Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on December 12, 2016 - 8:27pm

A snippet from what will be my anthology entitled "Tenants"

As he started to fill out the application, his wife didn’t move from her perch. I stepped toward her to see what she was looking at. Several children were out in the yard across the street playing a game, enjoying the last rays of sunlight as dusk approached. Sensing that I was watching her, she moved away and back toward her husband. I watched her whisper something to him and point out the window. The husband stopped scribbling.

“Look. My wife and I love the house. It’s got everything we’re looking for. The price is right. But I just gotta know one thing before I finish the application.”

“Sure. Ask away.”

“Is there a lot of THAT in the neighborhood?”

“What? Children?”

“No. Those TYPE of children.”

The light bulb finally clicked. “Well, this is a mixed neighborhood. I mean we’re in the south and it’s not like it’s the 1940s.”

“So you’re telling me there is THAT in this neighborhood.” He gestured toward the kids again.

“Yes.”

He crumbled up the application. “Nope. Sorry. Thanks for your time. But we will not be living with THAT anywhere near us. Come on honey. We better get out of here before it gets too dark and they try and steal something from our van.”

 

nico_22's picture
nico_22 from England is reading Swift to Chase by Laird Barron December 16, 2016 - 12:22pm

Kris is keeping a low profile today, out of choice and necessity. Last night had been an expectedly heavy one, and one that will require him to be on a goodwill mission later on in order to smooth over the consternation that he will have undoubtedly created last night. Just only after he’s through the worst of this hangover.

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien December 16, 2016 - 5:00pm

Sometimes, just the sight of her scampering up the front porch steps with her one stupid bag of groceries, dressed in her insufficient little short-shorts and halter tops could get the blood boiling all the way down both sides of Albany Ave. Feet scurried and lampshades shook, ashtrays rattled and jumped, windows flew open and front porches filled. Word went out, as word does in a jungle, she’s back. Spotting her was like spotting a jaguar, that rare and beautiful creature that lives among us but remains elusive. All the monkeys ran to see.

MarcD's picture
MarcD from Illinois is reading Autumn Cthulhu December 17, 2016 - 3:26pm

His teeth resembled a staggered line of yellowed soldiers standing shakily at attention. "One song," she said, fully drunk and fifteen minutes away from going home for the night. She led him through the maze of tables and ropes to the private booths in the back. He collapsed onto the seat. His arms at his side. "No touching," she whispered, as she placed her hands on his knees and bent over closer to his face.  Her stomach stiffened as the fetid film that coated his teeth illuminated in the cheap black light.  She stood again, spun around, and descended onto his lap. She forced her body to move with the pulse of the muffled music. Like cats clawing form below, his long jagged finger nails hesitantly pressed against the sides of her thighs. "Watch your hands." She leaned further back into him, closing her eyes as she felt short bursts of pungent breath-mist sticking to the back of her neck like old grease.

 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 17, 2016 - 5:15pm

mmm... short shorts and halter tops...

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 17, 2016 - 11:38pm

“It’s a relic. [WW3 ] era, probably. I wouldn’t be surprised if half the missiles that made it to the North Americas were launched from here. Look at the doors. Smaller missiles, meant to hit key targets fast. Either first strike or first response.”
“But how has no one ever heard of it?”
“It was nuclear war. Hundreds of millions dead, nations were collapsing, I’m sure a lot of secrets were lost.”
She nods. "Then the environmental impacts killed another billion."
"The environment, the broken food systems, the skirmishing..."

MarcD's picture
MarcD from Illinois is reading Autumn Cthulhu December 18, 2016 - 6:44am

@Kedzie - South suburban boy here, growing up a few blocks from Kedzie Ave off 183rd and a CPD brother living on Sacramento on the south side. Loving the Chicago street imagery - evocative of the culture of mischief that so thoroughly permeated most neighborhoods all over the great county of Cook. Thanks for posting.

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien December 19, 2016 - 9:58am

MarcD,

Thanks.

I had uncles and cousins in South Holland.

My dad was from 47th & Loomis, just north of the RR tracks. When my dad was 10, our grandpa moved the family to the north side to escape the stench of the stock yards. We're Sox fans due to the south side roots, but none of us hate the Cubs. We root for both. I'm also an SF Giants season ticket holder. If the G-Men ever face the White Sox in the WS I won't know who to root for. :-) 

I grew up in two communities: Avondale and Irving Park East. Avondale is very immigrant and densely populated. It looks a lot like Bridegeport, Back of The Yards, or Canaryville. Irving Park East (not to be confused with Old Irving Park or regular Irving Park) is a tad nicer, more like Brighton Park. The two communities are adjacent, so I did a lot of walking between them as a kid.

Thanks for reaching out.

Are you a member of the Writer's Workshop? If so, I'll look for your stuff.

 

 

 

MarcD's picture
MarcD from Illinois is reading Autumn Cthulhu December 19, 2016 - 4:19am

Kedzie - not yet.  I'm planning on joining soon.  I'm looking forward to reading more of yours as well.

 

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien December 19, 2016 - 10:11am

Well, when you join check out a story called The Crash. You'll have to scroll to find it, as it's been a few months since posted. It takes place on Troy Street and some of the action occurs on Kedzie. It's a "kids on the streets causing trouble" story. Will take you straight back to childhood. 

 

Leo Walsh's picture
Leo Walsh from Cleveland, Ohio area is reading "The Underground Railroad" and "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" December 19, 2016 - 12:16pm

A hulking figure draped in orange, indigo and turquoise paisley flashed from between two cabins, startling Hector Arroyo to a dead stop. The figure's faced grinned, mocking as it smashed into him. He caught a whiff of… lavender? But he had no time to ponder the perfume. Because arms a-flail, Hector teetered, struggling to keep his balance. He failed, crashing to the unpaved road. Knocked askew, his ever-present ballcap slid to the dust.

-- Opening paragraph of the second chapter of my urban fantasy/ magical realist novel, LAVA RIVER.Not sure it works. There's a lot happening. But it's important, introducing Hector, an main character. 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 19, 2016 - 3:52pm

Who's "he"?

(I ask because it's a chapter's opening paragraph).

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on January 2, 2017 - 7:43pm

New Year, New Writing...a little late but time for a Christmas themed story...

There were quiet greetings but no gay happy meetings, just a few head nods to the brother I haven’t seen in a year. We pretended we’ve kept in touch, and we smiled and joked, the typical holiday façade for Mom. A few holiday snacks are chewed but there was nothing to wash them down. No Christmas juice, no beer, no wine, no liquor. My back ached from the drive so I threw back a few pills to numb the pain. I washed those down with water, willing it to be rum or vodka or gin or some other clear spirit to give me Christmas cheer.

 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 3, 2017 - 10:27am

Isn't "gay happy" redundant in this context?

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on January 3, 2017 - 11:00am

It is...but it stays since it's from a Christmas song and this is a Christmas themed story

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 3, 2017 - 12:54pm

I was wondering if that was a reason... 

(which song?)

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on January 3, 2017 - 1:31pm

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

James Nowlan's picture
James Nowlan is reading Surveiller et Punir Je ne suis pas venu içi pour être heureux The Master and Margarita January 7, 2017 - 1:04pm

When Johnny followed the priest into the vestry he had the feeling that something special was going to happen. They’d just gotten out of their ceremonial garb when the man of the cloth pulled an oversized (more than 2’H by 1’W) B&W photograph out of a drawer and solemnly presented it as though it were a prized relic. He reverently handed it over to Johnny then turned around and kneeled down at a small altar. After taking his shirt off he placed the image on his back facing the adolescent initiate and motioned to him that he should attach it to his shoulders with some medical tape that he produced from somewhere. Johnny had passed the adhesive cloth around the armpits and waist, securing it like the back plate of a blest piece of armor, before he noticed who it was a picture of, Marilyn Monroe. She was stark naked. Her eyes were closed and she looked chubby and unwashed, a sandwich board ad for a monotone and austere Warhol show.

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann January 10, 2017 - 1:54pm

I am graduated and back to writing again. :D This is still rough around the edges.

The concept of personal space has always eluded Uncle Richie. In conversation, he’s got this tendency to talk with his chin tucked in and his forehead jutting down towards yours, always creeping in step by step, slowly diminishing the space between you. Even when you take a step back, you’re just hitting the reset button to start the gravitational pull over again. When I was younger I wondered for a while if it was maybe a Cuban thing. It didn’t take long to figure out I’d never seen any of the Spanish kids at my school have the same problem. It’s like his brain wants badly to make physical contact with yours, to try and consummate the conversation or bypass speech by mashing your respective gray matter up against each other. Other than Aunt Jeanne, Dad might be the only person I’ve heard call him out on it to his face. The forehead-to-forehead downward lean is probably why, even though Richie’s the only Shoreline guy taller than me, my permanent mental image of the man has him with his eyes looking up at me—dark coke-blown circles sitting on top of white crescents of eyeball.

Even in the car, his right hand’s gotta punctuate questions and statements with gestures, knee-slaps, and once grabbing the back of my neck. There is no greater master of one-handed driving than Richie. The only time his hand isn’t periodically flitting over to the passenger seat is when he’s got a cigarette lit. Then he drives with the right and smokes left to keep the ash-rain flowing out the crack in his window. The touching—along with the eyebrows permanently wrinkled by sarcasm, the beginnings of crow’s feet, the dark circles under his eyes, and the odd Spanish or sometimes Italian word—all somehow make whatever he’s saying over the tops of his sunglasses seem very compelling, as if there were some joke or secret that only the two of you are in on, that you want just the two of you to be in on. Maybe that’s got something to do with why, when we’re pulled up to the curb outside a condemned high-rise in Stapleton—the part of Staten Island that my family sold their souls to get away from, that’s been immortalized in song as the place where the ambulance don't come—and he’s holding out to me the handle of his .357, saying, “You just go meet him, go through those loose boards up front, and I’ll be in right after you, kid,” I agree to take the gun.

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien January 10, 2017 - 6:58pm

Now that's my kinda story!

Great to see you back Bethwenn.

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann January 10, 2017 - 8:08pm

Thanks! It's the same old massive one that I'm always posting from.

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. January 10, 2017 - 8:35pm

There you go. Love the writing Bethwenn. Nice taste.

natureislelove's picture
natureislelove January 21, 2017 - 2:00am

From my assignment of Writing Fiction course:

She was sitting on the sand with her legs stretched out in-front of her. Her long black curly hair was gently pulled back into a ponytail but the few strands that escaped, whipped into her face in the moderate breezy afternoon. Her bright shiny brown eyes seemed lost in a far away moment, a troubled memory. Her dimpled cheek that always held a warm inviting smile wasn't present and her expressive heart shaped face held no sign of the light mood that was always present. The sun shone brightly in the clear blue summer sky, peeking through the leaves in the trees, and causing her brown skin to warm up despite her sitting against the almond tree's bark in the shade. She sighed. "I'll be fine, I've made it this far." she told herself. She stood up and dusted off the sand from her dark blue skinny denim jeans bottom. She looked out one last time at the waves that were crawling gently to the shore while the ocean to the horizon reflected the blazing heat of fire in the sky.

mermaidauthor's picture
mermaidauthor from Up North is reading Nichael Flame series January 21, 2017 - 9:55am

Young adult fantasy novel writing called Lotus 

Chapter 1

Lotus Pearl Merrick was the eldest daughter of Leilani and Zane Merrick. She had a fraternal twin brother named Dylan. Lotus had a younger sister named Serena and one year young. Her parents loved her very much. There was no favorite child among the siblings.
Lotus had long raven curly hair streaked with lavender. She had sea green eyes that sparkled. Lotus had bronze skin and a slender turquoise and amethyst mer-tail.
Lotus's  mother was the goddess of the serene waters and her father was the god of the serene waters.
Today, Lotus was going to go to the healing haven to help the ill people. She joruned to the Elda Lamore island's palace healing haven.
She was called Lola by her family. Lotus to everyone else and daughter of the goddess of the serene waters.
Lotus's brother Dylan who is also her fraternal twin had raven hair. His eyes were sea blue. He had bronze skin and long slendar teal and amethyst colored mer-tail.
Serena, Lotus's younger sister had raven curly hair streaked with dark purple. Her eyes changed with her mood. Today, her eyes were violet blue. Serena had bronze skin and a long slender turquoise and amethyst colored mer-tail.
Today was Lotus's birthday even though her brother was born first by an hour and was his birthday too.
It was a warm day, the twin suns shone brightly over the sky on Planet Avanaria.
Both Lotus, Dylan, Serena had runes of transmoration on them so they could go to mer and back to their human form.
They traveled from the turquoise sea on Planet Avanaria to the beach there was a steep path with mountains and trees to the palace about ten miles.
Lotus, Dylan, and Serena changed from mer to human after touching the rune symbol for transmoration.
They had bronze legs now.
Lotus wore a long turquoise gown over her bronze skin and leather sandals on her feet.
Dylan wore a teal tunic, green leggings and leather sandals on his feet.
Serena wore a turquoise and purple gown over her bronze skin and leather sandals on her feet.
Their parents were all ready at the Elda Lamore Island palace and having a converation about a fire that was going to happen at hope village. 

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on January 21, 2017 - 10:18am

From a writing course I'm taking with Richard Thomas...I can already see my writing improving

There’s a certain staccato to late night city if you listen. An electric rhythm of buzzing streetlights, beeping reverse lights mix with dripping sewers and wailing sirens that build layers until a voice sings out; a cry for help. If I keep walking, I’ll make it home in time but if I heal this poor bastard, then I’m off the clock and there is no guarantee of overtime. I groan and follow the sound down an alleyway cuz these thugs don’t care that it will take me all day to fill out the paperwork for a 503c if they end up killing the priest. Feet pound pavement and fists pound faces until it’s just me and the priest. There’s a certain vibrato that resonates as angels singing when the light pours from my hands and resets bones and heals bruises and I think, only two more heals until a promotion.

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. January 22, 2017 - 10:40am

@ Daltonwriting. Brooke. Wow. Yeah! Huge leap in vibrancy and energy in phrasing and language. This is a beautiful paragraph, and intriging. Thanks for posting a paragraph.

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on January 22, 2017 - 5:41pm

Thanks Gail. This class is amazing and challenging. I can't wait to see what develops at the end of it all.

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann January 30, 2017 - 2:43pm

It's a tremendous improvement, Daltonwriting! Great job!

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on January 31, 2017 - 2:08pm

@bethween and @smithreynolds Thanks so much to you both. I always find I do well with structure and wasn't surprised to see my writing improve with just some basic deadlines and reading assignments. The class has been amazing and I look forward to taking more writing classes in the future. 

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. January 31, 2017 - 7:57pm

@Daltonwriting. You go girl. So proud of your work.

 

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann February 3, 2017 - 1:38pm

The Executive Mansion, Frank has complained to Jack at length, is cavernous. Every evening—shielded by the red, satin curtains with their deep theater folds, sitting on the red, clawfooted couches, trapped between the cream walls sectioned with their white outlines of rectangle panels and the white trim at the tops and bottoms, staring into the wood floor and its zig-zag pattern, into the red, oriental area rugs and their hourglass wildflowers linked with paisley leaves and stems—the same feeling hollows out Frank’s chest. A vast, empty distance with the kinetic pull to drive planets into the sun.

D.W. Behrend's picture
D.W. Behrend from New Jersey is reading Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield February 6, 2017 - 1:49pm

@Daltonwriting - Nice to see the work of a classmate over here on this board. I hope to read everyone's submissions for the class, but I have not yet carved out the time. Very vivid, rhythmic writing from your story! Totally agree about Richard's class - the best online writing class I've taken and one of the best overall as well. @bethwenn - Also nice vivid writing!

Will post something here soon - maybe from the story I did for class. 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 6, 2017 - 4:32pm

I agree, both paragraphs are very immersive. I think my favorites were the wailing sirens combined with dripping sewers, then the voice; and the clawfooted couches. Something especially effective with the imagery in those to me...

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel February 6, 2017 - 9:29pm

So, a little more than a paragraph. The post-nazis can string me up later. I hope you like it.

The multi-verse theory, or M-theory, made the most sense to me. It gave the best account of why gravitational forces were significantly weaker than the electrical and magnetic forces. I liked to think of our entire universe as nothing more than a drop of water on a planet in another universe that was also nothing more than a drop of water on another planet. On and on, drop after drop, universe after universe.

After I mentioned this to her, Shevek grabbed a glass of water, dipped her fingers in, and flicked them at me while yelling, “Universes, universes everywhere.” 

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on February 7, 2017 - 5:16am

@D.W.Behrend you should post your story in the workshop. I used Richard's changes and then posted mine. It is different then the paragraph listed (that is the story I'm working on now, using all the notes from class)

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann February 8, 2017 - 7:40pm

Just started my new post-graduation job at a law firm and haven’t had much time for anything. This is in the works from a week or so ago. Sorry for the 2 novel-length paragraphs. I have slight OCD and they feel inseparable... You guys can "tl;dr" me.

One of the first things you notice about Jeanne is she’s got this silent, understated confidence like a man. She’s loud and quiet, masculine and feminine. She’s got this swishy, flowy way about her where, at the legs, hips, and poised elbows, she’s a princess ready for the ballroom, but at the back, neck, and hands, she’s a swaggering tough guy. A wiseass in red lipstick and a short, black bob. It’s in the way she talks. She uses the present tense when she tells stories. No digressions. No segues. She’ll look off to one side and then the other before she leans in towards you and out from the side of her mouth comes the Bronx accent, hitting hard all her words’ first consonants, while she bobs her head a little for emphasis—a trait she undoubtedly got from her Bronxite, Marine Corps Officer father. She’s never quite whispering and never quite talking full volume, but still she’ll look around like she’s about to tell a secret. What took you so long at the bar, Jeanne? Low, careful, often pinching some point in the air with her fingers as she hunches down to tell you—her head bowed a little, her posture a relaxed S—and she could just as easily tell you as not, that this drunk Pollock at the bar, she’s waiting and he fuckin’ disrespects her, talking dirty pictures and shit while she’s waiting on her margarita, and so I splash him, she’ll say. I get the margarita and it’s strawberry, not raspberry like I axed, and so I splash the jamoke, shaved ice everywhere, all talkin’ his dick getting hard while I’m in a fuckin’ refreshments transaction here. So I had to wait for another margarita.

Jeanne has always had less than zero interest in men who hit on her. To her, it’s like stepping in dog shit. Catcalls, compliments, and requests for dates punctuate her stories the way parking tickets would anybody else’s. First sight, Richie was lovestruck. Right from introductions at The Drunken Piano, he was closing in on her. She didn’t step back and keep inching away from him until she was halfway across the room like happened with me. Instead, her weight anchored to one leg, her head cocked at him, her hands both went up, all her fingers pointed at him, and she goes, “You’re breathing your garlic up inside my nostrils here. What’re you doin’ in my face?” After she scooted her fingers for him to step back—him holding his Guinness bottle with both hands, suddenly insecure (probably no woman had ever spoken to him that way)—he tried one corny, unmemorable come-on and, stick a fork in his ass, he was done. That was that. Nothing he could think to say to her then on—in English, Spanish, or Italian—ever helped his case. He’d try the thousand dollar suits and the jeans and leather jacket. His money didn’t impress her. His jokes made her eyes roll. His disheveled good looks were for her a red ribbon wrapped around a dog turd. She could give a shit about his illegal cigars or his imported cologne or his vintage BMW or his ties to the Aceto’s. At my parents’ house, in the two-sink, pink marble bathroom outside my and Mads’ room, with our curling irons and make-up pouches, Jeanne and I would get all dolled up to meet Don at The Drunken Piano. We’d go see him play, and then at the bar there Tony would be, and then there Richie would be. Through cigar fog dyed pink and acid green under neon bar-lights, we’d make it across the room to Don on the little stage adjacent to the bar, at the piano in his suit and tie and dark stubble, tapping a Marlboro over the ashtray on the piano’s lid, sitting there under that horrible bull’s head they had on the wall, already smirking even at the idea of Jeanne and Richie in the same room. She was so short and he was so tall, the way she could strike fear in his heart—and you could always see it on his face, the fear—was precious. Like the elephant afraid of a mouse. But she’d see Richie and her eyes wouldn’t even deal with him long enough for contact. She’d put her hand up and just keep walking and shaking her head. Instead of “Hi,” she’d pat the air once in his general direction and say, “No.”

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami February 13, 2017 - 4:42pm

Dumping the Gibson and Hardy. Finding my own voice:

-- What's the difference between RFID encryption, and using a standard super? It was one of those questions most more experienced bio hackers knew, but didn't have time to answer as it would take hours. They just assumed her lack of technical experience, although Arline was less of a general programmer breaking into security, and more apt to use the system's rules against itself.

-- It's just different Arline. Consider learning the technical specifics of RFID. A pat response indicative of impatience and lack of attention. Arline didn't have time for condescending assholes, she dealt with way to many of them in her own lifetime. She knows enough about programming to bypass social media spam block functionality, encrypting phrases in different ways, and playing around with the word sandwich order to reach a desired result.

The city life was filled with the noise of construction workers, and she didn't even know there was implant conventions within the area. She didn't even want to consider the idea of telling them about her remote viewing. A by this point, she knew they just want to assume the magnets worked, and not to worry about the specifics of RFID encryption, as long as she could get into her apartment. The daylight was beginning to fade, the city lights beginning to glow. It was chilly, but not enough to snow. The neighborhood dogs barked loudly, and at times she joked around with the idea of trying to see if her magnets could feel their collars, but decided better of it.

An experiment on combining Remote Viewing and Biohacking.

Joseph Martín Giralt's picture
Joseph Martín Giralt from Brooklyn, NY is reading The Southern Reach Trilogy February 22, 2017 - 10:38pm

"I'm going to change the subject, I can fix this," I thought myself as I reapplied my lipstick. 

"I'll remind Nora of that wonderful New Year's Eve in St.Petersburg of all places.

I’ll remind her of us.

Us, laying on the floor in front of the hearth of my grandmother’s house.

Us, with our bellies warm with cheap vodka.

Us, discovering what each other's bodies were for."

SueA9378's picture
SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 18, 2017 - 6:49am

OK so here is something I've been working on, on and off for a while, it's a fantasy story based in another world. I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, or helpful hints to improve this. There is a prologue but I am going to post the first paragraph from the first chapter:

      "She leaped off the second story veranda onto the back of her white horse, flying through the streets of the village while then men made ready for the attack. Women and children were being secured away below the town in fortified well-stocked cellars for their protection. Normally, during an attack, she would be there with them but not this time. This was the attack that was foretold to her father, or so he believed, the one that their town would not survive. A woman, some say she was a wizard, had come to him and his wife, Kira’s mother, and told them that if she bore a child she would die giving that child life, they had not believed her until Kira was born and her mother did not survive the birth. Then when Kira was 8, the woman had returned bringing a pregnant mare back to them and telling her father to care for it because the colt it bore would be special. She also told her father of this attack and that if he wanted her to survive she had to ride hard for the woods, her fate would be there, but she warned not to send anyone else or for him to flee himself because then all would perish. How she knew such a thing Kira did not know but her father believed her this time." 

 

IsabelShepherd's picture
IsabelShepherd March 21, 2017 - 3:07am

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ubik 77's picture
ubik 77 from Detroit is reading Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media March 21, 2017 - 7:24am

"Corie Rigel’s popsicle-sticky mouth curves into an awed, red-goo-ringed O at the sight of the manipulated light. He is four years old and this is the first (and, sadly, the last) time his mom’s taken him to a real vishzoo. (Corie’s mom, young herself, just 20, will die two years later of an outrageously rare supercancer, the anomalous tumor discovered inextricably tangled in the tendinous webbing of her armpit like a lethal golfball snarled in fibrous vines.) Mom smiles in response to her little son’s amazement."

SueA9378's picture
SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 22, 2017 - 6:26am

Short story I'm working on:

          She’d had just about the worst day ever, it was Friday and she should be glad for the weekend but she wasn’t. She went to work this morning and was told she was fired. So she decided to go for a walk in the park to clear her head and she gets mugged! Her purse stolen, credit cards, cell phone, wallet, all gone! She filed a police report and called all her credit card companies to cancel them, she’d get a new phone tomorrow, and have to go to DMV Monday morning to get a new license. She’d only had $22 in cash on her so it wasn’t a big loss but didn’t make her day any better. She had the keys to her Escape in her pocket so at least she could drive home. Then she walked in her front door thinking she could cry on her boyfriend’s shoulder and what does she find? A note from him telling her he’s gone and they are about to be evicted anyway so she should pack her stuff and leave. She’d been giving him her half of the rent why were they being evicted? Didn’t matter she didn’t have a job so she couldn’t afford the place anymore anyway. That was it, just that thought did her in, she broke down and started to cry, she was sure she sobbed for a good 45 minutes before snapping herself out of it. She went to where she stashed money hoping he hadn’t found it and to her relief, he hadn’t. 

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Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 22, 2017 - 8:26am

^

That could be an entire chapter.

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SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 23, 2017 - 7:01am

@Thuggish, That would be a really short chapter. I thought the actual chapter was short, it's only 700 words but works so far anyway. 

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Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 23, 2017 - 9:02am

What I meant was, if you unpacked all of that, you could have an entire chapter that was that girl's shitty Friday. Going into work and getting fired could be, I don't know, 5-10 paragraphs if you wanted. Walking in the park is another one at least. Getting mugged, well that's worth fleshing out. And so on.

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SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 24, 2017 - 7:24am

@Thuggish, Oh I wasn't thinking like that. Something I'll have to consider! 

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SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 24, 2017 - 7:26am

Excerpt from that fantasy story I have been working on, on and off. Still in first draft phase ... 

       Riding hard towards the North Bridge Kira noticed it was being hoisted already. She leaned down and without hesitation Moonbeam picked up speed running full force for to the edge of the rising bridge and leaping. Moonbeam hit the ground and never broke stride, he ran hard and fast for the woods; as if he knew their lives depended on it. It had always been like that between Kira and Moonbeam as if he knew her thoughts and would do things she simply wished him to do. When she did give him directions, it was as if he understood her and did what she asked. The fact was that it was entirely possible that Moonbeam could understand her; he was from an ancient race of horses that the elves had favored for their understanding and ability to communicate with them. When Moonbeam was born he had been a sickly colt, his mother died giving birth to him and he was not expected to survive. Kira could not bear that, it may have been her understanding of losing a mother at birth, so she nursed him until he was strong and they bonded. None had known who is father had been but the mare who bore him was the mare that the woman, possibly a wizard, had returned to her father. Kira understood Moonbeam in ways no one could guess, it helped that her mother had been a half-elf which gave Kira a few advantages over most humans. One of which was her ability to communicate with animals though she did not understand them fully as it was said that elves could, another was her hearing and eyesight that were greater than other humans, she also had a heightened sense of other people good or bad, which came in handy this night. 

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Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 24, 2017 - 9:09am

@Kira

I guess it really comes down to show vs tell. You told me what her day was, but you have the option of showing me the whole thing.

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SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 27, 2017 - 7:24am

@Thuggish, 

I am going to use that suggestion, I need to expand that chapter anyway! 

Sue 

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SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 27, 2017 - 3:10pm

Taking Thuggish's advice I expanded that paragraph and this is what I came up with: 

      She’d had just about the worst day ever, it was Friday and she should be glad for the coming weekend but she wasn’t. It all started when she went to work this morning, everything had been going fine this week or so she thought. She walked into the office where she worked as an assistant to the executive assistant and was called into the executive’s office. Mr. Walsh was a slightly overweight man in his fifties, he had a short temper and it was making itself known now. “Are you familiar with this document?” She looked at the document in question, “Yes Sir I am.” That was all she said, he started ranting about how incompetent she was, how she didn’t understand the importance of having things done accurately, and how he was sick of her mistakes. She didn’t have any idea what he was talking about, she was familiar with the document but she hadn’t put it together, she’d proofread it for Rita, Mrs. Whitcome, his executive assistant. She also didn’t know what other mistakes he was talking about. She tried to tell him but he just yelled louder and then said, “You’re fired! Get the hell out of my sight.” She had been numb when she cleaned out her desk and escorted by security, walked out of the office. She pulled the keys of her dark blue Ford Escape out of her purse and started walking towards it.
      She called Greg, her boyfriend, to tell him what was going on but it went straight to voicemail. “Greg, I was fired today. Please call me back when you can.” On the spur of the moment she decided, “I’m going to go for a walk in the park then I’m headed home.” She put the keys in her pocket and left her SUV parked where it was, it was metered parking. Every morning when she got to work she would pay the meter for four hours then go on a break to put more money in before the time was up, she still had three hours left on the meter. It was a beautiful clear spring day and she watched while small children, out with their mothers or nannies or sitters, played. She enjoyed watching children play, she longed to have a child of her own even though she knew she’d never be able to get pregnant. One day when she had her life together she would adopt or she’d find a man with children and help him raise them, that was her plan.
She wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on around her, she saw the man out of the corner of her eye jogging with his hoodie up over his head. It was a bit warm for that she thought absently but didn’t move as he seemed to get closer to her. Suddenly he reached over grabbed her purse and took off at a run. Like an idiot, she just stood there with her mouth open for a few seconds before yelling and then running after him. It was no use she was far too out of shape and he, obviously, was not. She stopped and looked around, it seemed no one was around. She sighed, like usual there was no one to help her. Of course, she’d dropped her phone in her purse so she couldn’t call for help so she got into her SUV and drove to the local police station to file a report. While she was there called all her credit card companies to cancel the cards, she’d have to go to DMV Monday morning to get a new license and she’d only had $22 cash on her so at least that wasn’t a big loss. The police didn’t seem too optimistic about finding her stolen purse and with her luck neither did she. She gave them Greg’s number to call if something came up and left to go home.
      She had the keys to her Escape in her pocket so at least she could drive home. She walked in her front door thinking she could cry on her boyfriend’s shoulder and what does she find? A note from him telling her he’s gone and they are about to be evicted anyway so she should pack her stuff and leave. She’d been giving him her half of the rent every month faithfully, she paid most of the bills, she even bought the food. Why were they being evicted? She sighed, it didn’t matter she didn’t have a job so she couldn’t afford the place anymore anyway. That was it, just that thought did her in, she broke down and started to cry. She sobbed for a good 45 minutes, big ugly body wracking sobs. She snapped herself out of it, she had to see if he had found where she stashed money.  Finally, she had a bit of good luck, he hadn’t found the money.