Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Wednesday's Writing Prompt: Clocktower Watchtower

Ryan McGuire - Clocktower Watchtower Something had shifted in Moose Jaw. Freddie could tell from his clock tower perch in the downtown core of the city. It was debatable whether or not his roost was as high as the CPR clock tower, or as popular as one of the belfries in town where most of the girls hung out and swayed to the music. But regardless of whose place was higher or more popular, Freddie definitely felt a slant that wasn’t there before. His friend, Marvin, manned the clock tower, and though Marvin seemed to be walking fine as he crossed the floor of their office that morning, Freddie noticed that everything around Marvin’s desk had shifted slightly. The papers hung off the edge of the desk, the chair had wheeled away, and a pen had rolled onto the floor. “What do we have here?” Marvin asked Freddie. “Did you have some of your friends in to party last night?” Freddie shook his head. Sometimes Marvin was downright silly. Marvin started to put things back in place, but as he moved things back, they just slid back to where they had been. Marvin frowned. "What's going on here?" Freddie cocked his head as Marvin leaned over the desk, but nothing was there. Freddie ruffled his wings as Marvin pushed against the desk, but it stayed in place. No matter what Marvin did, the room remained shifted. "Something's not right here, Freddie. Not right at all." Freddie looked out the window. The entire city seemed to be slanted, though he didn't know if it was because of his perch or whether something had happened to the entire city. "Well, Freddie," Marvin sighed. "Something's changed. I just can't put my finger on it, but it's definitely happened. Makes you think, at any time the world can change or shift. Maybe its time to make some changes myself." Marvin left the clocktower and Freddie flew away. Maybe he’d go check out the girls down at the old Ross School belfry, or take a gander to see if there were any empty suites at St. Andrew’s tower. Regardless, he’d be staying away from the old clocktower for now. He didn't like change much, and wasn't about to start now. Find other great stories inspired by this picture: Vanessa Barger Mary Crockett Stu Glennie Want to participate? Post your story in the comments below or contact Vanessa Barger to join our blog ring.

Friday, 19 June 2015

My Summer Reads #TBR: The Reaper's Rite Series

I have to work most the summer (in my non-writing job), but I do get a couple of weeks off to enjoy the weather and get some other work done. If you're like me, you work full time, take classes, have kids you run around, and still manage to get time in to read and write. So when it comes to reading, what I appreciate are recommendations. Here's mine, and every week I will be recommending 2 book's I've read from Month9Book's fine selection of #YAlit.

1. Dorothy Dreyer's, MY SISTER'S REAPER
There's bragging, there's trying to impress a boy, and then there's 16-year-old Zadie. Her first mistake was telling the boy she's crushing on that she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake? Actually doing it! When Zadie accidentally messes with the reaper's rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong (you think?). Mara isn't the same anymore—Zadie isn't even sure she's completely human, and to top it off, a reaper is determined to collect Mara's soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister's reaper, intent on claiming both girls, or let Mara die...this time for good. This refreshing paranormal love story encloaks a deeper lesson about sisterhood, consequence, and facing one's responsibilities.

2. Dorothy Dreyer's, MY TETHERED SOUL
Months have passed since Zadie faced her sister's Reaper, during which time she's been under her mentor's magical protection. But now that she's turning 17, that protection is about to run out. When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she's manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper's grasp, or surrender to the Reaper's Rite, which can only lead to death.

I hope you enjoy these two reads as much as I did. Oh, and don't feel sorry for me, being cooped up in my cubicle all summer. I still get time to enjoy the finer things in bubbles!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wednesday's Writing Prompt: The Misfortune of Emily

Photo credit to Melanie McFarlane Books. The Misfortune of Emily It was close. Emily could hear its short breaths advancing from behind her as she ran through the alleyways. Sometimes the heat of its breath would caress against the back of her neck, forcing her to run faster and faster, her feet slipping on the loose gravel. She should have stayed away from the fortune teller at the fair. Her mother warned her sinful acts led to sinful ends. But everyone was doing it; her friends, Lynn and Jill had their fortunes read and nothing bad happened to them. So she sat in the fortune teller's chair, gripping the fabric from his table nervously between her fingers, and watched as he glimpsed into his crystal ball. "You will die within the hour." A chill ran up her spine, leaving her speechless. Her heart beat faster and faster, pounding from the inside of her chest, and a cold sweat broke out across her skin. She couldn't move, she couldn't speak. It was as if his words were sinking into her, poisoning her. "Run, run; run away girl. The dead one's coming to take you from this world." A tear ran down her cheek. Her hand flew up and wiped it away as if to hide it would make everything better. She stumbled from her chair, pushing her way out of the dark tent into the light of the afternoon. "How was it?" Lynn asked. "Any juicy details?" Jill piped in. "I-I have to go." Her voice came out in barely a whisper. She walked away from her friends, in a daze, passing through crowds of strangers, carnies, and sideshows. Everyone around her was so happy, it was almost as if they were mocking her. Laughter suddenly sounded maniacal. She pushed past a man, whose smile showed blackened teeth. A child pointed at her, as if to say "get her." That's when she saw it: a dark creature, hiding amongst the shadows of the crowd. It's grunt filled her ears, blocking everything out. She started to run past the tents, down the midway of the exhibition grounds. She could hear it coming from behind her, its footsteps heavy, grinding the gravel beneath. She saw an open door up ahead with a poorly painted sign, Massage Open 7 Day. It called to her, beckoning her to hide inside. She slipped through the door, slamming it shut behind her. She scrambled for the light switch but there was nothing on the wall. She jumped as something scratched at the door behind her. Stepping back, blindly into the room, and fell against something solid. Scrambling, she felt a massage table, covered in cloth, and slipped underneath it. Her cheeks were wet from her tears and her hands shook as they wiped them dry. She should have listened to her mother. Find other great stories inspired by this picture: Mary Crockett Want to participate? Post your story in the comments below or contact Vanessa Barger to join our blog ring.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Wednesday's Writing Prompt: The Escape

Two Steps from Hell - He's the Giant The Escape I’m running. I like to run. I like to hear my feet hit the ground. They start out slow, and then faster, and faster until I can jump off the ground and fly. I don’t like to fly but I have to. We all do. If we don’t fly, they’ll find us. But sometimes I like to run. One day we’ll find a new home. For now we fly. Find other great stories inspired by this picture: Want to participate? Post your story in the comments below or contact Vanessa Barger to join our blog ring.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Wednesday's Writing Prompt: Homecoming

Photo Credit is Vanessa Barger.


It was after the flood. The big one—like I’m talking Noah-style, two-by-two, let’s go build an ark. Only ours was made of steel, not wood, and the two-by-two were selected by their genetic benefits. If Noah was an animal activist, we were the scientists he wanted drowned. It was all about survival of the fittest. The entire world was under water and we were like Gods floating along its surface seeking ways to extend our existence.

We floated around years, heck it felt like lifetimes out there on the big blue sea, without a piece of dirt in sight. But I never forgot, not one second, about the girl I left behind. Sweet, sweet, Raylene.

She was long legged, with lips that mesmerized when they opened and sang her tantalizing songs. She was a free spirit I could not tame, and in truth, I never would have tried, for messing with a masterpiece is an unforgivable sin. But as all free spirits, she could not be confined to our ship for an unknown eternity, but promised to wait for me to return one day. I spent many a night on the great big sea wondering where she was now.

Then one morning, finally, hope spread its wings high in the sky. Not in the form of a dove, but rather a pigeon. I knew we were close; close to the streets of the Big Apple herself. And sure enough, as we neared, the tips of skyscrapers reached from the depths ready to reclaim the skies.

It all happened so quickly, the drop of the water line. It was as if the earth below had suddenly grown thirsty and drank it up to satiate its core. Within six month the ground below appeared below the murky waters and I started to see Raylene’s angelic face in the depths. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer, so I prepared for a dive, and the crew understood my need, my desire, my urge to find my Raylene and let me go.

The day I jumped into the waters leaving the safety of my refuge for the last two years was the first day I felt free. I paddled until I found a section of streets under the waves that were familiar. I dove and swam among the buildings Raylene and I had once visited. I moved along the current that followed the road where our footsteps had once touched. And all these memories and moments led me to the place I had dreamed for more than two years. The red door.

It was raised out of the water, up the stairs to our flat, perched above the courtyard of our complex. I would have remembered it had one hundred years passed by, it’s wrought iron that Raylene had often ran her fingers along, now watching me in wait as I approached.

I raised a hand at the door, about to knock, then realized that was not necessary, I was returning home after being lost at sea. So I opened the door, heavy against its rusted hinges, and strode into our home.

Everything was as I remembered. The doilies Raylene had crocheted, the paintings on the wall that she used as a canvas, it was all there, all touched by her grace. I strode into the bedroom, where I had dreamed of her many a night at sea. There she lay, peacefully preserved by time, still wearing the ring I gave her on her withered hands.

I fell at the side of the bed, overwhelmed by our final reunion, and closed my eyes until my tears took me to sleep.

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Want to participate? Post your story in the comments below or contact Vanessa Barger to join our blog ring.