Friday, February 28, 2014
1. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
2. A Turn of Light, by Julie E. Czerneda.
3. When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears, by Kersten Hamilton.
4. Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson.
5. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keyes.
6. The Dark Secret, by Tui T. Sutherland.
7. Voices of Dragons, by Carrie Vaughn.
8. A Prince Among Frogs, by E. D. Baker.
9. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction, by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake, and the Editors of Writer's Digest.
10. Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The ticking of the clock was enough to drive one mad.
Within this blank room, it was the only noise.
The only alteration to silent oblivion.
Pacing the length of the room, I searched for the machine. My hands felt the parts of the wall that I could reach, my palms tingling as they easily slid along the cool, slick surface. The clock had to be here, despite what my eyes told me.
An empty room couldn't produce such a sound. It simply couldn't.
Yet once again, my search resulted in nothing. Clasping my hands over my ears, I longed for the silence I had grown accustom to.
Why had this ticking appeared? Where was the clock?
Twisting, my eyes darted around. It had to be here. Dropping to the ground, I pressed an ear to the cold floor.
It was everywhere. The ticking echoed throughout the room, leaving no corner untouched. Nostrils flaring, my hands dug into my hair and clenched it. My heart threatened to burst free from my chest.
Releasing a cry, I scrambled to my feet and pressed my hand to my chest.
I was the clock.
Friday, February 21, 2014
1. You'll be able to learn new techniques from the other members of your team.
2. The work can be evenly spread between each team member.
3. You'll be able to build friendships and learn more about your teammates.
4. More people can participate!
5. Each dish will have its own flair that matches the person who cooked it.
6. More dishes can be made in less time then it would take one person to make.
7. You'll get a variety of feedback concerning your dish.
8. It will be fun.
9. You might get to taste a new dish.
10. Amusement can be shared between the teams. Laughter is one of the best ingredients, after all.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The life of an idea is hard.
There is so much competition, what with all of the cool ideas making a scene whenever a writer passes by. And the dragons! I'm certain that they can smell ink from a mile away.
As for me, I'm just a simple piece of paper. I'm not an ancient map leading to a marvelous forgotten treasure. I'm not even a letter that accidentally fell between the wall and the desk, the kind that gets discovered shortly after the information inside could have saved the character from trouble or heartache.
Nope, I'm that paper that gets shoved aside when the character is searching for the more important documents. Or the one that flies forgotten on the wind. I slip from story to story as a mostly unnoticed paper.
And that's okay.
While other ideas seek for a place in the spotlight, I and the other like me fill in the background of the setting. We help to shape it into a place where those grand ideas can act out their part as the writer dictates.
Yeah, it's a hard life to live on the sidelines.
But that's were some ideas fit best.
Friday, February 14, 2014
1. As a way to spend time with family.
2. Because they can be a fun way to teach math to little kids.
3. To pass the time.
4. For amusement.
5. As a way to get to know other people.
6. To challenge yourself.
7. To get rid of stress. But beware, some games can cause great frustration.
8. Because then you can practice your one-liners.
9. You might make a friend.
10. Depending on who you are playing with, this is the opportunity to act super silly!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The experiment was supposed to be simple.
Walk into the spacial distortion, then come out the other side.
What could go wrong?
It's simple, they said. Just like walking through a tunnel.
You'll be in there for only a couple of minutes.
"It's been more then a couple of minutes!" I shouted at the multicolored horizon. Hands shaking, I forced myself to take a breath.
Keep it together. You've got to remember...
"My name is Horace. I am walking back to..." Frowning, I tried to remember where I was going. I had entered the distortion at the... the park. That was where I started. The doctor with long... black hair? Or was it brown? She had said that they had programmed my course into... something. Something important.
"What was it?" I patted the empty vest I was wearing. There had been something in it, something that kept me on the path.
But it was gone. The path was gone.
I needed to stay on the path.
Looking around, I could see nothing that resembled a path. Everything here was constantly changing. Nothing stayed.
Nothing but me.
"My name is Horace. I am walking. There is nothing to do but walk."
Think, think, think.
I'm not hungry.
I don't really remember what it felt like to be hungry.
She has a glass of lemonade for me.
"My name is Horace. I am walking to Eleanor. She is waiting for me."
Eleanor loves lemonade. Her nose wrinkles a little whenever she drinks it.
The lemonade must be warm by now.
It was hot in the park.
But it isn't hot here.
I stopped walking. There was nothing to walk toward. Turning in a circle, all I saw was the multicolored horizon in the distance.
Always in the distance.
"Only a couple of more minutes." I told myself with a shake of my head. Turning my gaze to the reflective ground, I stared at the wide-eyed man looking back at me.
"My name is Horace. I am walking." Holding out my hand, I showed the wide-eyed man the ring I wore. "I am going to marry Eleanor."
All I needed to do was walk.
Walk until I found a way out.
Over and over, until I make it to her.
Just keep walking.
Friday, February 7, 2014
1. "If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment."
-Henry David Thoreau.
2. "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
"Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty." -Dieter F. Uchtforf.
3. "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it." Rafiki, from The Lion King.
4. "Tom's name looks the same, whichever side you are on. It is the same whether you approach from the west or the east. It is the same whether you are inside his shop, or outside it, whether you see it in a mirror, or with your own eyes. And Tom himself is like his name. It is a matter of business."
-Tom, from City of the Rats, by Emily Rodda.
5. "We have the power to bore people long after we are dead." -Sinclair Lewis.
6. "The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started." -Dawson Trotman.
7. “Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.”
-Good Timber, by Douglas Malloch.
8. "Labels are devices for saving talkative persons the trouble of thinking." -John Morley.
9. "And now, the spinning. Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile."
-Hiccup, from How to Train Your Dragon.
10. "Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them." -Michael Michalko.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The day was quiet now. The children that had been playing all morning slowly trickled out of the park as the sun rose higher and the coolness of morning shifted into an uncomfortable heat of midday. Leaning against the trunk of one of the park's few trees, I closed my eyes with a sigh. Here in the shade, there was still a hint of the morning's coolness.
It wouldn't last much longer, but I intended to enjoy it.
Simply breathing for a couple of minutes, I felt content. Smiling, I opened my eyes.
"Augh!" I yelped, smile disappearing as I stared into light hazel eyes.
"Hi." The word came out quickly, followed with a giggle as the girl leaned even closer to me.
"Hey, could you back up a bit?" I told her, bark digging into my back as I pressed against the tree.
"Oh," the girl blinked twice, then pulled away.
Relaxing a little, I couldn't help but frown as I got a good look at her. "Isn't it a bit early for Halloween?"
The girl had leaves mingling with the curls of her pale brown hair. The gray shirt and pants she wore were speckled with green patches of lichen. A little cape covered with bright green leaves was draped over her right arm.
Tilting her head, the girl smiled. "What's your name?"
"Oliver." I said after a moment, reaching for my bag as the girl leaned toward me again.
"Oh!" The girl's smile grew, her eyes widening as she leaped to her feet. "Rosalind said you'd come!" The girl was bouncing on her bare feet.
Slowly, I got to my feet. Now I remembered why I didn't come to public parks. Cautiously, I inched a little to the left and prepared to run.
The girl stopped bouncing with a gasp. "But if you're here, that means Knoll is in danger!" Before I could bolt, she grabbed my wrist. "We've got to go."
"I don't want to-" My protest was cut off as the girl leaped into the tree, dragging me in with her.