The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

10 February 2010

Writing Prompts and Over the Top!

Michele at Southern City Mysteries has begun this diabolical new series called Writing Prompt Wednesdays. The prompt was "How tides come crashing...". These things get into my head and I have to write something. It doesn't matter that I don't have time, that I should be doing a million other things, but I can't help myself. So here's the two bits I came up with.
First thing that popped into my head:

Green water crashed against the stone that had once crowned a mountain. Waves wore it down, tides moving in and out, commanded by the moon, thousands of days; thousands of years…until the strange symbol carved into the basalt vanished.
When the last mark was scrubbed clean by sand, the stone cracked, cutting into the Earth, slicing her to bedrock. Darkness wedged its way out, night without stars--and the tides stopped.

That was kinda bleh. I lost interest and went with this instead:

I love the feel of ocean tugging at my legs and crumbling the sand beneath my feet. It wants me to give up the land and come out into the deep to play, like a child begging me to see her toys. I can never say no.

I dive beneath the next wave and swim past muscled guys tossing a ball. It rolls my way, and I pause long enough to toss it back. They smile enticingly, but the ocean is more insistent, sending water up my nose for ignoring her.

I keep going, arms slicing a path through swells, until I’m as deep as the surfers who straddle their boards waiting for the right moment to catch a ride. I’m right where I want to be, where no one can see me. I always choose a beach without lifeguards. As soon as someone notices my head go under at the edge of dark blue water, they freak out, and would-be-heroes push their kayaks into the waves to search for me. They freak out even more when I don’t come up again.

I wish I was a mermaid. People would see a flash of rainbow scales, a flip of my tail then shake their heads, certain they had mistaken a dolphin for a girl. But dolphins don’t have scales. So, in their secret places they would thrill, believing for an instant that fairy tales are real, that Ariel can get her prince. They forget that in the real story her only choice was the agony of daggers in her legs or the agony of a dagger in the heart of her lover. My choice is worse than that.

I can’t become sea foam and live on in the songs of my sisters. The ocean is my sister, and we have a cruel father. No, my choice is not who should die, but who--among all those billions of beautiful, amazing, innocent people--will live.

Ok. Done now. Thank you for the exercise, Michele, but I'm going to have to put hands over my eyes when I'm reading Wednesday blogs from now on, so I don't get sucked in. Just kidding. It's a terrific idea, and I'll be back!

My other item of business is a beautiful and very very appreciated award from Crystal at Crystal Clear Proofing. I've always wanted this one! Thank you! You must read her blog if you want to know more about grammar, punctuation and all that important stuff. And, if you're a writer, you had better want to know.

For this award, I have to answer the following questions with one word. Here goes:

Your Hair? - brunette

Your Favorite Food? - tacos

Your Hobby? - reading

Your Fear? - spiders

Your pets? - none (I am ruled by two cats, though)

Something You Aren't? - male

Where Did You Grow Up? - everywhere

Your Life? - lucky

Your Mood? - energized

Your Favorite Color? - blue

Now, the reason it took me a couple of days to pass this on is that I really wanted to put some thought into my picks and try not to give it to people who already have it (but I fear I may have failed there). The very deserving winners are...

Dezmond - Hollywood Spy

Jemi - Just Jemi

Congrats you guys! And thanks again, Crystal!


  1. Wow I enjoyed reading that. Congrats on the award too :o)

  2. mmm those were both great, but that second one...wonderful. I loved the imagery!

  3. Agree with Chasing--Imagery! I know what you mean about being sucked in. Anytime I see a meme about books, I have to participate and I have to click away quickly or get sucked in. I did not plan on being diabolical...but then again, I AM a mystery writer..bwah-ha-ha! Seriously, though, thank you for participating. Cheers!


  4. Thanks so much! You're so kind! I love your answers :)

    Love the images in your writing - you evoke great emotion!

  5. What a great story! I love your description in it...very seamless.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  6. Niki--Thanks!
    Jade--Glad you liked them! Scenes just pop into my mind. Some work out while others don't. If I think on them long enough, I can often fix what's wrong (like running into what felt like a too predictable story for the first snippet), but I didn't bother for this exercise.

    Michele--You're just the right amount of diabolical for a mystery writer:) Thanks for coming up with such a fun meme! I love the ocean so it was perfect for me.

    Jemi--Congrats! And thanks for the kind comments. Can't wait to read your answers :)

    Elizabeth--Thanks! I know how much you hate too much description, so you loving it is a great compliment.

    You've all said such nice things. It's good I have my husband to keep me from getting a swelled head. I spotted some editing to be done, but when I read it to him for the first time he gives me this look that tells me a critique shall follow. "What was happening at the end?" he asks.
    "Well...I was making it up as I went along. I was kinda thinking something supernatural, like a goddess, and maybe she can only save one person from armageddon. Or maybe it's the opposite and she can grant one person immortality? I don't know. I'd work it out if it were going to be a story."
    "Uh hum. Well it's interesting, but you made her seem too special. You lose interest if you can't relate. The first part was good. You should have gone with that."
    "Well, I kinda like urban fantasy too. I'll make a few notes and set it aside until I think of something to make it work."
    "It needs alot before it makes any sense." He shakes his head, as though sad he left me to write unsupervised. "The first one might have been interesting, but it needed more and better prose, like the second one."
    "Ok, dear."
    You see what a cruel cruel yet helpful man I have to deal with? He's the best :)

  7. Nice story for Michele's task :)

    Thanx for honoring me with the award. I shall proudly display it over in HOLLYWOOD SPY :)))

    PS I've always wanted to ask what are TACOS? The same as TORTILLAS?

  8. Your welcome, Dezmond. Tacos are complicated--corn tortillas fried into a hard shape then stuffed with meat, cheese etc. You must have one someday :)

  9. Congrats on the award - and lovely writing!

    Corra :)

    from the desk of a writer

  10. Liked your scenes. Felt wet reading them! Great imagery.
    Congratulations on the awards.

  11. Thanks Corra! Don't know how I missed your post earlier (sorry). I plan to be a better blogger, including visiting all of you, as soon as this hellish grant is done. Two more weeks...

  12. Hi Lorel, there's something for you at my blog :o)