Sunday, June 30, 2013

Another Trip - And Home Again

So, I slacked off again. It's a habit of mine.  I had an excuse. Again. That happens a lot, too. ;)

I was in Colorado for 9 days!  I was finally able to go to my writers' group annual get together/ retreat for the first time since 2008. We had a lot of fun and did some writing, some prompts, etc. I have a couple of more stories to share if anyone is interested =)

Tomorrow I'll be home again and sewing a ton of things!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another Writing Post

I wrote this little story excerpt back in March, but I thought you all might like to read it.

“This is why we’re not friends!” Timothy ducked behind a rusty oil drum and held his gun at the ready. A bullet whizzed by his head and thunked into a barrel nearby. Black liquid spewed from the hole, pooling on the floor. Another bullet followed the first.

“It’s not my fault!” Andrea’s voice sounded from nearby, echoing in the warehouse’s high ceiling. “I was told they weren’t active!”

He peered around his barrel.  “You were told wrong!”

The whirring noise of a swivel gun turning caught his attention. The large black machine turned in a 360 above his head. A red light glowed at its base, a laser seeking out its target.

Oil encircled his feet and started seeping into the fabric of his shoes. He hissed and looked over his shoulder. The rusted barrels stood stacked on top of each other almost to the ceiling. A light flickered overhead.

“Uh oh.” Andrea appeared from behind a barrel five feet away. Long black hairs dangled loose from her ponytail and sweat beaded on her forehead. She vaulted over a barrel and charged toward him.

The gun whirred again and a spray of bullets flew toward her.

“Watch out!” Timothy grabbed her arm and pulled her behind his barrel. Something pounded into his oil drum and pierced his shoulder. Pain flared in his arm and black liquid spewed onto his arm, soaking his sweat dampened shirt.

Andrea pushed away from him and crouched low. “Thanks.”

“Anytime.” Grunting, he clutched at his shoulder. “They’re not going to let us get out of here alive.” Blood flowed from his wound, mixing with the oil. He closed his eyes for a second and fought off the pain pulsing in his shoulder.

“Then I’ll distract them.” Andrea pulled a burlap-wrapped bundle out from under her shirt. “Just make sure they don’t get this.” She pushed it into his arms. “Otherwise, I’m going to die for nothing.”  She stood. Another bullet flew. She flinched to the side, and it grazed by harmlessly.

He took her hand, forcing her into a crouch. “Don’t be stupid. We’ll get out of this!”

“They’re in here!” A voice shouted. “The gun’s active.”

“Yeah, it is.” Andrea muttered. “They found us. I wondered how long it would take.” She drew her hand from his. “You’re hurt. I’m not. I’m the distraction.” Lowering her voice, she continued. “They’ll turn off the gun as soon as they come in. That’s our chance.”

Timothy leaned away from the spewing oil. It soaked his shirt and part of his pants now. His clothes clung to him, and he held the package away from himself. “Right.”

“Ready?” She peered over the top of the drum.

The swivel gun’s whirr sounded again, and she tensed. The noise stopped.

A door creaked open. “Drop your weapons and come out with your hands in the air!” An amplified voice echoed through the room.

Andrea raised her eyebrows. “Are they serious?”

Pain lanced through Timothy’s arm. “Of course they’re serious.” He stuffed the package down his shirt despite the oil. He would need both arms free.

She shrugged. “Ready?”

He saluted her.  “See you at the rendezvous.”

“If you do not surrender your arms, we will fire upon you.” The voice sounded again.

“If I get out of this alive.” She shook her head.

“You mean if they do.” He crawled forward a few feet, holding his injured arm to his chest. “And thanks.”

“It’s what friends do.” She smirked and pulled a small gun from her belt.

A shot fired, striking another barrel.

“Hey, over here!” Andrea shouted.

Bullets sprayed across the room.

Timothy ducked his head. Hot pain lanced his back. He collapsed and squeezed his eyes shut.

“Over here, you idiots!” Andrea’s words sounded desperate now.

Foggy haze swirled in Timothy’s mind, but he forced himself back onto his hands and knees—forced himself to go forward. The door. That’s where he needed to go.

More shots whizzed by his head. He flinched and scuttled forward.

“There one goes!” A gunshot sounded. Someone shouted in pain.

Another shot. Andrea screamed.

Timothy reached for the exit’s doorknob and froze.

“Get out of here, Timothy!” Andrea’s words sounded harsh—forced.

His hands, slick with grease fumbled with the knob. It turned, and he slipped outside.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

When in Florida

I forgot to mention that when I was in Florida, I got to see 'Miss Margie,' the lady who helped me learn to read.

Some of you know I have dyslexia--and a pretty severe form of it.  Because of my dyslexia, I had to receive intense language therapy when I was about 9 - 11 years old. My therapist's name was 'Miss Margie' (Or so I called her), and after I was done with therapy, I didn't see her again until last month.  The first time in 11 years, and. . .

I got to give her Precisely Terminated, the first novel I had had published.  It was pretty cool, since she has seen me go from not reading at all to reading fluently under her tutelage and now she got to have a copy of the book I wrote.

It was great seeing her again, and I hope it encouraged her to keep teaching--she's still been doing language therapy after so long, and I'm glad. She's a great teacher, and I don't know if I would be where I am today without her help.  

Dyslexia and other intellectual learning disabilities come  in many forms and severity, but I'm glad there are people like Miss Margie out there to help those of us who have them to overcome and be victorious. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Florida and Back

So during my long absence I sneaked off to Florida and back.  Well, not literally sneaked. I rode in the car while my parents drove.

We left TN around 4 PM and arrived in FL at around 8AM the next day. Our first stop was in The Villages, FL to drop my sewing machine and embroidery machine off at a machine repair store (Stores down in FL charge 1/2 as much as those in TN)  and then we got to my grandmother's.

Then two days later or so, my niece was born!

Sammie is very cute, of course. 

So we stayed another week or so and then my dad had a writing workshop, we picked up my embroidery machine and headed home. 

Notice I didn't say sewing machine. It was broken beyond repair, so now I'm machine-less. We were able to buy a used-only-twice machine off of craigslist for $50, but that one is technically my mom's. ;)

So now I'm home again and in the swing of things. Sewing, writing, that sort of thing.

I'll have another writing assignment to share with you tomorrow or so =)

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Writing Assignment

I think I've said before that a writers' group I'm part of puts up weekly writing assignments. Well, I participated in this week's and I thought you all might like to read it.

It hasn't really been edited at all, so just ignore the mistakes. ;)

Here's the assignment

Write a story in the first-person point of view. This means that you will refer to the character as I/me/myself. It's like seeing everything directly through your point-of-view character's eyes. Because of this, the reader can know only your point-of-view character's thoughts and feelings. What's fun about first-person is that the reader experiences the story as the character does. To make this squab even more fun, build your point-of-view character from one of the following options:

-A compulsive liar
-Someone who thinks they're a genius (they may or may not truly be one--that's up to you)
-Someone who likes to explore

Genre: Writer's choice
Goal: To stay in one POV & to explore a POV you may not have used before
Word Count: 500 – 800


And here's what I wrote


Rusty nails protruded from the sides of the crates, and dents riddled the surface of the wooden boards. I pressed a finger into one of the small craters in the box’s surface. This dilapidated container was only one of thousands in this warehouse the size of Rhode Island.

I craned my neck and gazed up at the ceiling. Or, I would have, if it had been visible. Darkness covered the area above me, disguising whatever was overhead, but I knew it had to be high. The crates and boxes extended into the oblivion and out of sight.

Discouragement washed over me. How was I ever supposed to map this monster? Even with Fin’s help it would take eternity, and this mission was supposed to last only two months.

Pulling a tablet computer from my satchel, I glanced around the aisles formed by the boxes around me. Perhaps pretending I was an intrepid explorer would help. Some of the adventurers I obsessed about as a child had the most excellent expeditions one could ever hope to have,

Perhaps I would be like Timothy Krislen who mapped a portion of Mars on his one-man expedition of the red planet, or I could be like Adrianna Lemth, who reached the bottom of Marianna’s Trench.

I turned on my computer tablet and the screen flickered to life, displaying a vague map of the warehouse’s layout, some of the lines cut off abruptly, missing sections of walls, as if the person who sketched it wasn’t sure what to put there. Did the room continue on in that part or stop? I squared my shoulders. It would be up to me to find out. Me and Fin, anyway. Where was he?

I scrambled to the top of the crate, careful to put my boots on the thicker slats. Still, the boards creaked under my weight. Raising an eyebrow, I pulled up the 300 page inventory list on my tablet. Hopefully, this crate didn’t contain anything hazardous.
The box must be weaker than I first thought, too. I looked down at my combat boots, laced tight around my calves. Boards splintered under the toes. I clambered onto another crate nearby. It wasn’t as though I weighed a lot – the opposite, actually. I was the smallest on the expedition. My boots even had to be special ordered from a children’s shoe store, and my sea blue uniform had to be taken in by a seamstress near base. But that was all far away now. Thousands of miles. A few light years were more accurate.

I refocused my attention on my tablet. Where was I on this thing? I activated the wireless locater embedded in my wrist. A green light flashed under my skin, glowing dimly in my epidermis.

My tablet shone a corresponding green light. I looked up at the ceiling again, but there still wasn’t anything visible.

I sighed, letting my shoulders relax. At least a wireless receiver was nearby and could see me.

Aliff thought the walls of this room might be too thick to penetrate with our equipment. Apparently he was wrong.

“Hoff?” A deep voice reverberated through the aisles, twisting through the maze of metal and wood boxes.

“Here!” My voice sounded shrill compared to Fin’s.

“We need to get to the hanger.” Fin’s voice sounded far away. “We’ve picked up something on the sensors. We need to be in a more secure room in case it’s hostile.”

“I’m coming.” I jumped from a crate onto the metal flooring—Finished before I even
got a chance to get started.

Something rumbled under my feet. I shut off my computer and tucked it back in my back.

The rumbling came again. I headed for the exit. Who would have ever thought a room this big would ever be discovered on an abandoned spaceship?
I passed in to the cool, metal hallway that ran alongside part of the warehouse. And who would have thought there would be other spaceships that could rival the size of this one?

I shook my head. Who cared ‘who would have thought?’ I was just glad I was around to experience—to be chosen to explore it, even if it was dangerous.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What Now?

What now? I have a blog?  Really?

Why  yes, I do!

Well, something to post.   Remember how I said I had some Americana eggs in the incubator two months ago?

They hatched last month!

They're almost all feathered now and all out in the barn again.

And we're about to have another batch of Red Star crosses hatch tomorrow! 

Also, I went to Florida. :) More later