Hidden Green Lace – Flash Fiction

Hint of lace‘What are you doing?’ she asked as he reached out towards her. Then, ‘Ow! Why’d you pinch me?’

‘Cause you aren’t wearing green,’ he answered.

‘I am too. See?’ and she pointed at her Kelly green eyeshadow.

‘Doesn’t count,’ he said smugly.

‘Well I’m still wearing green,’ she replied with a superior look on her face.

‘Right… Sure you are.’

‘Fine. If you don’t believe me. Turn around,’ she ordered.

‘What?’

‘Turn around.’ She motioned with her hand.

He groaned but did as she ordered.

She giggled, but then she shimmied and gave a wiggle then picked up the bright green scrap of lace.

‘Okay, you can turn around.’ When he did, she held the lace in her hands. ‘See?’

His eyes were wide and he took stock of her black dress and put together appearance. ‘Where the heck was that?’

She gave him a mystifying smile. ‘Oh if only you knew,’ she teased. ‘Now turn back around.’

When he did, a quick shimmy and tug and everything was back as it should be.

‘You can turn back now.’

He did and she giggled as he eyed her up and down trying to figure out where the lace was.

‘Now don’t pinch me again.’

He grinned. ‘Yes ma’am.’

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. It was a gorgeous day here but not warm enough for my “Irish Princess” t-shirt. I so wanted to wear it, even if an Irishman holds more Irish in his little pinky than I have in my whole person. I actually do have a touch of Irish in me. Some great-great-great-great-great grandfather or something.  Who knows.

Enjoy the bit of flash fiction. And you can decide where the lace came from. I have my own idea, but it’s a bit naughty….

Kate

Unrequited Letters – Flash Fiction

He poured his heart and passion into the letters he wrote her. Long, romantic missives. Short, tiny notes folded into secret notes. He told her of his hopes and dreams. Of his delight in her newest dress or the remark she made as she conversed with the grocer. 

He had mounts of letters. Piled so high a slight breeze might disturb and send the snowy sheets into a cascade of drifts and eddies around his small study.

For he never sent her the letters. Always afraid of how she would respond to his devotion, he wrote letters till he died, always pining for her.

 

Letters, and specifically love letters, have been in my mind lately. I have been thinking about writing letters to lovers

Bright Star (film)

Bright Star (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(not that I have any at this moment… and note the use of the plural. I’m laughing at that) Writing letters to friends and families. I love how John Keats and Fanny Brawne wrote letters, though that whole thing is rather tragic. We won’t go there.

 

I love letters. Have I mentioned that a time or two? *said with tongue in cheek* I’m sure you could search my posts for just letters and find all kinds.

 

I long to write a lover a love letter. Pull out my red wine ink and pen something that is romantic. And this bit of flash fiction made me think of that and unrequited love, which has hit me a time or two.

 

Lizzy & Jane – A Review

_225_350_Book.1428.coverLizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay; the sophomore novel by the author of Dear Mr. Knightley, is just as charming as her first.  Lizzy and Jane, sisters, are nothing like their namesakes. In fact they are much more like Anne Elliot and Mrs. Musgrove from Persuasion if I had to pick two people from a Jane Austen book to compare these two. In fact, Lizzy, the one telling her story, alludes to Persuasion several times within the story.

Lizzy has lost her touch in cooking. Just just doesn’t have that zing she had when she first opened Feast a small restaurant in New York City, funded by the charming, but ruthless Paul Metzger. Paul decides Feast needs a bit of help, so in comes the dazzling and popular chef Trent Murray.

Now, not only has Lizzy lost the top position in her restaurant, but her sister is struggling with breast cancer and chemotherapy, something their mother succumbed to back when Lizzy was in high school. Lizzy has never forgiven Jane for leaving after high school, being eight years older, and never coming home during the time Lizzy’s mother passed away. Needless to say, there is animosity between the sisters.

But Lizzy needs a change. So she packs up and flies back to Seattle to visit and try to find that zing she has lost.  From dealing with her sister’s chemo treatments, reacquainting herself with her father and nephew and niece, and even meeting Nick, Jane’s colleague in the marketing world, Seattle is almost more than Lizzy bargained for. And Nick is more than Lizzy expected. Single father of an adorable little boy, he’s a cautious man that has been stunned by Lizzy’s sharp New York self. But he can’t stay away. Somewhat like a Mr. Darcy we all know and love.

Will Lizzy get her zing? Will she and Jane ever reconcile all their past hates? Will Lizzy end up with Paul, Trent, or Nick?  I want to tell you. I really do, but I say just read the book.

I cannot rave enough about this book. I loved Dear Mr. Knightley and I was hopeful Lizzy & Jane would hold up to the stellar review of Ms. Reay’s first book. It has and in a stunning novel. A book that made me want to cry, laugh and plot the ending myself. I seriously thought Lizzy should end up with Paul. Then Trent. And I really like Nick too. There were so many twists to this story, the theme of Jane Austen floating through the story, from food to sisters.  The food alone and descriptions made me want to eat my way through this book. (Ms. Reay, I wish you would have added in all the recipes for this book! Can we say bacon ice cream with maple syrup, anyone?)

This book is seriously within my favorites book. I want to share it with everyone, yet I will not give up my copy, it’s too good.  If you like Jane Austen, or read Katherine Reay’s Dear Mr. Knightley, then you will love this book. Five out of Five stars.

This book was provided to me free through Harper Collins Christian Publishing via BookLookBloggers for my honest review.

Kate

 

 

They Were Reading What?

English: Bronte Sisters statue, Haworth Parson...

English: Bronte Sisters statue, Haworth Parsonage. Taken through the window of the museum shop – sorry about the reflections on the glass! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EH Bates, over at Bumbles Books had a great challenge this week. In her post Defined by Books, she brings up the subject of what our characters would read. What book does your hero like? Does your heroine read romance? Can you define a person by the books they read?  For the answer to that question, I say absolutely!

I just read in Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay (a review I will be writing tomorrow or Wed.) And in it, the hero is a total Hemingway and Greek Tragedy guy. The reasons why this guy is a Hemingway guy is kind of just because of how ‘cool’ Hemingway was. The heroine is an Austen gal.

Who am I as a reader. Um, yes. But I have personal favorites. However how do my characters stack up.

Mia who owns a bookstore is a classics girl. Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, the Bronte sisters, Austen, Zane Grey and magazines. She likes the weirdly unnoticed books like what would come from Persephone Books. She reads magazines because she doesn’t have a lot of time to read, so magazines are quick.

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket ph...

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, late 1939. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rafe, Mia’s hero is a total Hemingway guy along with books from the 1920’s and 30’s. He’s into jazz so the older style is totally him. He likes John Le Carre and the suspense/spy novel. You would see him reading Flemming. He’s classic and old school and totally like Patrick Warburton in the National Car ad. You know, sexy.

 

My character Rena, who’s a lot like me, would read like me: Emilie Loring, Sir Walter Scott, Tennyson, Bronte, historical romances, contemporary romances, Harlequin, non fiction herbal books, cook books, gardening. She refers to her authors by first name. So you have the Emily’s – Emilie Loring, Emily Dickinson, Emily Bronte. Can make for confusing if she asks for a book, but it also signifies that her books and authors are her friends. Books are her friends so she refers to them in the first person. (Silly, I know, but it is a quirk)

And lastly Phaedra. Since she’s a photographer, she reads a lot of books on photography, as well as travel guides and historical information. Things she can use. But she likes cheesy and girly. Fairytales and silly romance. Her favorite guilty pleasure show is Once Upon a Time, so you have to figure silly romancey fairytale.  I also picture fan fiction. She’s a total Captain Swan girl so she reads fan fiction late at night. She won’t tell anyone that, but oh, we know she just eats it up.

 

I had never thought that much about some of what my characters would read. Rena yes, since she is most like me. Mia more so since she owns a bookstore. But Rafe is a new addition to thinking about it.  I have other characters that I could list, but I need to think about them more.

This was a great writing challenge and I think it will help me with my character depth as well.  Check out Bumbles Books. Her posts are great and thought provoking.  And also, think about what your characters read. I’m going to ping John Guillen since I think he might appreciate such a post or for him to think about.

Kate

 

Fierce Convictions – A Review

_225_350_Book.1404.coverFierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior is a marvelous biography of an almost unknown woman in our history.  Hannah More, a British woman born during the mid 1700’s to rather humble beginnings, she grew up with four other sisters to become, like the Bronte sisters, teachers of their own school for young ladies. From teacher to poet to playwright, Hannah More was a devout Christian yet still a major part of what was called the Bluestocking Circle during the later part of the century. Celebrated author, she was part of this elite group of the poets and thinkers of the time. For a while Hannah More was the new darling of the group until the loss of a close friend edged her away from society. At this same time, the subject of the abolition  of slavery came to her interest. She was fortunate to live long enough to see slavery abolished, but over the years her name became tarnished due to new ways of thinking regarding how a woman should act and believe. It is this reason we no longer know much about this remarkable woman.

This is a marvelous biography filled with all kinds of information I never knew and was never taught. I love reading how people are connected and through my various other readings, the name Horace Walpole has come to my attention, a man Hannah was good friends with. I really enjoyed reading this book, but my one complaint would be, it’s long. Not in actual thickness, but more in style. There is a lot of information compressed into this book and it’s not what I would call a fast read. That being said, Ms. Prior’s style is enjoyable to read and I am so glad that I decided to try out this book about an unknown person quite important within our history.  If you like biographies, get it. If you want to read about a woman most of us never knew about, then I also recommend this. I would give it easily 4 out of 5 stars.

Kate

 

 

A World Of Worlds – Flash Fiction

She fell down through the sunshine sea. Down through the
Paradisiac Picture
bubbling water. The waves,waves,waves, down, down, down. Until

she fell through the snow lit sky of Paris. Till she landed

feet first on the frosted rooftops. Till she stood in her

bathing costume. In another world below. She looked up and saw

the sun through the ocean. So far away. Just a little pinprick

in the wintry sky. She was far away now. And to go home was

much further than just up.

This picture just grabbed me and there you have it. I feel I could run with this thought, but not sure. Who knows. Sometimes the little things are much better.

Kate

Plot? Who Needs A Plot?

plotdiagram

 

I was reading a blog post today by Alex, from over at When Alex Writes. It was on being a panster plotter. You know, writing by the seat of your pants and coming up with the plot as you write?… Um, welcome to why I do not have any finished novels. Plot? Who needs a plot? I can get by perfectly fine without a plot. Right?

 

I have written about this in the past. My plotless novels. Which, by definition, can it even be a novel if it doesn’t have a plot?  Oh sure, I do have a general idea of where I want the story to go. Obviously the hero gets the girl and the antagonist goes away. I know, really thought provoking there. ( I deal in lots of sarcasm. It was right there, by the way)

linus-roache

The reason this post and thought came to mind was because I had a dream recently where I was called by a senator who had read a letter I sent him and he wanted to have dinner with me. Fortunately the senator was Linus Roache  so a sexy senator.  Anyways, the dream made me want to write out a romance story of a woman who meets a senator who wants to have a relationship with her. I suppose it’s a little bit alongside And American President, but whatever. I still had ideas.

 

I just have no plot. None. Just drabbling it out in stages here and there.

 

This is not going to work.

 

Now comes to Alex’s post. Plotting for Pansters: A Brief How-to

 

I suggest you check it out. The whole thing is quite brilliant. Though I am a little boggled by the first part….

 

Start by taking the scenes you want to write, settings you’d like to explore, snippets of dialogue or even feeling and place and compiling all of your ideas into a folder or word doc. Then draw parallels with the information you need to communicate and the imagery that inspired you to write the story in the first place. You’re trying to create a complete image, develop details and ideas into full-fledged scenes, plot points and story arcs. This is, essentially, the brain storming phase.

 

The bold part…. I’m not even sure what that means.  But I suppose I can try.

 

And I loved her suggestion about using an online whiteboard… Or as Castle calls it, the crime board…  I love this suggestion also because years ago, Mims told me how her friend used sticky notes or post-its to write out key plot details and she could move them around at will. I’ve always loved that idea, but I just could never get it off the ground. Mind you, I don’t have any place I could actually do this except on my ceiling, and no, I’m not going to do that.

 

So, I shall attempt, hopefully, to try and organize my thoughts a bit more. Sometimes I just like writing and seeing where the story takes me.  I had this whole idea of how I wanted another character to act in a different novel, and as I wrote, this person became her own self. It wasn’t me in that position. It was her and she was doing things I wouldn’t have even come up with. I worry I will lose that by plotting.  But, seeings as I have never plotted properly, what harm will it do to try it?

 

Kate

 

Duke du Gare and Captain Awesome – Flash Fiction

via Bing © Frans Lanting/Mint

“Mwuaahhh haa ha!” The evil villain gave a maniacal laugh as his plane soared over the jagged looking rocks.  “You will never make it out of this alive, Captain Awesome,” Duke du Gare said evilly. He glared at Captain Awesome who was tied up in a neat package near the open hatch of the plane.  

Down below were the needle-like formations of rock that could pierce a man through and through.  Duke du Gare was certain his nemesis would finally be out of his way. The do-gooder that he was.  How was the Duke to take over the world with Captain Awesome always getting in his way and stopping him?

The Duke gave Captain Awesome a little shove with his boot and the gagged Captain made a muffled cry. The Duke loved toying with his victims.  

“Die, Captain Awesome!” he shouted and shoved the Captain out of the hatch…

Dum dum dum…..  What will happen to Captain Awesome? Has the Duke won this time? Tune in next week as we continue the Amazing Adventures of Captain Awesome….

 

Ah, sometimes the best image sparks a marvelous piece of flash fiction. I was looking at the Bing picture of the day, which is Tsingy de Bemaraha, and my first thought was how a villain in all the James Bond-y type films has to tell his evil plan then do something drastic…. like throw the hero out of a plane over nasty rocks… Of course the hero always survives…. But I always love how the villain has to tell his evil plan. Mwuuaaahh ha ha!

Kate

 

 

Praise for : The Ocean at the end of the Lane

I had heard about Neil Gaiman‘s book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane a couple years ago by chance. I sort of keep tabs on what Mr. Gaiman is doing because he’s such a fascinating writer/author.  But it wasn’t until recently when I was talking to one of the volunteers at my library, that I found out that my branch held a copy of this book. The volunteer had read it and she said it was rather disturbing and found she couldn’t read it at night. She had to keep putting it down because it bothered her, even though she enjoyed the style of writing.

Well, I decided to see if the library still had the copy on the shelf, and with luck, it was there. That was on Tuesday.  The volunteer mentioned that ‘oh, so you want to try this disturbing book?” and because, yes, I was checking it out, I did.

“Ocean at the End of the Lane US Cover” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org

I finished the book Wednesday afternoon.   That could mean one of two things. Either one, I loved it, or two, I just had to see what happened.  Let’s go with love. I’m not sure that’s a strong enough word, but it’s adequate.

I have not read a lot of Neil Gaiman’s work, but what he is very good at doing is pulling in the mythical and the  nonsensical and turning it into a captivating and utterly wonderful story. With The Ocean… he has maintained what I call The Neil Gaiman. It is so him it is perfect.

It wasn’t a disturbing story. I could have read it through the night had I wanted to stay up. The story left me wanting more, as his usually do, and I absolutely love this little novel. For those not used to Gaiman’s work, though, they might find him very strange indeed. But for me, as a writer myself and one who has read her fair share of juvenile fantasy (which includes Harry Potter, Twilight, and others of that ilk) he is a brilliant writer. He makes you feel things you didn’t know you had in you and the story captures you.

I could go on and on about this book, but suffice to say, I won’t be taking this particular volunteer’s opinion any time soon. Another thing, Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, absolutely loved this book. I love The Night Circus, so, you see, this is clearly my style.

If you are a fan of Mr. Gaiman’s work, or of that style, I highly recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is a quick and unique read. Brilliant in every way….

Now to go hunt down a copy for myself.

Kate