Hello, friends of Clarion! With just two weeks left of the Write-a-Thon, we have raised nearly $9,100 of our $15,000 goal. This week’s top ten fundraisers:
- Ferrett Steinmetz
- Victoria Griesdoorn
- Kari Maaren
- Amelia Bruce
- Liz Argall
- Curtis Chen
- Kelly Lagor
- Keffy Kehrli
- Nathan McDaniel
- Dallas Taylor
Week 5 Fundraising Challenge
Did you know that a total of $300 in donations would place you firmly on our Top 10 list? Any brand-new name that has not been on our list before, but manages to sneak onto the list for next week’s blog post, will be the recipient of a signed first-edition SF&F hardcover of your choice from Mysterious Galaxy Books and a signed copy of A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin.
Week 5 Writing Challenge
Feeling weary from your writing efforts so far? It may be time to take a brief break from your current project and germinate a new story idea. Take the following concepts, throw them together in your mind to percolate, and see how many of them you can cram into a story idea together (you needn’t use them all, but extra points if you do!). Then, if you dare, post a few words from the beginning, middle, or end of this story.
- A hunting dog
- Eternal youth
- A red star
- A wrist tattoo
- Cabbage soup
Have fun, and see you next week!
6 thoughts on “2011 Write-a-Thon, Week 5”
Arnie stood at point, staring into the trees. “Good boy, “ I said, noticing the dead pheasant under the bush ahead of us. As I hurried over to put it into the burlap sack, I felt a painful twinge from the wrist tattoo I had recently gotten. It burned and itched, a good sign I had been told. Arnie’s hunting dog face as well as a five-pointed red star were now permanently attached to me. My older brother Frank who had almost driven me to commit fraticide with his incessant pestering was responsible for the tattoo. He had gotten me drunk, taken me to the tattoo parlor, talking some nonsense about how getting a tattoo would insure eternal youth. Right. It hadn’t worked for Frank, I thought, picturing his wrinkled skin and the tattoos that marched up and down his arms. Beautiful scenes were now faded and distorted, looking like bruises that never healed.
I traced the star with my finger thinking about, “Red Star”, the 1908 book by Alexander Bogdanov I had read at the tender age of eighteen–the beginning of my love for science fiction. This story of a utopia on mars had started me on the path of writing. At age seventy I had completed over forty books, some better than others. I smiled thinking of the hours and hours of pleasure writing those stories had given me. It had turned me away from a life of crime. Frank had been in and out of jail so many times he called it his home away from home.
I whistled to Arnie. It was time to head home to the cabbage soup I had left simmering on the wood stove. Tomorrow I would prepare pheasant and share some with my canine friend. I danced a little jig thinking about how much I loved my cabin out here in the middle of the woods. I felt young and excited about the morrow. Maybe Frank was right about the eternal youth thing.
From hunting dog I got the myth of Diana, Eternal youth the story of Narcissus, fratricide Cain and Abel, etc… Hmm.
“Under cover of darkness Alson felt his way along the dew covered grass on hands and knees. He found what he sought in the same place where he’d left it. Nearby his brother snored peacefully, a deep, even rhythm that did not falter when Alson dropped the rock on his own foot and cursed.
The knife was wet with dew and he dried it with a layer of cabbage he’d pulled from his soup hours earlier. As he pulled back the tent flap he heard a low growl. “Ahnanay,” he said softly. He held his breath anxiously; had he pronounced it correctly? She’d only told him once and she never repeated herself. Her power over animals was absolute, and her requirement for helping him were his keys to eternal youth.
The hunting dog stirred and he felt something brush his arm. He let out his breath and regrouped. His brother’s heartbeat was two feet away, but he needed to be right above him to get the momentum to break the rib cage. He steading himself on shaking knees and held high the knife.
A flash of moonlight, the glare of red star. A warm hand gripped his wrist. He dropped the knife and fell back. Only when he felt the cold metal against his own flesh did he see his betrayer. ‘Damn the animal whisperer’, he cursed inside his head. ‘Her servant fell in love with him.’
“They say she killed her own twin brother in the womb,” said John, hunched over his meager bowl of cabbage soup in the flickering light of the campfire. “They say she sucked his power out of him right there. They say she can’t die.”
Ellen sighed. “They say a lot of things.” It was always like this with John, who believed every story he heard. She had once told him there were trees in the forest that walked and talked and occasionally got together for friendly poker games. He had been going on about that one for weeks.
“It’s true. I swear,” said John. “We shouldn’t be on her lands. They say sometimes you’re walking in her woods, right, and you see this little girl. And she looks just like any other little girl, so you ask her if she’s all right. And then you blink, and she’s gone.”
“Just eat your soup,” said Ellen.
“And sometimes,” said John, “you’ll meet her and think she’s just this ordinary young lady with a little black tattoo on her wrist, and you’ll talk with her for a bit and get all cosy, and just when you least expect it, the tattoo will grow teeth and eyes and jump right down your throat.”
“Just eat your soup,” said Ellen.
“And sometimes,” said John, “you don’t know she’s there at all. You think you’re away and clear; you think she hasn’t noticed you trespassing. But just as you make to sneak off her land, you hear the growl of a hunting dog, and you turn, and the last thing you see is a flash of claws and a slavering mouth.”
“Right,” said Ellen, “no more fairy tales for you. There’s no witch in this wood.”
The howl was closer than it had any right to be. It started low, then bubbled higher and higher, a rippling, wavering ululation of bowel-twisting terror that shattered the silence of the forest. John’s bowl of soup leapt half a foot in the air and tumbled into the fire. Ellen just blinked at the flames. There was no use in believing that sound was real. There was no such person as the witch.
Sorry…should have used line spaces instead of indentations. There ARE supposed to be paragraph breaks in there.
My story is so long, and most of the concepts are scattered in it. The part that I’ll post doesn’t have all of the concepts:
” They sped past the crowded streets. The air-con of the car was a bit on high, but it was warm inside because the afternoon sun was shining through the closed windows. Sitting on the soft seat at the back of the Toyota Vios, Shane looked at the blue wristband that was around his left wrist. It was thick, but it had no label on it. He pulled the rubber a bit to look at what was hidden beneath it. He had bought this wristband when he was a teenager, because he had to hide his wrist tattoo. The tattoo was a black snake that slithered around his wrist. Above his wrist was a tattoo of a red star, and below the snake were the words, “McFinalee Brotherhood.” He put this tattoo to remind himself to always be good to his brother all throughout his life.
He’d done his best to be a good brother to Stephen. He was even sacrificing his own career only for Stephen. Stephen had always seemed nice and innocent. Maybe the boy got influenced by the wrong people, or maybe he had just grown up to be different. Stephen had been given no responsibilities, that was why he had so much space for envy. Shane had sacrificed so much for his younger brother, and he could not give anymore, especially if Stephen would just use it against him.
A few meters ahead of the car was a public utility bus. Stephen was on a seat at the back of the bus, at the side where the door of the was. He was holding his blue wristband, looking at the wrist tattoo underneath. They had put identical tattoos on their left wrists when they were teens. They had always been close, and they vowed that they would be good to each other. They loved tattoos, but tattoos were forbidden in their family. They had to wear identical wristbands to conceal the wrist tattoos, pretending that they just liked wristbands.
The afternoon sun was shining on him through the open window of the bus, and the winds blew on his face. He just couldn’t understand Shane. What happened to the McFinalee Brotherhood? What happened to our promise? If you want to remove me from the foundation, why don’t just tell me to leave? Why did he humiliate Stephen like that? I have always trusted you, I even looked up to you. What was that for, Shane? Stephen kept asking in his head as he blinked tears away. He felt betrayed, and he was frustrated. It was Shane who needed a good talking to this time. Shane deserved to get Stephen’s revenge.”
Correction to my story: “Stephen was on a seat at the back of the bus, at the side where the door of the bus was.” “If you want to remove me from the foundation, why don’t you just tell me to leave?”