The Forest

Spiraling paths, sloping with brush

The tangling weeds, green and lush

In the woods, a bounding hare

Stops and twitches with a keen stare

The crackle and swish of a stream

The sun’s shattering gallant beams

A bristling shiver stirs the leaves

Branches folded in lacy weaves

A sharp arrow, arching, whistles

Through the trees and purple thistles

A wolf falls to the ground to die

Above the forest, a blue sky

 

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Weird Things Fiction Writers Do

Writing fiction take a lot of imagination. It takes the ability to create a realistic world, realistic characters out of only words. Consequently, fiction writers are all crazy or in the process of losing their minds. We do a lot of weird things. Here are a few:

  1. We talk to ourselves. Dialogue has to be perfect, and what’s a better way to tell if it is than to read it out loud? It gets even weirder when we try out different voices for the characters.
  2. We narrate our lives. Have you ever been doing something like making a sandwich and heard this voice in your head? A voice that’s familiar. It’s your own. You’re in your own story, and that sandwich is really important to the plot. Sometimes it happens when I’m just walking on the sidewalk or taking a shower. Narrating your life can give you some untraditional writing practice, and I guess it’s fun.
  3. We watch people. We are looking for details that we missed before. If you are trying to write something realistic, the best way to do this is to see what is real. We watch to see how people interact, what facial expressions they make, or we are trying to find ideas for a new character.

All of these practices are necessary to creating awesome fiction. Also, there are probably a bunch of other strange things that writers do that I haven’t mentioned. Please comment, and thanks for reading!

River Realm by Robert M Richburg

So, my father just released his newest novel, River Realm. It is set in Medieval times and follows the life of Aldrick, a young man of small beginnings.

This is the official description: A story told by a jester to a dying king. The story he tells takes place along a river that divides two kingdoms. The realities of the harsh frontier shape Aldrick into the man he will become. With peasants, serfs, gypsies, and knights, River Realm brings to the fore the sufferings of life and the grandest rewards won by hard work and perseverance.

We worked hard to create a book trailer just as epic as the novel. Here is the link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG5PTfYV0N8

Please take some time to watch it and consider getting this historical fiction novel. By the way, River Realm received five stars from Readers’ Favorite, which is pretty cool!

Thanks for reading!

 

Courage Lost: My Greatest Fears 2

So, this is the ending to my other post. If you haven’t read that one, then I suggest you do.

A single hollow knock sounded at the front door and resonated throughout the silent, shadowed house. I pulled my body into a stiff crouch behind the dining room wall, bathing in the safety of the chandelier above. The ghost with the razor teeth and the bony fingers was nowhere to be seen. I was alone again, stifling my breaths behind one hand and crossing my fingers with the other. Please be my family, I begged. I knew it wasn’t. They didn’t have to knock. They could get in if they wanted.

There was a loud bang at the door and then another. It sounded like someone trying to hammer a nail into a wall with bad aim. Then, there was a solid thud, a body, not just a fist. Slowly, ever so slowly, the knocking spread. It was everywhere. In the living room, the ceiling, the walls. The house was shivering from the pressure. A pale hand slapped against the dining room window, and I nearly screamed. The white fingers clawing at the window were covered in thick, red blood that smeared on the glass. Bile rose in my throat, and my head swam with words: run, scream, hide. Still, I didn’t move from my crouch.

Soon, other human parts were pressing against the dining room window: giant, hollow eyes; squirming, bloody guts; red, scabby stumps; head without bodies. I wanted to close my eyes, to look away from the horrific sight in front of me, but I was frozen still. A high-pitched sound rang in my ears, and I realized that I was screaming, a sound that was strangely foreign to me. A pale fist broke through the dining room window, covered in a several crimson cuts. They were going to get in. I had to defend myself.

I raced for the kitchen, flipping as many light switches on as I could. The window in the kitchen had a dead-looking face pressed against it. It was maimed, and the nose missing. All that was left were two dark holes were the nose should have been. It bared inhuman razor teeth at me that reminded me of the ghost girl. She wasn’t so scary anymore. I pulled out a drawer filled with knives and found one that fit nicely in my hand. I could do some damage with it.

My plan was to get out of the house and make a run for it. I would have to fight off some of those monsters, but the knife was all I needed. I ran to the front door, trying to ignore the limbs and the pale human-like things and the jamming, clawing fingers in the windows. The door was half smashed in. A pallid humanoid was still slamming against it. Spit dripped from its torn mouth. It stopped for a moment to look at me with hungry eyes, then threw itself at the door again. The door fell in. I had to fight or die.

It charged towards me, reaching out, starved and wild, baring its bladed teeth. I faltered then jammed the kitchen knife into its neck. It let out a savage howl but kept grappling at me.  It was uncoordinated, though, and I had an easy advantage. I pulled the knife out of its neck and pierced both of its bleeding eye sockets, blinding the tormented beast. After kicking its legs out from underneath it, I raced for the door. Strangely there was nothing else waiting for me outside. I was free, but I needed to find my family. What if they had been attacked by the pale monsters, too?

The night was not silent, though. A thick rumble filled the small town, a whooshing, splintering rumble. I turned my head, and saw that the dark, moonlit horizon was completely veiled by one monumental wall of water. My stomach dropped with pure terror. The pale monsters squirmed and wriggled away from the windows, fleeing. Run. Run. My legs were pumping as I sprinted through the empty streets. Cats yowled in fear. I turned my head for a second to see that the water had swallowed the majority of Richmond, including the tall bell tower that stood on Main Street. It would bury me in seconds.

My foot caught on an indention in the street, and I fell forward, scraping the skin off my hands. My palms burned, but I pushed myself up to my feet, and swallowed my last breath of air as the mammoth wave fell upon me. The water was everywhere. In my ears. Nose. Eyes. Choking. Suffocating. Stealing the air from my lungs and filling them with cold. It felt as though a block of ice had landed inside me, but somehow I was on fire. I pumped my arms and legs, surging towards the top of the wave, but it kept rolling and pushing and squeezing, until I had no oxygen to move. No struggle to give.

I drowned to death that night and woke to find myself enveloped by the warmth of Summer, with air filling my lungs instead of icy water. My sisters were still in their beds, but they were stirring. I was more grateful than ever for another day of life to spend with my family.

Hope you enjoyed my nightmare story. Please comment and like. Thank you for reading!

 

 

Courage Lost: My Greatest Fears

I combined all of my greatest fears into one really scary story…

Night swept over my small Kentucky town like an inky black sheet, staining the streets with darkness. Crickets chirped outside my bedroom window, singing to the moon. Even though it was 90 degrees outside, I was wrapped in a quilt and two sheets. I could hear the sound of my sisters breathing. In. Out. In. Out. This was my lullaby. I wrapped the blankets around me, hoping to keep my nightmare teeth from nibbling on my skin. They didn’t really have faces. They were only made of blade-like teeth and bony hands. I was especially worried about my toes. I imagined their twig fingers gripping my ankles, their too cold to be alive touch. I imagined their teeth grating through the flesh of my feet, tearing at my nails and ripping them off. I imagined the bloody stumps that would be left. My toes tunneled deep into the cocoon that I’d made.

I lay in bed, staring at the shadows that crept along the walls of my bedroom, listening to my sisters sleeping and the low rumble of passing cars. I hoped to fall into slumber soon, to dream about my crazy nighttime worlds, but as my eyes fell upon the huge, oval mirror across the room, my breath caught. Any idea of sleep abandoned me, as I found a pair of eyes staring back at me. The eyes belonged to an empty face, a mere shadow, an outline of a person. It looked like a girl, young, with delicate lips that lifted into a haunting smile. A shudder ran through me and my limbs stilled. Don’t move. Don’t breathe. I slammed my eyes shut, hoping that the face would slip back into the dark, back into the walls. It was my imagination running wild, running through haunted houses and shiver worthy nightmares, beckoning the monsters to come and play. Go to sleep, I told myself. It’s not real. She’s not real.

I listened for the sound of my sisters breathing, searching for comfort in the soft whisper of air leaving their lungs, but heard only silence echoing through the room. I peeked at my sister’s bed, hoping to see her fast asleep, but she wasn’t there. Her bed was empty except for a tangle of white sheets. My other sisters were gone as well. They were here only moments ago, asleep and breathing the same as me. I would have heard them move. The floor would have whined. Their feet would have thumped on the ground. Panic hit me. Where were they? Why weren’t they here? They should have been there. They should have been dreaming in their beds. Did I fall asleep? I couldn’t have. I was awake the whole time.

The girl’s face was still in the oval mirror. This time, she was full on grinning at me, baring razor teeth that hardly looked human. I didn’t know her, this strange ghostly girl, but I knew those teeth from my nightmares. Those teeth had decimated my feet. A terrifying though hit me. She was going to eat me. Alive. My heart thrummed in my ears, louder than ever. No, this was a nightmare. This wasn’t real. But it was. I was awake. I could feel the heat of Summer on my skin. I couldn’t move as she reached for me with the same skeletal fingers I had imagined wrapped around my ankles.

Suddenly, the adrenaline kicked in, and my legs kicked the quilt off. I climbed over the edge of my bunk bed, wincing as my feet slammed against the hard wood floor. Everything inside of me was alive and screaming at the top of its lungs. I raced out of my bedroom, tripping down the back stairs and wondering at the emptiness of the house. The only sound I could hear was my feet, drumming on the floor. Alone. I was going to die alone. I reached the dining room and sprinted for the light switch. The light would save me. Nothing bad happened when the light was on. I felt a sharp pain in my side as I rammed into the corner of our solid dining room table. I recovered quickly, slapping my hand against the wall desperately where the light switch was located. As soon as I found the light switch, I flipped it on. Nothing was behind me, but I felt strangely haunted, as though eyes were watching me from everywhere, imagining how my flesh would taste. I stood with my back pressed against a wall, so that nothing could take me by surprise from behind. My breaths were ragged from sprinting. I closed my eyes for the smallest of seconds, wishing for my nightmare to end.

This will be continued soon. It’s going to get a lot worse and lot crazier. Hope you’ve enjoyed the insides of my paranoid mind!

Writing for Yourself

Do you ever worry about what others think about your writing? Do you doubt your skills? Do you read through your work and wonder why you ever felt like you were putting any effort in? Writing takes effort. It takes creativity. It takes heart and soul and every other little human aspect that you have. To be successful, to be an amazing writer, you need to be yourself. Respect that you are a changing writer. Respect that you are growing, whether it is slow or fast. Respect that every word you put down is from your mind, even if you are influenced by society. You, and only you, set the bar for quality.

Here are some reasons why you will be a better and happier writer if you write for yourself:

  1. If you love what you are writing, it will show in your work. It will be of a higher quality, and readers will feel your love. It’s the same with cooking. If you love cooking the food, it will taste better.
  2. You only need you for motivation. You don’t have to wait for the comments to come pouring in. You don’t have to show your writing to anyone. It’s yours and no one else’s.
  3. You will write more often if your work is entertaining to you, and, because you spend more time writing, you will get more practice. More practice leads to improvement.

Remember this: you are a far better writer than a computer. As a human, your words are utterly raw and alive, something that no computer can offer. Your passion, your emotion, and your creativity is the lifeblood of whatever you write. Be human. Be yourself.

 

Why Being a Procrastinator is Detrimental for Writers

I am writing this because I gave up. I procrastinated and procrastinated and procrastinated for weeks. I feel guilty now and like I’ve lost something important to me. I was doing great. I had 10,000 words in around a week on my story. I posted almost every day on my blog, even though my posts weren’t the highest quality. Then, I just stopped, and I couldn’t bring myself to start again.

To be called a writer, one has to actually write. My writing is far from professional, but I’d like that title: writer. When I think of it, it has a sort of dreamy tone to it, and I have this mental sigh in the background. Sure, it’s a little weird. Isn’t everything?

Large gaps between writing can be detrimental for the development of your work. Unless you are constantly thinking about your story, having huge breaks in writing can make you forget what you were writing about. Plans can be lost in those random back streets of your brain. Worst of all, you can lose interest in the story you’re working on. Gasp! I’d love to say that I have lost no interest whatsoever in my story, but I’d definitely be lying. I will bite my tongue and pretend that I didn’t mention my story, and I can continue telling you how awful it is to be a procrastinator.

Everything moves quickly in the literary world. Every second, something happens. If you are out of your game, you could easily miss out on some of the most valuable moments. Advanced writers who are actually publishing their books have to move fast to get the word out. Successful book marketing is all about the timing. As a highly professional and  experienced procrastinator, I would definitely suck at getting the word out about my book. It would probably be weeks before I would mention it. The timing would be ruined, and I would eventually be named a failure.

Writers need practice. It’s really the only way to get better. Not writing for weeks is like jumping off a moving train headed to success. Wow. So, here I am. The majority of my bones are probably broken. Now, I’m trying to get back on a moving train, which is several times harder than buying a ticket and taking a seat. Writing works the same way. It’s indefinitely harder to start writing after weeks of not writing than to start writing at the beginning of it all. So, procrastinators who stop and start and stop and start will probably have a lot of trouble getting in decent writing experience.

Schedules are important for authors and beginner writers alike. As a procrastinator, no matter how many beautifully crafted schedules I make, I always push things to later dates. It starts with 5 minutes, then an hour, then tomorrow, then next week, and who knows when I will really do it.

Overall, procrastinating is just bad for me. It doesn’t help me achieve anything. It doesn’t help me persevere. Success is about both of these things in conjunction. They are the products of hard work. From this day forward, since I hope to be a successful writer, I will fight the urges to procrastinate. No longer will I sweep my responsibilities under the rug. I encourage you to do the same if you find yourself regularly procrastinating. I wish you luck on your journey to success and hope that you never find yourself chasing that train.

The Problem with Smart Characters

Currently, I am writing a novel in which one of the lead characters is a supposed genius. See, I appreciate knowing everything about my characters and what they are thinking at all times. The problem is that I couldn’t quite possibly understand anything that my prodigy character is thinking. His brain is a much too brilliant thing for me to ever be able to comprehend, even if I consider myself intelligent. Because of this, I cannot narrate him in first person, no matter how much I want to. My solution is to keep him as a main character but leave his complex thoughts to himself. I’m sure that he wouldn’t like me revealing his secrets to the world anyway.

As a reader, I understand what it’s like to be completely indisposed with “genius” characters. A lot of times, I’m just not convinced that the highly intelligent character is at all smarter than any of his/her peers. Of course, the majority of the genius characters that I am unhappy with aren’t needed to be intelligent. There is no purpose for their super-powered brains. I’m hoping that if I have a purpose for my character, everything will work out.

How do you write characters that are smarter than you? What do you think about “genius” characters? Be sure to comment, and thank you very much for taking the time to read this!

Review of The Beast of Weissburg

The Beast of Weissburg by Emma Fox is a fairytale-like fantasy story. It follows the life of a determined, yet out of place, girl named Anna. Anna lives on and tends to a farm with her uncle. They reside in peaceful Dinkelbaum, but the beast has returned to Weissburg, and there is trouble in the kingdom. Anna meets a young man, Warren, in the mysterious Grünwald forest. He is even more mysterious than the forest, but she is fascinated with him and undaunted by his secrets. Anna uncovers the truth about the beast and eventually saves the kingdom of Weissburg.

The Beast of Weissburg is a fresh story that is a contender with the classic fairytales like Snow White and Cinderella. Emma Fox gives Anna, the princess of the story, an inner beauty that drives her to defeat the evil that plagues her home. Dinkelbaum and the Grünwald forest come alive in the Beast of Weissburg. The setting is staggeringly beautiful and perfectly depicted by Emma Fox as she gives it that life. The Beast of Weissburg captured my heart with both its intricate details and charming characters. I enjoyed every part of Emma Fox’s magnificent novel. I encourage everyone to read it and be blown away by how artistically it is written.

You can find out more about Emma Fox, the talented author of The Beast of Weissburg, here.

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