Car Ride

The rain tip taps on the car roof, falling from a grey sky. Blue sky lies in the distance, far in front, beyond the trail of metal carriages filling the motorway lanes. Red lights flash, on and off, on and off, as we inch along the road.
A gloved finger taps on the steering wheel, in time with the drops all around. No small talk, or music fills the car, just the ambient sounds and the taps.
Beyond the barriers steep tree covered hills give way to undulating fields of pale green grass with cream coloured sheep. Then, a forest of white turbines, reaching their slowly rotating blades high in to the air.
Soon the inches turn into feet and the feet into miles and we are travelling at a steady pace, the landscape whips by, once again the hills creep back around us.
We will pass through into the sunlight before long, the rain will be behind us and the road will be clear.

The Sabotage

I’m a saboteur. I try to ruin my own life in lots of small ways. Once I experience a tiny amount of success I find ways to fail, to stop what has been successful and to pursue the unhealthy habits that keep me trapped.
The last couple of weeks have been that way in many respects.
I’ve not been using my office, a place we made for work. I choose to be uncomfortable in a chair which leads to less productivity.
I give in to urges to eat and buy rubbish. Luckily not gaining weight but not losing.
My Nano prep is at a minimum, so much so I worry about being able to complete the writing challenge.
I sit and I scroll through Instagram and Twitter, trying to silence the screaming worry in my head. And it makes me even more frustrated, why can I not just DO something to help myself.
I felt this way shortly before starting this website with John, and for awhile it was great, with all you lovely people liking my posts. But I got caught up with questioning myself and all the other little blocks I put in my own way which caused me to back away from what helped.
It’s a tough time at the moment, John’s about to start a new job, so money is a bit of a concern, and the nervousness that comes with something new.
John’s last day is tomorrow and we have sometime before he starts the new job. We will be spring cleaning, changing things around and making the flat beautiful. I’m hoping it will be the start of a productive time and that I can throw myself into world building and prepping for Nano.
I know that periods of depression are going to happen throughout my life, but I’m trying to deal with them with a more mindful attitude and to make the most of the times where I am okay. With each bout it’s getting better, one day I hope to have a good balance.

Sorry for this self-indulgent post, but it’s good to get this out and to have some accountability, to have my feelings out there in a place where others can see, and maybe not feel so alone.

I will be back with more soon, as will John, but it may be sporadic for a little while.

Rail Way – A Poem

A train clickity clacks passed the window. Causing flocks of birds to flee. Peace is torn, black dust is thrown, taking passengers from here to there.
It isn’t a bother per say. But it causes alarm in the night. With a shudder and shock, it whisks on by, stopping my heart for a beat.
For now its gone. The birds have landed, silence returns and passengers are off on their way.

***

This was quite an experiment for me. I really enjoyed testing out the flowing of sentences and seeing what I liked. I may very well do more like this and try and work more thought of flow into my stories!

NaNoWriMo Prep

We’re just under two months away from NaNoWriMo! If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a writing challenge where in November you try to write 50k words. I’ve tried the challenge in the past but I’ve only completed it once, and I think that was with a lot of excess words thrown in.
So, in order to prepare and to give myself the best chance possible I’ve been doing several things.

  1. Getting into a routine – I’m aiming for get up earlier in the morning, taking myself to the office to write and separate myself from the worries of the day, and meal prep so that cooking is less of a hassle and to keep us from indulging. This is still an on going process (especially since John is about to change jobs), but we have time!
  2. Making notes – So many notes! I’m one of those people who take hours to come up with names (and even then I’m not happy or just chose the first one I thought of) and just sit and stare and the blank page when I’m not sure of something. In order to prevent that I’m fleshing out my fantasy world, creating places, history and lists of names. This has been coming along slowly but getting quicker as I know more.
  3. Creating a story Outline – I’m not a pantser (going by the seat of your trousers). I can write stories that way, but they would all just be happy, with no conflict and lost plot threads. So, planning out will allow me to create a better story and I’m sure I will add some things as I go!

There are other little steps I’ve been taking; trying to be more social, spreading my writing wings, attempting to not feel guilty for spending so much time on something that may not go anywhere. But I love writing and it’s all worth it. The process of writing in pen on paper, tapping on the keyboard, of editing and of streamlining, it’s all a part of it and all wonderful.
This site is a little over a month old and already it has helped me so much. I hope in some way I can help others, whether now or in the future.
Are you joining in NaNoWriMo, if so how are you getting prepared? Any advice or questions, let me know!

Writing Exercise – Guess who?

A family stands before you, five in number, all with black hair and pear shaped bodies.
A father, tallest of the lot, bears a moustache and a styled hairdo hiding a bald spot. He wears a white apron over a white t-shirt and grey trousers. He’s a hard working chef, owns his own restaurant and talks to his food.
A mother, wearing red glasses and matching long-sleeved top, with blue trousers. She has a love of singing and porcelain babies.
The eldest daughter has glasses but her’s are black, she has a yellow clip holding some of her hair from her face, her hair lies in a bob covering her ears. A blue t-shirt and darker blue skirt are her regular clothes. She pulls up her white socks high on her legs. Horses, boys and zombies are her favourite things.
The middle child is an outgoing boy, he wears a yellow t-shirt and light blue shorts. He is often seen with a small electronic keyboard upon which he likes to record and play fart sounds.
The last member of the family, a young girl with a green dress and a pink hat with bunny ears. She has a strong sense of herself and is the smartest of the bunch.
They stand together, each different but they are always a family.

Do you know this family? It’s a TV family. This was a fun little exercise. I’m doing so many notes lately (in prep for NaNoWriMo) that I rush over details. I think I’ve done so in this, too, but practise makes perfect!

A Roller Coaster of a Week

This week has been a stressful one.
A couple of setbacks early in the week had us down for a few days, which brought other lows such as too much junk food. But after a stern talk, we have agreed to get back on track and not let it get out of hand.
It wasn’t all bad though, there were highs, and the highest was John getting offered a new job! We are really excited about the prospects it’ll bring. It’s going to be hard for the next couple of months, with stresses of new routines and upsets.
It’s scary and exciting. I struggle with changes in circumstance and with the uncertainty which comes with the changes. At the same time I know that John can do great in he new position, so I’m a see-saw. I know that good things will happen due to these events.
Writing has, unfortunately, fallen by the wayside for this week. Another thing that caused me some stress, but I was still working out ideas and world stuff in my head. So I’m putting in the hours today, and I’m back to my routine.
Right now there is a bearded dragon running around my feet and he needs a snug before I sink back into my world!

Have a wonderful day!

The Observer

Banner looked up at the wall before him, shifting his bag to a better position on his back. He held a hand over his eyes to stop the rising sun from blinding him as he tried to find the handholds he had been told about. The wall around the park was three times his height, made of yellowing white stone. The gate would have been the easier way in, as shown by the stream of well dressed people heading through them. But, for that you would have had to been invited to the event. And Banner would never be invited to such a thing.
After moments he saw the protrusions of the holds, it would be a tough climb, but he wanted on top of the wall. He glanced around him, noting that no one even bothered to look around, not even the guards stationed at the gates. One even looked like he was nodding off, leaning upon his spear, the warming air of the summer morning lulling him to sleep.
Good, thought Banner as he leapt to grab the first handhold, this should be easy.
He scampered up the wall, hands only slipping twice, each time sending his heart galloping inside his chest. It was only the work of moments but the strain created buckets of sweat and his muddied shirt clung to him, his long hair sticking to the sides of his face. But he was up! He took a moment to admire the view.
Tall, bushy trees lined smooth stone paths winding in many directions. A large softly undulating lawn stretched out near the gate, people were spreading blankets on the grass, jostling for good positions in front of a low wooden stage.
Banner walked carefully further around the wall so that he had a better view of the stage, then he sat down, legs dangling over the edge. He placed the bag on his back next to him and rooted around in it. He brought out a flask of water and a hunk of cheese.
Down below things were getting started. The sea of brightly coloured clothes calmed and a figure walked on to the stage.
The long figure was dressed in all black, a tall hat rested between two long sharp horns.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, and the random man on the wall.” They bowed, swiping the hat and almost folding in two, long brown hair falling forward.
Banner dribbled water down his front as the figure mentioned him. He scanned the crowd, looking for the guards. But the crowd was laughing, no one looked up, the guards were not even inside the park. He leaned back and peeked at the gate, no one was near. His heart slowed back down.
“My name is Trimble and today, I have something special for you.”
Trimble straightened and threw out their arms and flower petals poured from the sky. Banner watched as below him the crowd was covered in red petals. Then something tickled his head and he noticed that petals were falling on him. He picked up one that had fallen on his knee. It was soft and smelled wonderfully of berries.
“Let’s get on with the show!” Trimble spun and the black clothes changed to bright green.
It’s going to be a wonderful day, Banner thought to himself, and took a large bite out of his cheese.

***

I have no idea if this makes sense! I had an idea and then I’ve had a bad headache for the last two days. But my schedule must be upheld, so I hope this was at least readable!

A Look Outside Our Window

Outside our flat is a roof area which is inaccessible (we live 4 stories up). Well, to us it’s inaccessible but to birds it’s a paradise of protection. After it rains there are puddles of water for them to get a safe drink, moss grows around the edges and in bright green patches here and there encouraging insects for them to nibble. Since it’s high up, next to some trees and a train track, its safe from cats and other predators.
Along the row of flats an old man throws out seeds from his window in the morning, pigeons flock to him. My favourite type: the Wood Pigeon, amongst them.
Wood Pigeons are elegant birds. I call them dusky roses due to the colour of their chests. They coo in the mornings sounding like cats purring, calling from the trees, a pleasant alarm clock.
We’ve been lucky enough to be able to observe them from our windows, in doing so we’ve seen many behaviours and differences between birds. As well as dusky roses we have Rock Doves (which I call sparkle necks, due to their sparkly necks) and they behave differently.
In mating the male dusky roses bow to females, beak to the ground and tail swooped up high. Hops bring them closer to their quarry, more bowing and more hops and often a chase in flight. The sparkle necks do what we call lion-pigeoning, which is poofing up their chests, spinning around the female, chasing them around.
The fights of the dusky roses reminds me of old fashioned duels. They square up next to one another, head bobs indicate readiness and then the waps begin. Short jabs, wide wing flaps and the winner coos loudly, shouting his victory from the rooftop, the defeated bird flies away; head low.
In the summer we have seagulls as well and, though they can be annoying, their laughing call makes me smile every time.
Seeing birds grooming, lying down relaxing in the sun, going about their life is a treat and something very special. I don’t think many people get the opportunity to see birds doing what birds do away from the world. But if you do get the chance, I highly recommend sitting with a cup of tea and watching them for an hour, you’ll be surprised at the personalities that emerge.

A Mysterious Egg – Part Three

Rain battered on the windows and thatched roof of Rafie’s cottage as she pondered the egg. The fire roared next to them, throwing out warmth into the room. She ran her a finger over the split in the yellow shell, hesitantly touching the green shoot. Its waxy bud cold to the touch. Peering inside she could see a web of roots and dark soil.
“Am I supposed to plant you? Or will you change yet again?” Rafie spoke aloud to the egg but directing her thoughts to Lady Time, however she knew she was much too far away for an answer. “I think we need to head back out.”
She leapt to her feet, quickly changed into dry clothes, grabbed her cloak and gloves, and got the basket ready for the egg. She grabbed an oil cloth to protect the delicate shoot. Once the egg was safely bundled and protected she stepped outside.
Rain battered the ground, it bounced off leaves and her hood. The night was dark but Rafie knew the way, she hurried into the forest, weaving her way through the trees, keeping a grip on the basket and the edges of her cloak.
Dark shapes in the darker shadows drifted about, hunting, fleeing, enjoying the night. There was an odd note in the chorus of the night, something off. Rafie slowed her pace, unable to pin down the cause. She toyed with the ends of her gloves, but decided against dawdling, Lady Time would know what was wrong.
She arrived at the clearing and stopped in her tracks. Lady Time was drooping, her bark was much lighter and leaves were piled up around her trunk. Rafie rushed over, stripping of her gloves and placing both hands on her trunk, the basket swinging in the crook of her elbow.
“Lady Time, what’s going on?” Her words rushed out, eyes tight shut in concentration.
“This is my forest now.” The voice came from behind.
Rafie turned her head, without moving her hands from the struggling tree. Stood between trees was a towering, slimy creature with a huge horned lizard-like head above a morphing shadowy body. Blue eyes burned in its dark grey face.
Her stomach recoiled at the smell of the creature, it was death, stinking and sweet.
“You can’t help her. She will submit to me or die.” The creature blinked slowly, “As will all the trees.”
“What do you want?” Rafie probed Lady Time, trying to find her, her presence was so faint but she was somewhere.
“This forest.” The creature turned and began to move away before adding, over it’s shoulder, “Please leave my forest, I have no need for a gardener.”
“You can’t-“
Stop Rafie, Lady Time shouted in her mind.
The creature didn’t stop, it disappeared into the shadows. “I can.”
“What can I do?” Rafie focused back on Lady Time.
Images flooded her mind, the egg, a large tree in the middle of many saplings, Rafie watching over the growth, Lady Time dying and the egg again.
“Is this egg a new tree?”
You must leave, move far away and plant the next Lady Time, she must be safe. This is the task for which I brought you here. Lady Time had never spoken this directly, and it was clear it was the end for this millennia old tree.
“I’m sorry I can’t save you.”
The images of green shoots and withered plants.
“Still, I will miss you.”
And I will miss you, my child. But the next Lady Time will be lucky to have you. Leave now, before the creature senses the sapling.
Rafie reluctantly removed her hands, tears pooling in her eyes, the death of this forest was a tragedy, it would change the whole plain. She had to tell the village, they might be able to get a Servant, or maybe even Mavel herself, to deal with the creature. But Rafie had her task, Lady Time could not be saved so she must make sure that the next generation would prosper, the beautiful tree would have her dying wish. Rafie left that very night, stole away with what little she needed for the journey, the quest to find a new home for her and her sapling.

The End (for now).

Thank you so much for reading along with this story. What started as practise has become a story of which I am very proud, which fits into my world and has left me with a characters I can’t wait to include in other stories. I would like to continue Rafie’s adventures but I think a break is needed. However, there will be plenty of other stories and writings in the meantime. Have a great day!

Full Moon Ritual

“It’s time.” said Denay with a smile. Her eyes grazed the rising moon, full and watchful; the lake, still and deep. She slid into the water, its icy chill harsh against her naked skin. She stopped as the water crept up to her waist and turned to her friend.
“I cannot believe that you’re trying this.” Atter shook his head. He tightened his grip on the blanket around his slight shoulders, scooting his bum closer to the small fire they had built in their makeshift camp. “You are going to freeze!”
“I won’t. Gerargis will protect me.”
Atter shook his head again but passed her the bag of supplies. Denay knew his feelings on her experimentation, even if she did not understand them.
Slowly Denay made her way further into the lake, towing the bag alongside. Once her feet could not longer feel the bottom and she felt nothing but water around her Denay set about creating her altar. Carefully she opened the bag, spread it out over the water, moving the items within as to allow it still to float. A box of salt, a shard of red glass, a green leaf and an apple.
Once everthing was steady on the oil cloth Denay eased herself back, giving her room to swim and float.
She felt the giddy bubbling of success in her stomach, but damped it down, this was only the beginning. The altar bobbed as she shifted in the water, floating on her back and staring at the black sky. The moon was almost directly above her, time enough to ready herself.
Denay’s breath came slower, deepened, eyes drooped half closed, sounds grew louder, water became warmer. Her gaze turned inwards, seeking the barriers within, seeking with eager hands to unlock them. Through practise she had become a locksmith of herself and it took the work of mere moments to open herself to the magic of the world. The sounds and feelings of the physical world were dulled, Denay now felt the magic pouring from all around her, the water was a tingle, the air as painless sharp pins. The moon a loud roar above her. The items on her altar called to her, aiding and urging her on with her purpose. The brightness of the full moon dazzled her, filling her with importance. She righted herself in the water, easing to tread water in front of the altar.
“My intent is to change this apple into glass.” She held up the apple in both hands, raising it into the light of the moon. She returned the apple to the altar, picked up the glass in her right hand, and stared into the shard. More deep breaths, pulling magic through her and forging it in her intent. With her left hand she sprinkled a pinch of salt over the leaf and returned to lay her hand over the apple.
For a long moment she concentrated, focusing the magic and her intent. The leaf shrivelled, the salt bubbled upon its surface, the shard began to glow and become hot. The apple was becoming as ice beneath her palm, and all through she kept the glass apple in her mind, forcing the magic into the shape she desired.
With a last searingly bright burst the glass was gone, Denay lifted her left hand unveiling the newly made glass apple. It was more beautiful that she had imagined. Transparant red glass, with several black seeds hovering in the centre, it cast a sparkling shadow upon the altar; it had a small glass stem, complete with a delicate green leaf. She whooped and spun in the water, causing the altar to almost upturn. She grabbed her apple in time, calming herself.
“Thank you, Moon.” A nod to the bright white orb. “Thank you for your guidance Gerargis. Even though this is not your ocean I sense your care and your power.” She took the time to close the barriers within her, sending what magic remained to her Guardian in respect and graciousness.
Once she was grounded again, the physical world came back, she was safe to pack her things and head back to shore, to show Atter the fruit of her labour as he merely looked on, his eyes as wide and bright as the moon above.

**

This small snippet is set in my world. A little insight to show a bit about my magic and how things in the world work. It was a lot of fun to write! I hope you enjoyed and stay tuned, I’m sure there will be many such pieces in the future.