#FictFBFeb17 Day 13: “Fragile” and Day 14: “Forever”



Fictional Flashback February is hosted by Faith Rivens. It is mostly running on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #FictFBFeb17, but I’m also linking it here. My blog posts are also someitmes including an extra story to go along wtih the image. . You can join in at any time, in whichever format you prefer! Here are the rest of the prompts:


#FictFBFeb17 Days 6, 9-12

Fictional Flashback February is hosted by Faith Rivens. It is mostly running on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #FictFBFeb17, but I’m also linking it here. My blog posts are also someitmes including an extra story to go along wtih the image. . See the bottom of the post for the whole months’ worth of prompts.

Today I’m playing catch-up, as I’ve missed a few days, and we’re nearly halfway through the month, so it seemed as good a time as any.

Day 6: “Fade”


Day 9: “Fear”


Day 10: “Friendship”


 NB: Max is the other protagonist in With Memories and Magic. Sometimes I think he has a crush on Clara, but if he does, he’s not talking about it, and is pretending they’re just friends anyway. 😛
Day 11: “Found”
Day 12: “Four”
It’s now past my bedtime and I have to get up and go to work tomorrow, so I’ll leave this here and post the images to Instagram tomorrow. In the meantime, here are the other prompts.

#FictFBFeb17 Day 3: “Fire”


In Thelidon, the firstborn child of the reigning monarch develops magical abilities they use to defend their small kingdom. King Emery is the second son, and had to take the throne when his older brother died with no heir, so the Kingdom has had to wait until Clara comes of age for that magic to take hold again.

Fictional Flashback February is hosted by Faith Rivens. It is mostly running on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #FictFBFeb17, but I’m also linking it here. You can join in at any time, in whichever format you prefer! Here are the rest of the prompts:


#FictFBFeb17 Day 2: “First”


“I’m sorry, Captain!”

There’s no need for apologies, Princess,” came the winded voice of Captain Armin from the ground in front of her. “That’s exactly what I wanted you to do.”
“I know, but… are you hurt?”
“I’ll be fine.”
Princess Clara Winterburn stood grimacing as the captain eased himself off the ground. Somehow, she had thought she would feel more victorious the first time she managed to disarm the Captain.
“You’ve done well, your Highness,” he said, inclining his head towards her. “If you keep progressing at this rate, once your magical abilities have also developed, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Clara knew it was a compliment, but it just felt like one more weight upon her shoulders. She looked away.
“I just don’t want to have to hurt anyone.”
Don’t worry, Clara, by two thirds of the way through With Memories and Magic, you’ll want to bring all the hurt.
Somewhere in an alternate universe, I didn’t kill off Captain Armin in the opening chapter, and he went on to be Clara’s awesome second-in-command in battle. Still feeling a little bit guilty about his most untimely death. But not too much. Not really.
Fictional Flashback February is hosted by Faith Rivens. It is mostly running on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #FictFBFeb17, but I’m also linking it here. You can join in at any time, in whichever format you prefer! Here are the rest of the prompts:

#FictFBFeb17 Day 1: Introducing Her Royal Highness Clara Winterburn

Fictional Flashback February 2017 – day 1 – introduce your character

Image from pixabay.com
Princess Clara Winterburn

When her parents are murdered by an insurgent intent on putting himself on the throne and enslaving her and the magical skills she will soon develop, Princess Clara Winterburn chooses to escape to another country, her mind altered so that she can escape both him and the painful memories. But as his grip tightens on her kingdom and she begins to come into her powers, the time comes for her to face her destiny and take her place as the rightful monarch.

She is helped along the way by members of a magical order known as the Aligarian Mages, who remain loyal to her even in the face of cruel punishment and risk of death. In particular, there is Max Drosslemeier, a Mage around her own age, with whom she forms a strong bond. She doesn’t know it, but he and his aunt provide her with utmost protection during her exile.

Thelidon is a small Kingdom and the reigning monarch’s magic is all the protection the people need. The monarch makes a pledge, known as the Vow of the People, to protect them. But the magic only passes to the first-born child, so when the previous King died with no heir, the throne passed to his brother, Clara’s father, who had no magic of his own. While the Aligarian Mages were able to provide some protection to the Kingdom, it was still vulnerable to attack, something General Josef Bauer took advantage of.

By the time she returns to Thelidon with her memories once again restored and in control of her magical abilities, Clara has become a hardened Queen, angry at Bauer for murdering her parents, at herself for running away, and for her people, who have had no one to fight for them. She’s more than ready to take her Kingdom back.

Clara is one of the protagonists in my current WIP, Operation Sugarplum, the title of which may soon be changing to something like With Magic and Memory. If you’re a regular on my WIPpet Wednesday posts, you would already be familiar with her and Max from the snippets I’ve shared over the past few months. Over February, I will be sharing little outtakes from Clara’s point of view, as part of the Fictional Flashback February challenge, designed by my friend, Faith Rivens. Some of them will take place before the actual story, while others will be “missing scene” type ficlets.

This is challenge in the vein of those 30 Day challenges, except it’s for February, so it’s only 28 days long. The idea of Fictional Flashback February is to use each of the prompts to create a memory for your character to reminisce on, thereby getting to know your character better. I haven’t really done one of these challenges before, but I wanted to give this one a go! As I said to Faith, I make no promises for consistency or quality of my contributions, as they will be written on the fly, but before uni really starts back would be the best time for me to try doing a challenge like this, so here I go!

Here are the rest of the prompts:


*The image I’ve used for Clara is a portrait of Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, taken from pixabay.com and used under Creative Commons CC0.

#ROW80 Check-in and #WIPpet Wednesday – May 6, 2015

So, um. You know how my main goal for this week was to finish that history essay I had due? Well. I kind of maybe withdrew from the course because everything was getting a bit too hard. Here is the thought process:

  • I was honestly not sure I was going to finish this essay to a satisfactory standard.
  • I would have to be doing an assignment on my way to Sydney next weekend.
  • The final assignment (another essay) is due on June 9. My Fair Lady opens June 5 and between May 31 and June 7, I am in the theatre every night (and during the days on the weekend). Yes, I’m taking three days off work during this period, but I’m going to be really tired.
  • This course was simply an elective as far as my degree goes, it has nothing to do with my specialisation or anything.
  • I’m enrolled in a winter course in the middle of the year, and while it would have been nice for that to mean one less subject at the end of degree, it will at least mean dropping this subject won’t make the degree any longer. I’ll still have done four courses by December.
  • It was still at the point where I incur no academic penalty (my “grade” is “withdrawn without fail”). Even though I still have to pay for the course, in the Australian system, the government pays for your tertiary education, and we pay it back through our tax. Sure, it means I’ll get paid less for a bit longer, but you don’t miss money you never actually see in your bank account. It’ll be a nice surprise when I finally have it all paid off and start getting paid a little more. That’s not going to be for some time, though.

So, yes. I’ve now only got one course to concentrate on, and I’ll have handed in the final paper for that one two full weeks before My Fair Lady opens. I do feel like all the hours I spent working on this silly essay have now been in vain, but they’re in the past, and I had to consider my sanity in the near future.

It also means that I’ve had some time to write, and that means that I will only have had to avoid WIPpet Wednesday for one week rather than the seven or eight I was expecting. Camp NaNoWriMo is now over, so I’m making sense of all the brainstorming I did. The story took a couple of unexpected turns throughout the month, so I’m working out where to go with that. I’m also developing the structure for the story a bit more. It’s fun to explore. So now I can actually start sharing from the story, rather than the back story scenes. This one is from… well, I hesitate to say “prologue” but that’s essentially what it is. In this scene, Grace (formerly known as Rosa; I have another MC named Laura and two characters with names ending in A was bugging me) has gone to visit a Seer she trusts before she heads back to her home country. Six paragraphs for the sixth of May. Grace has stated that she doesn’t intend to return to Merrowford, her home town.

Densey held out her hand and Grace took it in one of her own. The old woman closed her eyes and bent her head, stroking Grace’s hand with her thumb. Grace waited.

When Densey opened her eyes again, there was a sparkle in the corner of one. “I think Merrowford might be in your sights. An old lover of yours will return. You’re going to have a run in with him.”

“I think you’re mistaken. I’ve never had a lover in Merrowford. I’ve kept clear of any more emotional attachment to that town.”

“‘Any more’. Where did it start?”

“Do you mean…” Densey raised an eyebrow. Grace shook her head. “That’s impossible, Densey, that man is long dead.”

“And you’re one hundred and twenty-nine years old. Also impossible, wouldn’t you say, my dear?”

I feel like she has a good point. With that, I have only left to say that you should join WIPpet Wednesday over here (just post an excerpt of your WIP that somehow relates to the date), and ROW80 over here. I am going to see out this game of Words With Friends that I’m playing with my partner (he is thrashing me) and then head to bed. It’s been a long day. ~ Emily

#ROW80 Update and #WIPpet Wednesday – “I screwed up”

Arrrrgh! I had an awesome ROW80 post that I had typed up on my breaks at work today, and then I just opened the email where I thought I had emailed it to myself, and there was nothing there! Noooo! This is what I get for copying things at 4pm when I’ve been at work since 7:45. All right, time to start the memory test.

row80I’ve decided to revise the way I do my goals for ROW80. Not only will I have my round-long goals, but I’m going to start setting goals for the following week every check-in. I’ve seen a few people do this and I think it will be really beneficial for me, particularly now that I’m studying again.

Last week I didn’t do any writing. Instead, I was getting settled into online study and trying to get my head around that. I’m doing two courses this semester: Colonial Australia in an Imperial World and Museums and Collections: Key Concepts and Practices. While the Museums one is actually relevant to my degree (Museums and Cultural Heritage), I’m currently finding the history elective more interesting. This may change, though.

I’ve already written 250 words of 1500 for the critical exhibition review I have due on the 11th of March. So I’m pretty happy with that. I’ve responded to one forum discussion for the history course. I have to respond to at least three over the course of the semester, so I’m trying to get them out of the way early so that when I’m writing major essays, I don’t need to worry. One of said major essays is due smack-bang in the middle of My Fair Lady performances, so I’m really going to need to try to get that completed a week or so early.

So now, some goals for the week of Wednesday 25 February through to Tuesday March 3:

  • Complete readings for critical exhibition review for MUSC8017
  • Get first draft of critical exhibition review up to 750/1500 words for MUSC8017
  • Complete Module 2 forum discussion response for HIST8015
  • Do 50% of readings for Module 2 online exercise (HIST8015)
  • Write a review of Cinder to go up on here on Friday
  • Finish second draft of Unicorn Love.
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs and at least 50% of the WIPpet Wednesday blogs

Rough plan for doing this:

  • Write Cinder review after this post, because I’m not home tomorrow and I’ll probably forget on Friday
  • Spend an hour on Friday night and Tuesday night finishing Unicorn Love. That is all it should take; I’m really close! Then someone will have to read it.
  • Spend an hour on uni work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Depending on how long I am out for on Saturday, and on what is needed, add a second hour on Saturday.
  • Spend an hour Saturday and an hour Sunday visiting blogs, unless I have managed to already fit some of this in elsewhere.

I do love a good list. I’m actually feeling fluttery excitement in my belly at the thought of getting stuck into these so I can strike them out in next Wednesday’s post.

wippetwednesdayOnto WIPpet Wednesday. I’ve revamped Unicorn Love a bit. I’ve taken all the time travel out, as well as some other material, and made it a lot more concise. Where the first draft was nearly 9000 words, I think this will be under 4k.  I’m really hoping that will be the case, because then I can enter into the Writer’s Digest Annual Short Story Competition. Anyway, today is the 25th, so I’ve added 2+5 and have seven paragraphs to share. The scene I’m sharing comes a little after the one I shared last week.

“Would you prefer to have never cried the tears you cried over David?”

“What? Of course not.”

“You said that if I didn’t meddle, many tears could be avoided. You and David didn’t come together by chance, you know. Would you have preferred to have never known him, and never cried over him when he left you?”

“You mean, you…”

“That’s right.”

Lydia looked down at her hands. “And then I screwed it up.”

To her credit, Aphrodite did pause before answering, trying to find a tactful way of agreeing. “Well,” she said finally, “yes, you did.”

For the record, Lydia screwed it up by getting drunk and making out with another guy in a bar. At least, she tells herself she was drunk. It may have had more to do with the fact that she and David had had a fight the night before and she was feeling reckless and spiteful, than with her level of alcohol consumption.

Y’all should join in on WIPpet Wednesday, or ROW80 or both! WIPpet Wednesday just requires that you post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then you link up here. All the chocolate and coffee to our fearless host, K. L. Schwengel. ROW80, or A Round of Words in 80 Days, is an awesome system for sorting your writing goals and having some accountability. It’s a bit more complicated, but you can check out the website for more info.

I’m going to go now and try to get my Cinder review before I fall asleep on my keyboard. See you all over the next few days!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update:

I have to admit, I’ve been rather lax with my participation in ROW80 this round. And that keeps happening. But now that my holidays are officially over and I’m into more of a routine, I’ll be able to really make a crack at it. I hope.

On that note, while I was on holidays, I didn’t take my laptop with me, but I did take my notebook, and I wrote maybe 500 words on at least three different evenings. As my goal is work for an hour or write at least 500 words on Tuesdays and Fridays, I call that a win. I also wrote a few pages at work on Monday, and then I spent my writing group’s meet-up last night typing all of that up. It took forever, and I actually ended up leaving some notes to myself in big red letters where I decided to completely change things. The exciting thing is that at nearly 10k, the first draft of Unicorn Love is just about finished. It does need some good revising, though. I need Aphrodite to be more interfering throughout the story, and the ending is far too convenient (it’s a literal deus ex machina, actually). But! It’s a first draft. That should be done by next Wednesday with any luck.

wippetwednesdayThe problem with a WIP so short, of course, is that after a few weeks it’s getting rather hard to find a WIPpet that doesn’t spoil the entire story. I have some nice bits of dialogue from the end, but they do give away everything. I was going to get you guys’ advice on the back cover copy I have written for AMCF, but I will do that next week when I’m not typing this at my writing group’s Tuesday night meeting because I’m seeing a play on Wednesday night (this week is awful; stuff on every week night). I did find this bit though. Six paragraphs, which I got from adding the month to the day.

In this scene, Lydia has gone back in time to before she became a cupid. She is poor and living as part of a little street gang who do what they can to look after for one another and scrape by. The person she is talking to is David. The real one, this time, not the fake version Aphrodite created in this scene.

“Hey, sleepyhead,” he greeted her when she opened her eyes. “Today’s the big day. Are you ready?”

“No,” she replied, sitting up again and yawning. “Oh, good lord,” she said, the worrying thought suddenly occurring to her. “There’s no coffee here.”


“Um. Nothing. Ignore me. Just tired.”

“You don’t like coffee. You tried it once, when the nuns were handing out food and drink.”

“I know I… I had a strange dream, that’s all. I liked coffee in the dream.”

Feel free to join us for WIPpet Wednesday! All you need to do is post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (eg. 4+2 paragraphs). Then link up with us here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting us.

In other news, we have all heard about Harper Lee agreeing to publish a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, right? I honestly can’t decide quite how I feel about it. I studied TKAM in school, like everyone else, and it was probably more difficult to appreciate as a non-American 16-year-old, but I did appreciate it much more later on (confession: not that I have ever actually re-read it. I just, um, watched the movie a great deal. Come on, you guys, Gregory Peck.). I’m going to copy and paste my boyfriend’s response from Facebook, because he basically sums it up:

Yes, like anyone else with literary inclinations, I relish the idea of being able to read Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. But before you start to place your pre-order, consider reading between the lines. Lee has always been known as a recluse, she was always protected by her lawyer sister in her business dealings, her sister has been dead for only three months, and Harper is by all accounts in the throes of senility, not always understanding the documents she signs. If she is genuinely (as the press releases say) “humbled and amazed that this will now be published”, that’s fantastic. With so many signs pointing to exploitation of a frail old woman, though, I’m a little more suspicious.

There is also the fact that it doesn’t sound so much like a sequel, as the book that ended up becoming TKAM in the first place. Not that I’m saying it can’t work because it was written first, but it sounds like one of those situations where you write the book you think you want to write, only to discover it was just the hiding place for an even more amazing book. Anyway, I suppose it remains to be seen.

I’m going to head off now, and I’ll see you around on your own blogs!

~ Emily