Saturday, June 13, 2020

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday to all writers and artists.  You don't have to be either but just enjoy our blog.  Get off the beaten track and try something different.  

As it is nearing a full year since Disqus dropped channels, this I hope has been a good change.  I plan on installing my next year for this blog and it could not be done without our contributors, our readers and more.If you want to see more of something on our blog, let us know.  

The goal is to open the creativity or restart yours when your inspiration has gone stagnant.  Got writer's block?  A creativity block?  We have a nice group here to lend their techniques to get out of the rut you are in.   Writing a journal?  An essay?  Let us help you.  Have a question on both fields of writing or art? All you have to do is ask and someone of expertise will answer.  

Since we are a virtual writing and art group you come as you are and maybe this is the time to start your new creation of art or literary works.    A huge thank you.  Remember there is always someone who will love your work.

Escape From The Fairy Plane (3)

His name was Hannerty, an eighteenth century chimney sweep who got here the usual way--seeing something he shouldn't have. In his case, falling asleep in a glade proved problematic. A fairy gathering under a full moon caused him to awaken, and the fairies couldn't be having that.

We sat near a burbling brook watching dragonflies dart among the rushes.

"It's funny, Ed." Hannerty plipped a pebble into the depths. "On Earth, fairies ride dragonflies. Here, they's the same size as us."

I had told him how they opened a portal to save me from a fatal fall. But once here, always here. "You've been here over two centuries. How do you pass the time?"

"One way is nature studies. Another is making notes on yon vision in red." He indicated the red fairy Chiella, who watched from a sun-dappled hillock. "I don't get too close, though."

"Chiella? I'm sorta scared of her myself. But hold on--what kind of notes are we talking about?"

"Sketches mostly."

I startled him by grabbing his collar. "You can draw?"

"Yes, mate."

Wheels were turning. "I'm more familiar with her peculiar talents: hypnosis and fairy music. I've seen her drop a giant with that cutesy, impossibly off-key looney tune. But she's also vain; loves to see herself in a pool or bright metal. Let's try something--I want you to sketch her in a  new dress. I'lI supply the details."

Hannerty got out his supplies and colored pencils, brought over by a man from the nineteenth century. He worked studiously for a time.

I looked it over. "Can the village ladies make this?" It was one I recalled from Wicca's collection, back when the undead horror show hostess dabbled in Doris Day and June Cleaver.

"I'm sure they can, guvnuh, but you can't be serious about taking this to her."

"Very serious, my man. I want you to show her the drawing to see how she reacts. I'm betting she'll imagine herself wearing it--in return for a little favor."

It took a lot of prodding, and I had to push him half the way there. Then we were close enough for him to work up some courage.

Chiella looked it over, loosed a string of fairy speak. I presented my case.

The other fairies--Chizora and Chianna--appeared in the distance rapidly approaching. I made my case again, and the trio linked hands, floating upward to open a triangle portal, which they planned to lower over me for safety reasons. Touching the boundaries would vaporize the affected part. I was looking down at Team Dan inside a tent. As the portal closed with a flash-bang, I crashed onto a carpet. Zena and Bonnie rushed to envelope me in a fragrant embrace.

"A guy could get used to this," I muttered beneath them.

"Man," Pete quipped. "Dan summoned one ugly fairy."

There was a somber aspect to the tale I told them. Hannerty declined to come along, preferring to return to England, though it was vastly different from the one he knew. "Wait'll I see those sprites again," I said.

Dan stood up and banked the brazier. "You'll be a hit at the outlaw tavern, Ed. They love a good yarn, even if they don't believe it. But the fact remains--you're famous, as the only guy who ever came back from the fairy dimension. There's a free meal and drinks in this."

As we piled out onto the snowy lane between peaks in the settlement, I reiterated: "Wait'll I see those sprites again."

Friday, June 12, 2020

Escape From The Fairy Plane (2)

A face slowly came in view above Ed. Orange hair, sad yet impish eyes, wide mouth. It couldn't be--

"Chizora!" And not the tiny waif from the ring. "Either I've shrunk or you've grown. Where's your hat?" These served as magic reservoirs on the physical plane. He sat up inside a tree house with a veined window. Vines snaked across the ceiling. A toad and a rabbit hopped about a red fiber throw rug. Ed's belt and sword lay atop a dresser, though he couldn't imagine what it held--they always wore the same outfit, unless they had copies. In Chizora's case, the gray dress was actually made of tiny blue and orange specks, which blended to gray at a distance.

"First order of business is to find out where I am. The guys must be frantic." The team's last sight of him had seen him plunging into the abyss of the Cloud Sea, whereupon Dan summoned the fairies to open a portal. Chizora was no help here, since fairy speak was so much cooing and babbling. She followed him to a quaint balcony.

Ed nearly fainted from vertigo. This was the topmost of three houses built upon each other at crazy angles, all growing form a massive stump. They had steep, red-tiled roofs over orange stone. The center one had a large wood deck sporting a clamshell fountain. At the moment, the red fairy Chiella flitted about it adding water, though Ed didn't see any kind of pail. "How's she doing that?"

Chizora couldn't answer, of course. She patted his chest to propel him toward the bed, where he was obliged to sit. From a cupboard she produced a wood bowl shaped like a walnut.

"Right. If I'm staying here, I gotta eat." But fairy food was another way to get a one-way ticket to fairyville.

He recalled some of the ingredients: hare's milk, fairy dew, bluebell petals, frog bubbles (whatever that was). Chizora was not to be denied. She dipped fingers in, then offered him the bowl.

"Okay, here goes." The stuff was bland at first, like baby cereal. Then the ingredients registered in a cascade of nutty and creamy textures. There was no earthly way to describe it. Yet Chizora thought it needed work. She corralled the toad and expressed a bubble from one nostril, which she deftly added to the mix. Ed suddenly realized what the rabbit was for.

"All righty then." He got up shakily and headed back to the balcony. "I''m really not hungry, Zora. I need to get down there and find out where I am." Dan could summon them once in twenty-four hours, but he'd make no headway over this. It was up to Ed. It must have taken all three to fly him up here. He began a careful climb down to the second cottage, where Chizora flew to await.

In the distance, a man in a top hat emerged from a forest and began making his way to them. Just now, the red fairy Chiella was flying in with a water ball. Fairies could do that, you know.

Chizora accepted it and offered it to Ed, who was clueless enough to hold out a hand. It collapsed instantly and dribbled through his fingers.


To accentuate the prank, Chizora brought upper wings around to bat  at his face.

"Looks like a lifetime of fun," Ed decided. At least until that man got here, and he'd get some information for planning his escape.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Escape From The Fairy Plane

It should have been the end of a tough mission. Team Dan hired out to retrieve an artifact from floating city B70, which hovered over the vast expanse of the Cloud Sea. As it had no exit teleport, we made use of glider suits stashed there by Red Claw amazons from Eolca, for the benefit of academy students. We'd have some explaining to do.

A dizzying glide by rusty fliers dumped us into a snowbank under frigid marble skies. After hiding the suits, we faced a long climb up to an outlaw settlement here in the southern dark realms. Hopefully we'd hire dragon transport back west.

Dan shrugged off his pack in a gust of swirling ice grit. "Gimme a hand, Ed." I held one end of the map while he scanned it. "Ironically, we're on the same latitude as Lunari." That being our island paradise. "But between there and here are those mammoth-jockey nomads at Erwis."

He probed deeper into the satchel. "Bonnie--I've been lugging around this encyclopedia? This is for survival gear!"

"You never know," huffed the blonde wizardress. "I might need a specialty spell out here."

The bro Pete chuckled. "Leave it to her to get her chops busted over a book."

"Let's get going," the sorceress Zena insisted. "I can feel that hot water now."

We detoured onto a slope near the shore when the skull mages erupted in our path. Zena blasted them with comet spells, and Bonnie hurled a pair over the edge. Dan and Pete charged in for some slicing and dicing. I got two before disaster hit: a mage raised his staff and cast the dreaded Death spell.

A moaning pall of black vapor enveloped me and tried to make off with my soul. The slippery powder saved me, only now I was sliding toward the shore. Zena shouted my name and slid toward me with arm outstretched. But over I went.

I heard Dan shout "Fairies!" as he conjured them from the ring. Three energy spears flashed past me. Nice try, Dan. E for effort. A floating squid reached tentacles for me, but I was falling too fast. A ledge resolved out of the mist, resting place of an ancient airship. The fairies linked hands and drew apart. A triangular door opened in time/space, and pink light wafted out. Were those blue trees?

I hurtled toward a meadow of burgundy grass, oriented so I'd hit it at the run. An explosion of coiled grass seeds marked my path as I plowed through the field. Quiet, serene place with fleecy clouds and a tinkling sound somewhere, borne on a perfumed breeze. So this is fairy land, I thought, blacking out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Characters or Cutouts?

This Tuesday's writing topic is one that writers use techniques to make their characters believable.  A good writer keeps themselves out of the story.  I wonder if this is true, as I think of the great artists who did self portraits.   In a way, we writers express ourselves in every fraction of our personalities and maybe use our alter egos to make our characters act out in a certain way.  
Let’s start out with general characters.  Major characters are complex.  I start out with a character sketch and list their fundamentals.   I have a mental picture of him/ her and know their height, bodily build, behaviors, traits, feelings and their beliefs and opinions.  I also write out phrases they might say according to their personality.  
Image result for characterisationMinor characters get a little bit, but if they are supportive to the major character I also have a sketch for them too. Of course if a character has magical abilities, I add that in the list.   

For me I want the characters to act as though they were in a movie.  They are constantly playing in my mind even when I am asleep.    My goal is to make that crossover as a female writer to especially make the men characters realistic. Perhaps that is my alter ego coming out with the masculinity of my makeup.  

If characters are cardboard cutouts, the reader can tell. What is your approach?  Can you recall other literature that the characters seemed like cardboard cutouts?   Perhaps a trashy romance novel but the plot was good.  

Image result for characterisation

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Fairy Sight

As we approach the last curtain call, not all of us go out with fond farewells. Some seek that mystical fountain of youth; some live in denial; others speak of freezing their heads for eventual attachment to a cyborg body.

A centenarian named George is about to discover those aren't the only options. Fear of the grave can be a powerful motivator, and George has had plenty of time to plan his escape from the Grim Reaper.

Enter  now an assisted living facility called the Paxton. Its oldest resident is about to enter. . . .well, you know the rest.

On the last day of his life, George set out on his motorized chair to see the witch. His Sunday paper lay ignored like others on this wing of the Paxton; it was all lies anyway. He took the elevator to the third floor, knowing Bruna was up at this early hour. He tooted his horn outside room 312, and motored inside when she called the invite.

Bruna occupied a recliner in the dim space, a silhouette against green drapes until his eyes adjusted. She turned down the TV volume. "Happy one hundred, birthday boy. I suppose you want a youth potion. As if I could--I can't even cure these swollen ankles." She rubbed at them above ruby-sequined slippers.

"I know how you got named Bruna," he began with a slick grin. "Your dad was hoping for a Bruno. Surprise!"

"Droll, George. You came all the way up here to remind me half the population is female?"

"No, no." George offered up a cottony old-man laugh. "I need a potion."

"Ah yes." Bruna kicked down the foot rest and hobbled to the bedroom.

George followed, careful of the Christmas tree she never took down. I'd only have to put it up again, she reasoned.

She bent with a groan and pulled a shoe box out from under the sofa bed. The view outside was all sunshine and birdsong at this early hour.

George inspected the contents when she plopped down beside the box. Oval stones called "magic eggs" supposedly warded off magic. A parchment healing spell worked by placing it on the affected body part. "The translocation spell," he decided. "How does that work? I keep forgetting."

"You make it like this." Bruna closed eyes in concentration. "Boil snow and oil with two different woods for the fire. Marinate in a sheep bladder for six weeks. Add charcoal until it dries out. Grind it to a powder and pour into a pouch. Lay it on an object that comes from your destination--a place you've been to before. Picture that place while you say the incant beneath the pouch." She studied him. "What did you have in mind?"

"I thought maybe the old homestead where I grew up."

"Doesn't work that way. You'll be there, all right, and see yourself as a kid. But you'll still be old, and nobody knows you from Adam."

"Well then, how about the fairy sight?"

She recited again. "Add rose water and marigold to oil, and mix until it clears. Add buds of hollyhock, marigold, thyme, hazel, and some grass from a fairy ring. Steep it in the sun for three days." She studied him again, more closely this time. "Same deal, George--if you go into the fairy plane, you'll still be old."

"But immortal--am I right?"

"Of course. Nobody ever dies there. But why do you think fairies are invisible? If they think you can see them, they'll take you into the fairy plane, and nobody ever comes back."

"Maybe I'll see you there some day, Bruna. Gonna miss ya."

Bruna made a wan smile as she opened a tin of yellow cream. "I can't make any promises about that, not unless you find a way back and tell me what it's like. Come here." She applied the eye salve.

"Say, this is soothing. But things are a tad blurry."

"It'll pass. Go down to the park. If I was a fairy, I'd be all over it, what with the squirrels, pools, fairy houses, flowers, and whatnot."

"I'll do that. Thanks a mil, Bruna!" He turned and motored out.

Minutes passed. "Aw heck." Bruna got behind her walker and prepared to follow, tucking the tin into a pocket. "I always wondered what fairies look like."