musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours


A piece of Fiction…

The following piece of fiction was written last year for my first attempt at NanoWriMo… I did not complete NanoWriMo last year and stalled at 7,093 words – As I had decided that I did not like the tense in which I had written the rest of the Story, and so I am only providing the Prologue. I hope you enjoy it…

(Raven Leigh) Prologue:

It was the blackest stormiest December nite anyone in the valley could remember. It was a moonless, starless nite and the howling wind whipped snow and sleet and ice across the sky. The winds were cold and fierce and the icy snow was piling up in drifts. The violent gusts were shaking the trees causing the icicles to rain down. The midwife was afraid that one of the powerful gusts would blow over one of the surrounding trees causing it to land on her meager home. Venturing outside would be ludicrous in such weather, which is why she was so surprised when the young woman came to her, belly huge, eyes wide with pain and fear. She was in full labour. Gran could not for life of her figure out how this beautiful young stranger had even found her way to her little gypsy caravan. It wasn’t even on the direct path, but nestled in amongst the trees to provide a bit of shelter, just past the meadow. It seemed that one moment Gran was alone with her thoughts and the next there was a brisk chill in the air and the young woman was just there standing in her doorway. The woman was beautiful; she had a calm, gentle peace about her even in the midst of her pain. She kept very quiet, not saying a single word; she didn’t even ask for help, perhaps she knew she didn’t have to. She appeared to be still quite young, roughly a quarter century old. She had large brown doe eyes, which seemed to say all the things that her lack of words could not. They were filled with wonder and would flicker with what seemed near panic at each contraction. Her hair was short and tawny, her skin soft and brown. She only breathed loudly as the child came, still no words, no utterances. Gran was curious as to where she came from, how she got there, where the father of the child might be, but this was not the time for questions and even if it were certain questions are best left unasked. This was definitely not the time for such things; there would be plenty of time to talk after. Right now tending to the wee one who had just arrived took precedence. The young woman looked at her new born child and smiled gently, then laid down her head and closed her eyes.

Gran held the baby and carefully looked her over. Everything was as it should be five fingers, five toes. It was a girl; in fact she was an extremely beautiful baby girl. Gran poured some warm water into the washing dish and carefully cleaned the wee one up. She had huge dark eyes like her mother and a shock of inky black hair. She was very pale, and delicate, and quiet like her mother. The wind outside was relentless; it howled like a child in a full blown state of tantrum and shook the little caravan like as if a giant was outside bashing it about, making the baby whimper quietly. Gran sang softly to babe and mum, lulling them as she went about her business. She called out would you like some raspberry leaf tea? It will ease the cramping and make you feel better.  As she wrapped up the now clean little bundle and was carrying her over to the mother, but the young woman was gone! There was no trace of her anywhere. Gran opened the door and scanned across the meadow she couldn’t make out anything  it was so dark and windy, the sleet was coming down almost vertically creating near white out conditions… did she see movement a hundred feet or so off? Could it be? No, it was just a lone doe heading into the bush. What on earth? Thought Gran to herself.

Well little one looks like you are stuck with me for now. Gran half sang to the babe. So sweet, so helpless and already alone in the world, we’d best give you a name; no we can’t have you nameless on top of it all. Gran peeked through the moon shaped cut out in the shutters into the blackness of the nite. Black as a raven’s eye out there it is; Aye dark as their feathers out in the leigh. Hhhhmmm… Raven Leigh, that’s what I shall call you little one, that’s what I shall call you.

Yes, that was nite she came into the world.

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NaNoWriMo… word counts suck…

The writing process is not going the way I had hoped. I am wondering if maybe my brain does not input and output information in the conventional ways. I believe that one should sit down and start a story and work through it from beginning to middle to end. That it is a chronological process. BUT this is not even remotely the way it is working. I have a handful of partially written chapters that I seem to be bouncing back and forth adding to, altering, changing, evolving. I can’t sit and write chapter 1… chapter 2… etc. No, instead I write a handful of paragraphs, I reread them, cut one and paste it in where I feel another chapter will take place and add a note that says -elaborate- … then I go back and do the process all over again. And so on and so forth.

I am behind on my word count. (by quite a bit I might add)

I do have a rough outline, I know the general direction I am heading in, I know who the main characters in the story are. But that is really about it. The rest seems to fall into place as I write. I close my eyes and can see a scene, then I have to try to develop it, choosing the correct words. The ones that will take my vision and put it into a form that will help others to hopefully see what I saw.  A lot of it is feeling, I can feel what it should be, but how does one go about expressing such things? (that sounds so artsy-fartsy and airheady)

And here I am avoiding working on my story, creating words for my blog instead. But these words seem to flow without all the restrictions, and complications. In a few minutes I have written over 300 words here, yet that has been taking what feels like hours to achieve in the NaNo-sphere.

Don’t get me wrong I am actually liking the story I am writing so far – I wouldn’t say it is great (by no means). I feel it actually has potential, that it isn’t complete and utter crap which makes me happy. I honestly wasn’t really sure what to expect as I have never written a novel before, I wasn’t expecting a cake walk, but I didn’t picture the process to look the way it seems to be unfolding.

Anyways I will write a few updates on how my experience with NaNo is going throughout the month… we will see you never know what can happen, right?


NaNoWriMo… (a stressed out November)

I have signed up to part take in the madness known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time this year. In the beginning when I first signed up I was super stoked and feeling like I could figure this thing out “no problem”. I mean come on how hard could it be? You just sit and write… right? Well now the countdown is on – less than 2 weeks to go and I am drawing a complete blank, all that cocky enthusiasm is quickly dissipating; turning itself inside out. Every time I sit down and try to think about it, try to contemplate what I shall write, my mind goes blank, my mouth goes dry, I need a glass of water,  and suddenly I am overwhelmed by the surplus of mundane chores and duties I must complete right now… what the heck is that all about??

I always have all these ideas and thoughts swirling around in my head yet each time I sit down with the intent of capturing them for NaNo; ‘poof’ they evaporate into the stratosphere… it’s not just that my ideas keep fading away its also that I need an idea that will encompass a greater volume than a mere 500 – 1000 words… more like 50,000… 1,670-ish words per day that sounds relatively easy, yet the thought has become rather daunting.

I am thinking that my problem with finding my muse is that NaNo is completely open, there are no real restrictions. Apparently I can write in any genre, any style, about just about anything – as long as it is fictionalized; which makes deciding difficult. I can go in any direction I choose. Create any characters I can possibly imagine. Write in any style from poetic flowery prose to a first person narrative. I can choose to write a faerie tale, a historical fiction, or a supernatural murder mystery. Realistically my imagination is my only  limitation.

Who else out there is participating in NaNo this year? How are you tackling it? Are you a seasoned veteran, or like me a complete noob? Feel free to comment and let me know…