power unlike anything he had ever experienced washed through him in a wave. His body bowed. A sensation like a million tiny needles pricking his skin crawled up his feet and legs, up his hips and stomach, over his shoulders, down his arms, up his neck, over his face to the ends of his hair. As the pinpricks subsided, Reis realized his lungs no longer burned with a need for air, but inhaled and exhaled as if he stood with his head above water. Reis moved his hands toward his face to rub at the pain that still lingered there and froze, shocked.
~end excerpt~
I hope you enjoyed that. I hope to have the first draft mostly finished by the end of NaNoWriMo on November 30th. Then will begin that real work…cleaning that mess up into something publishable. *grin*

This is me, Sabrina A. Fish, one of your FoF contributors giving myself a pat on the back.

Why?

Because this month is national novel writing month or NaNoWriMo, and despite a jam packed schedule I have managed to write something every day. I don’t think I’ll reach the 50,000 word goal, but I hope to be pretty darn close. 

For NaNo, I’m working on a new fantasy project. So I thought I’d post a tiny little excerpt, totally unedited, for you to enjoy.

~Excerpt from Diomere’s Prince by Sabrina A. Fish~

“Hey—,” he cried out as he hit with a splash and went under. His grip tightened on his fishing rod for a moment and then released. That moment of hesitation was enough as he found himself caught by the current and pulled deeper into the darker waters of the sea. Time slowed as his world spun around, his lungs burning with no air. Unable to stand the burning any longer, Reis inhaled. As water filled his lungs, something inside him awoke. A power unlike anything he had ever experienced washed through him in a wave. His body bowed. A sensation like a million tiny needles pricking his skin crawled up his feet and legs, up his hips and stomach, over his shoulders, down his arms, up his neck, over his face to the ends of his hair. As the pinpricks subsided, Reis realized his lungs no longer burned with a need for air, but inhaled and exhaled as if he stood with his head above water. Reis moved his hands toward his face to rub at the pain that still lingered there and froze, shocked.

~end excerpt~

I hope you enjoyed that. I hope to have the first draft mostly finished by the end of NaNoWriMo on November 30th. Then will begin that real work…cleaning that mess up into something publishable. *grin*

If you’re looking for a paranormal horror/thriller, then here’s my gift to you.

My book True Nature is available today for free. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download it for your phone or PC with the free Kindle reader apps.

Check it out by clicking the links above. :-D

Best,
Jere

Hey, all.

This week, I’m posting a fantasy site that I’ve really been enjoying lately: Neopets.

Many of you have probably at least heard of this site. What I like is there is a lot to it.

There are plenty of Flash games to pass the time, though you can also work on getting different outfits for your Neopet, too. If neither of those are your cuppa, then you might look into training your pet to fight in the Battledome.

Personally, what I like is Avatar hunting. There are hundreds of avatars to get, from playing games, to random wheel spins. Some need skill, others might just rely on dedication. Either way, plenty to do there.

Best of all, though, is that they tend to do huge community plots every year or so. When I say “huge,” I mean something that could take months worth of collaborative work from thousands of people to sift through. Best of all, they usually are rich in story elements, which everyone here loves.

So it might not be what you first think of when thinking of “fantasy,” but Neopets really does encapsulate everything fantastic: strange worlds, neat magics, interesting creatures, and plenty of imagination. :-)

Earlier this week, Sabrina posted about her favorite fantasy/sci-fi website. Now, I’d like to share mine. Whenever I’m strapped for inspiration, I go to DeviantArt. I always find something that inspires me there. Many pictures remind me of characters or settings in my stories. Plus, people on the site also often post stories of their own. So if you’re needing inspiration, check out DeviantArt!

If you’d like to find my profile (I warn you, I’m not terribly active), look up EYWriterEditor, and my profile will pop up.

Keep checking back. Next week, we’ll hear from Jere and Tamara!

Sabrina’s Fave Fantasy Site

One of my fave fantasy site’s for sci-fi/fantasy art, fiction, world building, and fans of fantasy community is Elfwood.com. It is an amazing treasure trove for this fantasy writer. I would definitely recommend checking out the tutorials. I still plan to make time for the one on drawing figures. I can’t draw a lick, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing I could and imagining that one of these tutorials will teach me how. *grin* 

I hope you’ll check my fave fantasy site out and come back to let us know what you think!

Click here to travel to Elfwood - Science Fiction, Fantasy and FanArt Pictures & Fiction

Tamara Interviews the Very Cool Jessica Day George

I am so excited this week to interview the author that got me started writing—Jessica Day George! I read her novel, Princess of the Midnight Ball, fell in love, and then realized maybe I could do this too. A month and 65,000 words later, I’d finished my first draft of my first novel. Two years later and I’m still at it. I’ve read all of Jessica’s books, and if you haven’t checked her out, please do so at www.jessicadaygeorge.com. And now for the interview …

Interview with Jessica Day George

 

What inspired you to write Princess of the Midnight Ball?

I had just written SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW, which is based on my favorite fairy tale, EAST O’ THE SUN, WEST O’ THE MOON.  Someone told me that they had retold a fairy tale they hated, in order to “fix” it, and I started thinking about that.  There were no fairy tales that I hated, but I had always been confused by THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES, because in some versions it was a gardener who solved the mystery, in others a soldier.  Sometimes he married the oldest sister, sometimes the youngest.  Also, the last line is, And they never danced again, and they lived happily ever after.  I started to turn this over in my mind and wonder, Why were they dancing if people were dying trying to solve the riddle?  Was it a bad thing?  Who was this guy?  A gardener or a soldier?  So I decided to fix it! 

Why do you think your books appeal to young readers?

Because I’m not really a grown up.  I like talking dragons and dogs and candy and using sarcasm as a defense mechanism.

 

In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of the writing process?

 Revising.  I LOATHE IT.

How did you meet your agent?

 At a writers’ conference.  She initially turned me down, but the magic of the dragon slippers brought her around … 

 

 

Are there any future projects planned for Tuesdays at the Castle or The Princess books?

PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS will be out in December, and as of right now is the last of the princess books.  I am working on edits for WEDNESDAYS IN THE TOWER, the sequel to TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE right now. 

Do you have any advice for writers hoping to publish?

Persevere!  Read every day, write every day, and stick to it!

 

Would you ever consider writing books for adults?

 Oh, yes!  I have lots of book ideas, and half-finished books for adults just waiting for me to find five minutes to work on them.

I’m impressed by the amount of world-building that goes into your novels. Can you share with us how you create these worlds?

 Generally I just think of an actual country and time period, and then change everybody’s name.  Yep.  The princess books are set in an alternate version of early 19th century Germany and England.  It’s probably considered cheating amongst “real” world builders, but I don’t care!

Is it difficult for you to keep up with being a mommy and a writer? Do you have any tips for other mother/writers out there?

 I’m not gonna lie: this is hard.  I’m very lucky in that my long-suffering husband is, well, long-suffering.  He takes the kids grocery shopping and does all the errands every Saturday afternoon, to give me at least two hours to write in.  I also am just ready at any moment the kids will give me some peace to plop down and get to work on that chapter.  We have a lot of frozen pizza for dinner.

What inspires you to keep writing even after publishing?

I love writing!  I love it when an idea for a new story comes to me!  I would keep writing even if no one ever published me again or I never sold another book! 

Interesting Site for Readers and Writers, Alike

Hello, all.

My original plan for today was to provide an author interview. Sadly, nothing come to fruition on it, but fear not. I have something else that should pique many of you guys’ interest.

Truth of life: Writers like to have a platform to put their stuff out there, readers like to have a platform to look at new things coming around the bend. Today’s website provides for both.

Authonomy.com is a UK-based website created by Harper-Collins publishing, which all of you are surely familiar with. There’s a lot going on, here, so let me break it into two categories.

Writers

If you’re a writer, and you’re looking to have people read your stuff (whether to show off or find critique) get on this site. You only need to have 10,000 words written to start posting your work, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

This makes your writing available to read for free, and you might be surprised what sort of comments and critique you’ll get. I had a FEW naysayers, but for the most part the people were incredibly helpful and supportive.

Better yet, if your book is ranked in the Top 5 overall for the month on the last day of the month, your manuscript goes to Harper-Collins’s editors for a little perusal. Though it doesn’t happen ALL the time, there have been a few people who were picked up by HC after getting the once-over. Not bad for free.

Readers

Maybe writing isn’t your thing. That doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate a good book. Think of this as a world-wide library of potential breakthrough novels. And who doesn’t want to be the hipster who can say, “I read that book before it was published and cool and all”?

This site has a dedicated “Reader” base. What’s nice is the search and filter option lets you go through and pick out the genre and type of books you’re most interested in.

Even better, just like writers are ranked, readers have a ranking system, too. The more you review and read, the better that ranking is. The system is a little complex to get into here, but there is a Top 5 for readers, as well, and if you are in that list, you can bet you’re going to have writers clawing after you.

After all, on this site, readers hold all the power.

Closing

That’s it for this week, guys. Really, check this site out. Maybe it won’t be for you, but you won’t know if you don’t try it. I loved it, and kept True Natureup on it for more than two years.

As always, let us know what you’d like to see on here. We’re pleased to serve, and we serve to please.

Later, all.
Jere