Micro 0331:

Once upon a time a woman gave birth to a son, the first seed of her womb. When he was placed upon her breast, tiny and wrinkled, the weight of her hopes and dreams descended upon him. The crooning of family and friends who laid eyes upon him bolstered her hopes and she built formidable castles that gleamed in the Sun. Images of welcoming and feasting burst before her in glorious array; she the matriarch of a vast sea of sons. Maybe one beautifully lithe daughter, her splitting image, suitors lined up and clawing at each other to marry her. She envisioned adoring grandchildren racing through the corridors of her castle, their bubbly giggles rebounding off solid walls, full of the vigour of youth.
She basked in the praise showered upon her and bloomed in the validation given to her. She had a son.
She had not prepared herself for fear or desperation. She had not seen Death stealing glances at her precious bundle, it’s long greedy fingers reaching out of the veil to caress his cheek. “Mine,” it had whispered, sending a chill through the room that settled in her womb, scorching it with frozen heat so it would never bear another soul.
No one knew.
He brought a young girl home, “My wife…”
The castle gleamed, no one knew.
“You’re not welcome anymore, my wife…”
The castle dissolved into the image of a small cottage. She could not have forseen.
“You cannot see them, Mom. My wife…”
“I’m unwell, Mom. My wife…”
The cottage crumbled into dust that sailed on huge gusts of winds, scattered, and were lost.
The cold earth slips from her hands, dropping hollowly onto the cedar box. “My son,” her wreaked voice croaks.
“My son,” Death corrects, a fixed smile upon a terrible visage, a friendly hand intertwined with the woman her son had called, “My wife.”

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Never ending battles & Micro0109: For the Queen

I wrote a story today.

I liked it. Wasn’t sure anyone else would so for a moment I decided I was going to keep it to myself. Started on something else that did not inspire me and it fell flat like a cake with too much moisture.

Time and time again we’ve heard people say that you need to write for yourself and not try to pander to an audience. The ones who like your story will find it wherever they go, and those who don’t will read other stories. How hard is that to learn and understand? Quite hard, apparently, coz I’m still working on that.

So, in light of that, here is my story, the one I actually wanted to tell, the one that inspired me. Enjoy.

For the Queen

Once upon a time, a woman inherited a kingdom. To the west, grassy knolls rolled over the countryside curving artfully around overflowing gardens that burst with bounty, stretching as far as the eye could see. The eastern border came to an abrupt halt at the jagged edge of plunging cliffs, where the sea writhed and roared and moaned and spat.
The land was rich and the people lacked for nothing and lived in peace with their neighbours, but the crown sat heavily upon her brow, each stone a ton of worry, each pearl a thundering wild horse pounding through her mind.
A spell of great and dire magic had been cast on the kingdom by a Witch Queen, wild and deadly, her bewitchment reaching out with deadly fingers of greed, malcontent, envy.
Sister struck down sister, soaking her garment in the blood, brother struggled against brother, pushing him six feet underground. Chaos reigned and the young woman’s ears were filled with the desperate cries of her people.
She called to the Witch Queen, the fell words like bile against her tongue, and begged her to undo the magic and free her people.
The Witch Queen demanded one thing. Her soul.
The hopeless councillors spread their hands, their pain a Goliath against their own consciences, and they surrendered to fear.
The crown upon her head sunk deep claws into her head refusing to be cast off, perplexing the councillors and angering the Witch Queen. Only the crown bestowed the kingdom upon the wearer and it had a mind of its own.
Urged on by the spell, the young woman’s people dragged her from her throne and marched her eastwards to the edge of the cliff. A vile threat. An action. Collective consciousness stained with the blood of a young Queen who had no choice.
Her body lay broken, the waves smashing her against the toothy wall of the cliff, the weight of the crown dragging her into the depths of the sea.
The spirit of the young woman rose out of her watery grave and fell upon the Witch Queen destroying her utterly. It flowed through her kingdom, raining justice like a thunder roar and ending the years of malcontent and strife. She does not distinguish between friend or foe. So when you pass through the rubble remnants of her kingdom, remember your offering at the cliff’s edge, and bow the knee when a jewel encrusted crown floats your way.

The Cost of a Story

Kulika yo!

What a super sunshiny day it is in Toronto! I wish you were here to share it. We could have a proper discussion.

I have the privilege of being part of a few writing groups online. I have always thought that if you’re seeking support for your work, you should give support. Some people are incredible at the social networking thing. I’m still learning.()

Sometimes an author will be done with their work, pay an editor, pay someone to format the book, pay someone to design a cover and then post it online for sale at $2.99. $2.99 for a 300 page original story!!!

If this were a business and I was counting $$s…

  • Idea generation (collecting them from the “Ether”) – $100
  • Writing for about 3-4 hours a day for six months at minimum wage (in Ontario $10.25) – $10.25 x 3.5 hours x 5 days a week x 24 weeks = $4,305 before tax.
  • Paying an editor 2 cents per word for an 80,000 word novel – $1,600
  • Paying for someone to design your cover – $500, generic $40, doing it yourself 3-4 hours at minimum wage – $36

So the book that is sitting on the shelf (real or virtual) is worth anywhere between $5,900 and $6,400 without the cost of marketing, packaging, printing, distribution, shipping, Amazon.com fees or taxes. To break even an author would have to sell  over 2,100 copies of the book at $2.99 to break even.

Really… I can’t e’en.

Support your local author, don’t be a Grinch.

Whence Cometh Thine Inspiration?

Hola! Today is a sunny day and I hope that wherever you are you get to enjoy it!

Last night inspiration hit for a new story. An exciting story. A GREAT tale. I quickly relayed the information to my co-author for all things exciting and got a few things down. It got me thinking about inspiration and the wonderful places it comes from.

When inspiration hit, I was detangling my hair in the shower and watching an episode of Star Trek TNG (To answer your questions, 1- Yes I’m a Trekkie, 2- I love them all equally). A young girl had been taken onto the ship to intern under Dr. Crusher and as it turns out, she was Q. So Q arrives, sent by the Continuum, to figure out if she was a threat to them or not.

You’ll have to watch the episode to find out if Q goes with Q to the Continuum.

John de Lancie, who plays Q, is a great actor and has beautifully portrayed another despicable character in Stargate SG-1. I thought to myself, wouldn’t he make an interesting Inspector Gadget for adults movie, taking all the kitschy stuff out of it to make it more adult friendly. Put in lots of great CGI, throw in gobs of action packed sequences where he can say something more than “Go Gadget, Go!”. I’d watch it!

From that simple thought, my idea grew and blossomed. It is nothing like inspector gadget and has a character very unlike Q’s character, but she’s beautiful and strong and I cannot wait to give her form.

I guess my inspiration came from the tangles in my hair. Where does yours come from?