#StoryADay Day 15 – Something light and fluffy

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Teleport trips are still pretty expensive, and still a little bit dangerous, but sometimes, she reasons, you’ve just got to take that risk. There’s only so much you can convey in a video call; only so much you can say in a comment on a blog post. She could take a plane but she’s been scared of flying since she was a kid, and besides, it takes so long that way.

She’s frisked, her passport is stamped, and then she’s lying on a table ready to go. They’re getting to the stage where they’re fairly sure it somehow doesn’t actually cause the body any pain to be split up into its atoms and put together again somewhere else, but  they still  like to knock out the clients just in case.

Next thing she knows, she’s being shaken awake. She’s feeling a bit dazed, but his face is there and he’s somehow, however impossibly, more handsome in the flesh. As the travel doctors sit her up, he hands her a cup of coffee made exactly how she likes it. She mentioned that in a blog comment one time. He remembers. She smiles.

Half an hour later they’ve decided she’s suffered no ill effects and she is allowed to head off. They walk out into the street arm-in-arm. He takes her to places he’s told her about, to a little museum off the beaten track and an award-winning coffee house near his own place.

Once the sun sets, they lie in the grass in a nearby park, heads together, and watch the stars. He can point out constellations she’s never even seen before due to being in the wrong hemisphere. They grab a late dinner, and then back at his place, just curl up on his bed, not even kissing, just happy enough being in each other’s arms for the first time.

The next morning arrives far too quickly and it’s time for her to leave again. They have breakfast in bed and then it’s time to go back to the teleport centre. He kisses her before she heads into the waiting room, and oh, how she wishes she could just stay there forever, but alas, it’s not to be. Soon her name is called, and she’s lying on the table again.

When they talk online again that night, he promises that next time he will visit her. The thought makes her giddy with anticipation. She just hopes she doesn’t have to wait too long.

~*~

I decided today was a day for a bit of pure and simple romance. Relationships that start online are becoming less and less strange, so I figure by the time we have teleports, this sort of thing is totally plausible.

#StoryADay Day 13 – Scared of the dark.

I am scared of the dark. I really don’t like it. For a long time, even turning the light off to go to sleep really bothered me, to the point where I’d make sure I went to bed well before my parents so that if I left my door open, there’d still be some light coming in and I’d be asleep by the time those lights were turned off.

I’ve gotten past that, but I still don’t go outside after dark if I can avoid it. Sometimes it’s because I’m scared there’s a vampire or a zombie or some other kind of creature waiting to get me. It doesn’t matter that the rational part of my brain is insisting that those things don’t exist. Other times, it’s vaguely more realistic: if I’m walking down a dark street, even just down to the service station to get some milk, I’m convinced that every car that passes is going to slow down and someone’s going to get out and drag me away or kill me in the street. I always feel so relieved when they drive straight past.

Deep down, I know it’s pretty silly. But a healthy dose of paranoia never hurt anyone, right?

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

~*~

Yes, this story is about me. I made a compromise with myself. I was allowed to let today’s Story A Day slide if I wrote 500 words on each of my WIPs… but it soon became clear that wasn’t going to happen, which meant I had to write my Story A Day… I was trying to think of something supernatural to go with, but this is what happened instead. Describing an interesting/annoying quirk about myself seemed simple enough to go with.

#StoryADay in May Day 10 – Who actually takes an eight-year-old that seriously?

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

It’s been ten years to the day since Marie uttered those fateful words and was whisked away to become her Nutcracker’s queen and she’s never felt so trapped. After all, who takes the word of an eight-year-old no seriously as to marry them off after one naive declaration of love?

It’s not that anyone has treated her badly or as though her every desire hasn’t been fulfilled. In fact, that is part of the problem: the King is lovely, the people are lovely, everything in this Kingdom is just so maddeningly perfect that she thinks she may go crazy from the monotony.

With all this in her head as she makes her way down to the courtyard to meet her people and celebrate with them the tenth anniversary of her coming to the kingdom, an idea begins to form in her head. All eyes are on her today. Perhaps it’s time to cause some havoc, make people realise she’s not as perfect as she’s made out to be. Perhaps it’s time to shatter those perfections and make this world worth living in again.

~*~

I’m quite glad I rewrote that final line; it sounded quite ominous the first time around, but this way is much more uplifting. When I initially decided I wanted to write something inspired by the Nutcracker, I read the book so I knew the original story as well as the ballet. When Marie tells the Nutcracker she would love him in smile of his ugliness, his curse is cooker and not only is he now a dashing prince, but she immediately is whisked off to live in his kingdom and they are married a bit later. Considering it is specifically stated that Marie is 8, I did find that a little bit unnerving and one of my initial ideas was how Marie would actually feel about this later in life. While Operation: Sugarplum is what I eventually started writing, this idea has still stuck with me.

Once again, please blame typos on the fact that I’m writing on my tablet, or that I have once again not had time to write today until I should really be in bed (my parents are visiting). I Shall leave it there for tonight, but hopefully I’ll be back to writing things of length and quality by the end of the weekend. Goodnight!

~ Emily

#StoryADay in May Day 9 – Fairies at the bottom of my garden

I didn’t post a Story A Day post yesterday because I was busy journaling and trying to figure out a personal thing, so that counted as my writing for yesterday. But I’m back now! Been on a bit of a fairies kick today, and I would go into more details on that because I love fairies, but I only have seven minutes to post this before midnight, so have a story! Trying to capture a child’s voice again today, but as I said, it’s late, so my judegement is flawed! But how did I go?

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden.

I know, I’ve seen them. I snuck out one night when the moon was full, and there they were, dancing in the moonlight. I’d always imagined that spot down by the bottom fence would be a good spot for them. It was secluded and overgrown around the outside, but there was a patch in the middle that was somehow clear. I only saw them for a moment because then the gnome that was standing guard for them saw me and he was only small but his face was terrifying! He turned to the fairies and he must have told them they might be in danger, because they all disappeared in a flurry of wings and whispers (at least, it sounded like whispering to me but fairies are tiny so it could have been s houting). The gnome started lolloping towards me and I shrieked and ran back inside. He didn’t come past the door (I wonder if maybe by some fairy magic he wasn’t able to?) and we just stood staring at each other through the glass for a minute, before he seemed satisfied and wandered back off the way he’d come.

So I know there are fairies at the bottom of my garden. But I think they prefer to be left alone.

~*~
P.S. I am still in the midst of responding to comments on previous posts! I will get there, I promise!

#WIPpet Wednesday, #ROW80 and the Versatile Blogger Award

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I’m sorry I left you all wondering with last week’s WIPpet Wednesday. It was too much to resist. But here, let me now enlighten you. That one line, The further through [Felipe] read, the more his brow furrowed, until his expression was darker than Cait had ever seen it before, takes place as Felipe reads a report of which of his men survived the explosion that put him in hospital and who didn’t. He, uh… doesn’t take it so well? Here are the following 16 (8×2) paragraphs. It was only going to be 8 but I really wanted to include the shouty bit.

When he finished, he lowered the papers slowly, but he didn’t look at Cait. He just stared at the wall instead. Cait didn’t know whether to try to say something comforting or to let him process everything in silence.

When he had still barely moved a few minutes later, she leaned forward and placed a hand on the edge of his bed. “Felipe?”

He turned in her direction, but seemed to barely register she was there. “These were good men,” he said. “Why should I have survived when they did not?”

“That is what happens in war.”

This didn’t placate him at all. “Look,” he said, motioning to one of the names on the list. The registrar had written “Died of wounds” next to it. “This man had a wife.”

“So do you.”

Felipe managed to raise an eyebrow at Cait without betraying any of the wit or humour Cait had come to associate with receiving that expression from him.

“His wife was his entire world. He never stopped talking about her. You of all people should know, Cait, that I can only wish for a love like that.” Cait did not know how to respond to that so she remained quiet. “These men deserved to live far more than I. But, no, it’s all ‘Quick, we have to save the Prince. The Prince must be saved!'” Cait had never heard him sound so bitter.

“Please, Felipe, don’t talk like that.”

“WELL, IT’S TRUE!”

As he held the words, he picked up the coffee mug from the tray in front of him and hurled it at the wall. Cait winced as she watched it shatter into tiny shards and sat back in her seat, deciding Felipe needed the space.

After a few deep breaths, he turned to look at Cait and his expression softened. “I’m sorry, Cait. I shouldn’t be taking this out on you. I thought I’d prepared myself for this but… seeing it written, I just…” He trailed off and looked away, tight-lipped. It was clear to Cait he was struggling to maintain his composure.

“Should I go?” she asked quietly.

“No, please stay. I won’t lose my temper again. I don’t want to be alone, Cait.”

“All right.”

My poor baby, I really do put him through a lot. (I was rewriting a scene from early on in the story last night and had him leap across three benches to get away from his guards. Then I realised he wouldn’t be able to do something like that at the end of the story because of the leg injury I give him and the whole having-to-walk-with-a-cane thing. And then I felt awful. For a moment)

Please feel free to come and join in the WIPpet Wednesday funtimes! All you have to do is post something from a current WIP that somehow correlates to the day’s date (eg. paragraphs, lines, sentences, chapter, etc…). Then hop on over to the linky and leave the details there. Once again, thanks to Kathi at My Random Muse for hosting.

Next on the agenda, the other day I was nominated for the versatileaward1Versatile Blogger award by Marian Allen. While Marian and I have run into each other during the Story a Day in May challenge, this was completely out of the blue and I am totally chuffed. Thank you Marian!

The rules for the Versatile Blogger award are as follows:

  1. Thank and link to the person who gave you the award.
  2. Tell seven facts about yourself.
  3. Pass it on to seven other bloggers.
  4. Link to specific posts on their blogs so they’ll be notified by pingback.

Okay. Seven things about me:

  1. My inner child often makes her way to the surface. I kind of still believe there are fairies at the bottom of my garden.
  2. I tend to talk to myself a lot. Sometimes it’s actually talking to myself, sometimes I’m envisaging conversations I want to have with people. Then sometimes I forget whether I actually told them something or just imagined it, and end up not telling them at all.
  3. I grew up in a town with a population of maybe 300. I had to travel an hour to and from school each day.
  4. I have a BA in Art History and Curatorship. I started doing a Librarianship as well then realised I find museums more interesting than libraries so I’m going to do some more museum studies in a year or so.
  5. My housemate and I have a ragdoll cat named Artemisia (Mizzy for short). She is the most adorable thing, except when she gets bitey.
  6. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, though some of the stories I wrote when I was a kid were basically fan fiction with the names changed.
  7. I’ve had a LiveJournal since I was 13 and since then I’ve been trying to cure my compulsion to sign up for every new thing on the Internet. Speaking of which, I caved and got a Pinterest recently. It’s a bit confusing, though I think that’s more because the website was having a bit of a Moment when I first got on there.

And now 7 Bloggers to pass the baton to, should they choose to accept. Since it’s Wednesday, I’m nominating 7 of my WIPpet Wednesday buddies.  

  1. Kate Sparkes
  2. ReGi McClain
  3. Alana Terry
  4. K. L. Schwengel
  5. Kate Frost
  6. Raewyn Hewitt
  7. Eden Mabee

Now, I have a question for you guys, or more I’m seeking your opinions on something I’ve mostly already decided upon. I thought about this some time ago, and I’m thinking about it again: I want to register a .com domain for my blog. “spaciireth” is tricky to remember if you’re not me and don’t remember which actors I fancied when I was 14 and whose first initials I threw around to come up with some kind of name. Also, I just kind of like the idea of having one, and I’m in a position these days where I can afford an annual fee to do it, so why not?

I don’t understand all these things about mapping one’s blog to one’s domain and such, so it seems to me that the easiest thing to do would just be to go through WordPress for it, because then they would do it all for me. Seems simple enough. The only problem being that if I wanted to use my own name, well, emilywitt.com is unavailable. I could go elsewhere and register emilywitt.com.au or something like that, but as I said, I’d rather not have to figure out the tricky stuff myself (plus, .com.au domains tend to be expensive, and I don’t really want .net).

With that in mind, I was thinking of matching my Twitter handle, which matches my blog title, and going for keysandopenmind.com… I figure it’s reasonably easy to remember, reflects the blog title, which is what a lot of blog URLs do, and you know, maybe if I end up a NYT best-selling author, then I can see about getting a URL with my name in it. Until then, does this make sense and do people think it is an all right idea?

row80As for writing goals, after barely touching AMCF last week, I finally got back into it this week. I’m trying to world-build a bit more, so the opening is quite different now to how it was in the first draft. Cait and Felipe meet in a different context, and for a while I was worried they were too friendly off the bat, but no, Felipe then proved that he is still a bit of a twat early on. Cait’s sister was also there for this meeting in this version, and had a bit of a fangirl moment, which is quite cute. Felipe may be a twat, but he does continue to be good with kids. I think at the start of the story he is something of a big kid himself, he hasn’t really had to grow up at all, and so that’s why he probably gets on with Ginny, who’s eleven, and Cait is quite a bit judgey.

I spent Saturday at the library trying to get the outline for Making Friends of Enemies finished, but that didn’t happen, due to needing to change location halfway through the afternoon and getting a bit distracted by that. Also, I can only write so much with the stylus on my tablet before my wrist gets a bit achey.

As you can see, though, I have managed to keep up with the Story a Day in May challenge, even if some of them have not made much sense, and some have only been 100 words or so. My parents are visiting as of tomorrow, and will be here til Sunday, on top of which I have evening rehearsals for the choir concert taking place on Sunday. I will probably try to keep up with the short stories until then, but might not get much else done til the new week starts.

I’m going to post this now and do a new post later with my story for today. Kate is getting impatient for those of us in earlier time zones to post our WIPpets (:P), and my Story A Day for today may end up being a personal journal entry that I don’t want to share, since I have been having Deep Thinky Thoughts about something since last night. So yes. Catch you all later! 😀

~ Emily

#StoryADayMay Day 7 – The Hunger Games Meets Jasper Fforde

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

“Come on! It’s just a bit further. If we can find a computer, and then maybe things will start looking up.”

“Alex, you need to slow down.” We were scrambling over the rubble and debris of collapsed houses, to where our scanner was telling us a computer was still in operation. Alex was keener than usual, understandable since we ran out of food a couple of days ago and hadn’t had any money to buy any more.

“We’re nearly there, Renee, we can stop when we find it.”

I had to get this over with. He needed to be told and I couldn’t put it off any longer. I stopped, standing on top of a rock and called out, “Alex, there’s something I have to tell you.” He turned around and, realising I was no longer following him, came back to where I was standing.

I hopped down off the rock I was on so that we were at the same level, though I couldn’t meet his eye. He sensed something was wrong and placed a hand on my arm.

“I… didn’t finish your book.”

“What?”

“I didn’t finish it. It’s not that it was bad, it just… wasn’t really my thing. The protagonist was too young for me to identify with. I couldn’t get into it.”

“But… you said that you…” Alex trailed off, looking stricken.

“I know, I’m sorry.”

Alex turned and began walking again, and I couldn’t blame him for wanting to put some distance between himself and me. I walked a little bit behind him, quite happy to give him some space. We’d been silent for about ten minutes when he turned back to me.

“I could write one for you. You could edit it so it sounded more like you…”

“Alex, you know what the penalty for false reviews is…”

He bit his bottom lip. “I know… it’s just… I was looking forward to eating tonight.”

“I know. We’ll be okay. There’s a library on the edge of this town… even if it’s knocked down, there might still be books there. Then we can find this computer we’re hunting for and leave all the reviews we like.” I had caught up to him by this stage and punched him lightly, but encouragingly, on the arm.

“You’re right,” he agreed finally, “let’s find this library.”

~*~

So this doesn’t make a huge amount of sense, and the reason for that is that it’s based on a dream I had, and dreams never make any sense. But for some background, last year at the NaNoWriMo Kick-Off party in my region, I met Jack Heath, a local published, and quite successful author. I didn’t see him again after this initial launch party but next time I was in the bookshop I bought his first book, The Lab. It was interesting, and quite well-written, but just not my thing. I ended up not finishing it, and it is in my box of books to take next time I visit the second-hand bookstore. Then a few weeks ago, I had a dream that I was living in some kind of post-apocalyptic world where writing and/or receiving (it was unclear) positive book reviews was some kind of currency… but you couldn’t just write a review, you had to have genuinely enjoyed it. For some reason, in this dream, I was travelling around with Jack Heath, and had for some reason promised him a review which was all fine and dandy, except… I never finished the book, and I hadn’t told him that, and I spent the whole dream being conflicted.

Had I not left it until 10pm to write this, I might have managed to world-build a bit more, but… it’s bedtime, so we’ll all have to make do. I’m off to the shower now, and then it will be sleep time. Tomorrow is Wednesday, which means a big post! Yay!

#StoryADayMay Day 6 – What’s in the house with the purple picket fence?

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

A while back, I asked my boyfriend to give me a writing prompt and while I can’t remember the exact wording of it off the top of my head right now, it was something to do with a purple picket fence. From that prompt, a kid’s story evolved in my head, but I never actually got around to figuring out the nitty-gritty and writing it. This is a condensed version of what it might have been. (NB: The run-on sentences? They’re deliberate, yes.)

Continue reading

#StoryADayMay Day 5 – Wonders of the universe

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Day 5

Sarah thought she’d prepared herself for the view of the Earth from outer space, but none of the simulations, none of the hi-res photos, nothing has prepared her for this, for the complete awe she feels the first time glimpses that view. It looks so different from out here amongst the stars, but stunningly perfect, and Sarah can barely turn her eyes away.  It’s not until she receives a nudge from one her colleagues that she’s reminded she actually has a job to do. But she has a feeling she’ll be returning to that spot on the viewing deck many times before this mission is over.

~*~

Short and sweet from me today because I accidentally got distracted by the shows that are on after Doctor Who and it’s now past my bedtime, but in honour of it being Doctor Who Day and also the fact that I went to talk today on the sacred geometry of Canberra (the best image I can find to demonstrate it accompanies this article, but there was so much more to it than what is shown there, and my mind just kept getting blown), so I wanted to write something about the amazingness of the universe. I might do a ROW80 check-in tomorrow, or I might just wait til Wednesday. Will see how I feel.

#StoryADayMay Day 4 – Always Dreaming

Stolen from Tumblr

She didn’t receive a letter to Hogwarts at the age of 11, but she didn’t worry too much because the school system worked differently in her country and maybe she’d have to wait until she was thirteen to learn that she was born with magical abilities. But two years went by and then more (and three more books and six more movies) and she eventually accepted that she wasn’t going to magic school.

She checked at the back of her wardrobe semi-regularly, but there was only wooden paneling there. Any time she came across a rabbit hole under a bush in her back yard, she got on her hands and knees and looked down to see if it went anywhere, but she never fell in and just ended up with a dirty face and hands. Clearly, magical portals were out, too, though for a while she still wondered if a boy who’d lost his shadow would knock on her window one night… or if the goblins would come and take her away RIGHT NOW.

After that, she made up her mind she’d go into law enforcement, and then get selected for a special government agency investigating UFO sitings and alien abductions. But when it came to actually choosing a career, she decided that were too many external factors affecting whether or not this ideal scenario would actually play out, and in the meantime, catching normal human bad guys is both boring and really hard, so she decided to let that one go.

But she’s still somewhat hopeful every time she rounds a corner, that she’s going to see a blue telephone box completely at odds with its surroundings and a man in pinstripes and Converse or maybe one with a tweed jacket and a bowtie is going to step out and tell her to run And her life is never going to be the same. There’s no age limit on this one; anyone can travel through time and space (though given the amount of running required, she hopes he comes reasonably soon) and so she’s not going to let go of this dream any time soon. She’ll keep watching the stars and a part of her will always wonder.

~*~

A bit of whimsy for today. It was not my intention to try to imply that Doctor Who trumps basically everything else, but… the “she” referred to in this is basically me (apart from the fact that I never actually watched the X-Files, except for a bit at uni) so… that is kind of what I’m saying. 😛 Though that is not to say that I don’t still adore everything else referred to in the story, as well.

#StoryADayMay Day 3 – A bit of silliness. Complete with lolcats.

Only a short little story from me today. We had a section lunch so I didn’t have as much writing time as I’d have liked at work, and I’m out again tonight and not sure what time I’ll be home, so. Last night I was lying in bed and struck with sudden inspiration, wrote down “The one where cats take over the world and speak in lolspeak because it’s all they know.” This ended up being shorter and less funny than I initially intended, but like I said, lack of time today.

This is how the cats will react to their horror when they take over the world.

This is how the cats will react to our horror when they take over the world.

Is your cat acting weird?

No more so than usual. I think.

Just… go check.

My friends and I always joked about how our cats were secretly plotting to kill us but these couple of text messages seemed a bit more foreboding than our usual conversations on the subject.

I found my cat sitting on my laptop keyboard. This wasn’t unusual; it was a warm spot and he often sat there until I would kick him off to use it. What was a bit strange, though, was the way he pointedly looked from me to the computer screen, as if trying to draw my attention to it. l looked closer; the screen was blue and a message was flashing in the middle of it:

WE   R  REDY. R  U?

I looked back at the cat. He was giving me that “I could kill you in my sleep” look. A small part of me was saying that it was ridiculous to think the cat had written the words on the screen but the rest of me was thinking of something else my friends and I always joked about: that one day cats will probably take over the world.

The lolspeak Message on my computer combined with the look the cat was giving me were combining to make me think maybe that day had come. Maybe the time of humans was over, and the time of the oats was about to begin.

~*~

Come join in the fun!

Click the image to visit the Story A Day website.

Click the image to visit the Story A Day website.

~ Emily

P.S. If you’re familiar with the Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood and want to read a really funny story involving lolcats, check-out Trying To Communicate by Copperbadge, in which the Torchwood Hub is visited by an alien lolcat. I read it when it was first published and I still look it up from time to time.