Essays, Misc

Talking Pets – A Flash For The Freestyle Writing Challenge

It has been a while since I posted any writing. The reasons for that are many, but the main two are 1) I’ve been submitting some of the more recent pieces to magazines and whatnot, and 2) I’ve been working like a beast to finish the draft of the third book in my Papilion trilogy (IT IS DONE!). And…I amidt that the fact summer is finally here after a long and horrible winter has lulled me into a kind of comfortable laziness.

But just this morning I was thinking it was time to get back to writing something, anything. Someone was listening because about an hour ago I got tagged by Tanya Miranda to participate in the Freestyle Writing Challenge.

freewritingchallenge

It’s scary to post something written so quickly and under duress (15 minutes with little prep time and not allowed to edit!!), especially while being so rusty. The last thing I wrote was a novel, so massaging the muscle to ease back to flash fiction was tough. But, whatev. When the challenge is laid, you gotta step up to the plate. So here’s my ditty.

Tanya’s prompt: Your pet of many years suddenly speaks human. What does it say?

My story: Communion

I’d always wondered what my dog would say if he could talk. We’d been inseparable for what felt like an eternity. A gift to me on my fifteenth birthday, Pongo warmed my feet every night and blissfully licked me awake every morning. He followed me to the kitchen, sat by my side while I ate, calmly awaiting the scraps of egg or toast or bacon I’d cunningly flip at him when I thought he wasn’t looking. He caught the scraps every time.

I grew up, went to CEGEP. My body and face changed, and even my mother claimed she hardly recognized the well over six-feet tall grown man with a face full of hair, and a deep barrel-chest. But Pongo knew me. Mom said he’d sit by the window long before I returned each day from long hours of study, whimpering and whining before the car turned into the drive. Walking into the house to Pongo’s excited yips while he dumped a red ball in my hand in greeting were the best welcomes around.

Got married. Had a couple a kids. But now, I saw that Pongo was getting on in age. His habits didn’t change except he took longer and longer to get them done. His silky black and brown coat shone less in the sun during our walks, and I even noticed some tufts of grey coming in around his brows and muzzle, just like a ‘real’ old man.

Then one day, while sitting on the porch, my hand on his head, his muzzle in my lap, I noticed his breathing coming less and less even. In fact, he struggled to breathe. I knew it was close, yet didn’t know what to do.

The sun was going down then, dipping just behind the line of houses across the street. And just as the roofs eclipsed the last rays of sunlight, I heard, ‘I love you.’

Then he was gone.

I looked at my beloved dog, best of friends. He was at rest.

Don’t know how he did it, how he’d managed to speak those words. But on the other hand, I wasn’t surprised. I’d known the truth all along because Pongo had saying he loved me his entire life.

****

There you have it. 370 words in 15 minutes. Here are my chosen victims, er, nominees…

Phil Partington

Cairo Amani

Belinda Hughes

Lela Markham

Scott Toney

My Prompt is: Falling down the rabbit hole…

And here are the rules for the challenge:

  1. Open a new document.
  2. Set a stopwatch or your mobile phone timer to 5, 10, or 15 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat.
  3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
  4. Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.
  5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it’s only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules).
  6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.
  7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
  8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers).

Thanks for reading! Leave your comments below, if you’d like to share your thoughts.  🙂

Misc

The Seven Things (About My Writing) Challenge

Recently, Ken Mooney and Lela Markham, two good author friends, tagged me in a fun and informal writing activity. The assignment: post seven things about your writing…

Only seven? Okay, okay. Write, then edit and revise, right?

*flexes fingers* Here we go!

Writing-Process-A-Blog-Hop

  • For the first time, I’m working on plotting a novel. For my first two published books, The Purple Morrow and Wolf’s Bane (and basically anything I have written until now), I wrote them based on what I felt the story needed as well as how the characters evolved. However, now that I am writing the last book of my trilogy, I decided to modify my usual method to make sure I hit all the essential story points. I’ll let you know if I survive.
  • I’ve been off my normal writing rampage in order to rest my elbow, which has been hit with tendonitis for the last few months. Not fun.
  • My kids like to write as well. I like to think they have been influenced by watching me. 🙂
  • I love to chat with readers and other authors, and I get really giddy when I find new messages and review requests in my inboxes.
  • Self-marketing and promotion are the biggest challenges for me. I just find them emotionally and mentally draining, not to mention time-consuming.
  • I’m thrilled to be surrounded by great author friends who include me in activities like this. When I started writing, it was a really lonely time. Now, it’s wonderful to know there are people I can turn to for ideas, information, contacts, writing activities and collaborations, and even a shoulder to cry on. Writing’s tough, man.
  • I enjoy blogging about writing almost as much as writing stories. I think it’s because I like communicating with readers in a voice closest to my natural one (i.e. without all the trappings affiliated with fiction writing). I feel like I’m still telling stories, just in a different, more conversational way.

Now, who to tag? Phil Partington, Katie Cross, Cairo Amani. You’re up!

 

Essays

Interview with Dyane Forde, Indie Author

Many thanks to Lela Markham for interviewing me about being an indie author, why I decided to go it alone, and about my books, including the release of Wolf’s Bane! 🙂 Stop on by!

aurorawatcherak

Dyane FordeMy friend Dyane Forde visited me following her decision to end contract with her publisher. She is now fully an indie author. Check out my earlier interview with her here.

Talk a bit about the Purple Morrow and where the sequel is in process.

The idea for The Purple Morrow started a few years back when I wanted to explore themes related to loss, redemption, and moving forward. The story of a man unable to deal with the past while being thrown into a crisis demanding that he settle things and move on seemed a good place to start.

Purple MorrowThe Purple Morrow started very simply; I’d intended it to be a solo book. But as the story developed and the characters matured, I knew the full tale had to be explored. The world of Marathana blossomed, becoming multi-cultural, each people group following their own cultural or religious beliefs. Magic and…

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Author Interviews, Essays, Misc

Interview with Dyane Forde

Wow! Another author interview! Check it out 🙂

aurorawatcherak

IMG_1382 (2)Today I am interviewing Dyane Forde, another friend from the Authonomy website where she recently reached the Editor’s Desk with The Purple Morrow, an outstanding fantasy that I was pleased to support for the last couple of years. Lela

Tell the readers something about yourself, Dyane. 

I’m from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Our country is officially bilingual (English and French) but Quebec is decidedly a French-speaking province. I can speak and write in both English and French—most of my professional work is done in French. I also know some Spanish and I’m learning Japanese on my own, which is a lot of fun. J

I am married and have two children who keep me busy and feeling young—when my knees and back don’t hurt, lol—and a dog named Sparky and a cat named Jack Jack. I picked the cat’s name after watching Cinderella. Those mice were too cute!

When did you…

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