Posted in Blogging

10 Things I Like

Photo of cinderella fairy tale in Efteling
Photo of cinderella fairy tale in Efteling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As part of a writing exercise I’m listing 10 Things I Like, just so that you can have a chance to get to know me a little more. When I write or read, these are the things that settle in the back of my mind. The scent of cut grass will bring me instantly back to my childhood and remind me of my deceased father mowing the lawn. The thought of Lobsters and Chicken Barbeque makes me reflect on my younger days of growing up in Pepperell and attending the annual Fireman’s Muster.

I love dogs and wolves. I can’t stand not having a dog in my home. They are more than just four legs and fur that barks a lot. They mean security, friendship, and family. Birds of Prey like owls have an inner wisdom one can’t begin to fathom.

Finally, you can see, I’m a BIG – Walking Dead Fan. I love Game of Thrones just as much, except I’m not watching the HBO series, instead, I’m reading the books.

  1. Watching the Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, I love how the writers have built the characters through relationships and survival
  2. Game of Thrones is another great example of Character Building. Also a great example of World building.
  3. Fantasy and Historical Fiction – To me they both belong in the same category. When I think back in history, even though I know it was just a fairy tale, my thoughts wander to Cinderella and Red Riding Hood.
  4. Fresh cut grass or the smell of hay – neither gives me allergies, I would be miserable if it did.
  5. Dogs and wolves are companion pack animals. Packs are equal to family, which is why dogs are considered man’s and woman’s best friends.
  6. Owls and other birds of prey are symbolic – wise and powerful
  7. Thunderstorms and Rainbows – power and forgiveness
  8. Lobster Bakes with steamers and barbeque chicken is the ultimate cookout venue fare.
  9. Gazing at cloud covered mountains from a distance and wondering how long it would take to climb to the top and how far could one see in the distance.
  10. Walking on the beach at the Ocean is peaceful and pleasant for meditating.
Posted in Blogging

Why Do I Write

I write because…

There are stories to tell

Places to go

Things to do

People to meet

Experiences to be had

Events to share

A voice to be heard

Feelings to be felt

Worlds to be built

Fears to overcome

Battles to be fought

Spirits to be found

Lives to create

Romance to be found

 

Posted in Blogging, Making the Words Flow

How Many Words Does it Take to Make a Novel?

Have you ever wondered how many words it takes to make a novel?

I just picked three of my favorite books and did a simple count equation, added them all together and divided the sum by three. The average I came up with was 83421. This means to me that my stories are falling short of novel status. I need to learn more about my characters below their surfaces. It is time to start digging deeper.

I need to find out what their secrets are, what they fear and what they dream about. All these things make them tick and keeps them going.  A bunch of dominoes waiting to fall. If the right one falls, everything can fall apart for the hero or the heroine. How much should they lose before they take action?

Life is full of conflicts, even in historical stories. Back then it was constant war. Most people never lived beyond forty. With the biggest cause of death being killed in battle. The second cause of death was a disease. Then came starvation.

Getting inside a character’s head can be a bit scary. You’re about to experience the same thing the character is going through. Loss of family and homes, being alone in a world filled with constant battles to stay alive. Where is the safe haven?

These things are some of what I have avoided in the past when writing. Now, I’m about to embark on this new character encounter. Learning to see through their eyes all the stumbling blocks they will need to face. This must be one of the reasons some writers will write the end of the story first. That way they can remember that the story does have a potential to have a happy ending.

What does word counts mean to your writing?

Do you ever feel like you fall short of your goals when you write THE END?

Posted in Blogging, Short Story

Bear and a Biter

Flash Fiction 

by Linda Nelson

Jason’s hands shook while he tried to hold the screwdriver steady against the screw. He only had a few more hours to go before the sun would be up. It had been years since he last put a bike together. The darkness made it hard to see as he assembled it by the light of a flashlight.

He had to be quiet or they would hear him. That was the last thing he wanted. If they heard him, it could be the death of him. If only he had a better place to build this thing, like a garage, shed or some type of shelter. Instead he was outside, in the open, hidden only by trees and brush. They’d come too if they saw the light.

This bike was a lucky find for him. He’d been on foot for nearly a week when his car had run out of gas. That was when he and Carrie found themselves going different ways. She was now his dearly departed, yet she still followed him from a distance that he hoped to widen by miles.

All had been going well up until they came across what had been a roadblock on the highway. Unfortunately for the officers, their tactic didn’t work in their favor.  The dead had gotten them, eaten them or, just bitten them. So much for keeping the virus contained. Was there no safe haven left? Carrie had told him there had to be somewhere they could go, somewhere safe. But what if she were wrong?

He promised her he would keep looking. She opened the car door, saying how she needed to go pee. Figuring if she remained close to the car, nothing would happen to her. But she never saw the Biter two car lengths away. It grabbed onto her arm and pulled her from the car as she began to climb back inside, sinking its teeth into her arm.

There was nothing Jason could do for her. Of course, he was scared. He was scared of the Biter and now he was afraid of her. He couldn’t keep her in the car with him now that she was bitten. She would be one of them in a few hours. He couldn’t risk it. The Biter ripped her from the car and he stomped on the gas, leaving her behind. He could still hear her screams for help. That was two weeks and states ago. Since then he had to give up the car that ran out of gas and made it on foot.

He rarely slept. When he did, he tended to sleep in a tree, out of their reach.

This was the last screw he needed to tighten. A branch cracked close by. Jason stopped what he was doing, holding his breath, he waited and listened. A rasping sound would come from the Biters. He wasn’t sure if it were breathing or throat gurgles he had heard. But one could hear them coming, most times.

There was that crack of the branch again. Jason didn’t want to take any more chances. He pocketed the screwdriver and grabbed onto an overhead branch, pulling himself up. He didn’t stop there either. He kept climbing until he had some distance between himself and the ground. Here he would stay until daylight. Then he’d be able to see clearly in the distance and know if the Biters were close by.

One more crack, then the sound of a Biter coming close to the base of his tree. Maybe the Biter could smell him, but that was unlikely. Biters were walking rotting flesh. Nothing smelled as bad as them, except for the bear it stumbled across. Jason peered down from his branch and watched the showdown between the bear and the Biter. He wasn’t sure at first, but the bear did win, tearing the Biter to pieces with its claws, never once affected by Biter. Apparently a bear hide was pretty thick and effective armor.

Bear and a Biter – Copyright © August 26, 2015 by Linda Nelson

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I hope you enjoyed my little story. Writing about zombies is out of my comfort zone. They say that people need to get out of their norm from time to time to widen their horizons. If you can’t tell, I’m a Walking Dead Fan. I also fell in love with Fear the Walking Dead that aired last Sunday night. I love the shows because it’s not all about the zombies. It’s about survival and relationships and the writers have created well rounded characters.

If you did enjoy this story and you’re looking for more to sample before trying one of my many novellas, you can find Time Pieces: A Short Story Collection free on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Apple. Look under my above tab for books if you need the link to your favorite store.

ROW80:

I haven’t been working much on my work in progress. I’ve been messing with my blog again. And as you can see, playing with a bit of flash fiction. I did hit my word count today of 500 words +, so I guess I’m heading in the right direction and away from my Writers’ Block.

I don’t want to call it Writers’ Block. How about empty head syndrome. Time to fill the well and think up new ideas. My character in my work in progress has been behaving like a stalker. I don’t want that. So, it’s time to stop where she is at and make her take a big swallow and step out into the light. Something big has to happen to make her realize, its now or never and your never going to be able to turn back the clock to the way things once were. Get over it sweet heart and move on with your life. I don’t know what she’s waiting for? Me? Maybe – I like the unexpected. I have to catch this character off guard. It’s the way I act.

I will continue to ponder on how to motivate my character. Until then, I’ll keep on writing some thing. It might not be the work in progress, but it is something.

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Posted in Holidays

If I Could Dedicate a Moment in Time?

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July
English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I could dedicate a holiday to a family member, I would dedicate the Fourth of July to both my Dad and my Brother. My Dad passed away sixteen years ago in January. He had been a veteran of the Korean War even though he had never been deployed. Dad loved Fourth of July. Almost every year we went to the local parade in Pepperell.
My Brother, who I have not seen in a while, is a Navy Veteran. He too was patriotic.
Cookouts and Fireworks are this weekend’s themes. My children are grown, and the puppies don’t quite enjoy the Fireworks. Seems the sound hurts their ears. I’ve yet to find hearing protection for dogs.
An area town set off their fireworks last night. Both dogs were set to barking up a storm in response. It wasn’t until we took them outdoors to show them that they couldn’t see the show from the house, before they calmed down. When I lit a sparkler, Keelaa looked on only to become bored by the thing within a few minutes.
They are looking forward to the food, like most dogs. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad.

Happy Fourth of July – Stay Safe!