Sketchbook Memories #2

Here are a pair of fire dancing feet.  Most likely they belong to the nice not-elf lady from Sketchbook Memories #1, but many folk in that particular story partake in fire dancing.  Most don’t wear sandals to dance, though. They wear strange, pointed shoes that look a little (in the pictures…) like they are carved out of wood.  Sandals make more sense, I think. You’d burn through a lot of shoes, otherwise.

Fire Dancing Feet

The feet of one partaking in the art of fire dancing. Rather a dangerous pastime, really.

(Maww, I didn’t see when I took the picture the shadow splitting it in two.  Oh wells.  It’ll do)


Sketchbook Memories #1

I kept a few sketchbooks from when I was about 14 years old to around 17 or so. Nothing contained in them is astounding, but there’s not one image unrelated to some story idea – most from various epics, one or two from spur of the moment head narratives that will never exist on any page, solid or electronic, apart from where those few rough drawings reside.

I’ve used a few pictures from these books to illustrate past posts, but as they’re all story-related and 10 years later I’m much less self-conscious about my drawing ability, I thought it might be fun to share a few now and then.

First up, we have this nice elf-inspired lady (not actually an elf…), the vaguely Aragorn-esque figure from what I still consider to be my main work (I’ll get right on it …) that was begun when I was 14. She probably won’t actually have many piercings in that form and I’m not sure about her nose here, but I like her hair and her nice pointy ear. There’s a letter C on her necklace that you can’t see; it’s for Caitlyn.

Sketchbook Memories #1

Sketchbook Memories #1 – Elf-like lady who’s not really an elf with a sort of Aragorn-like role but, then again, not really. Buy the book … eventually

(And yes, I am just taking pictures of sketchbook pages with iDevices – I’m not one for scanning)

Face Salon Shears

And now, a randomly generated scene …

Nouns: lentil, salon, swimming, chameleon, pile, trap, limit

Adjectives: absorbed, befitting, hallowed, better, thinkable

Verbs: enter, propose, rectify

Adverb: exultantly


It was on tentative, creeping toes that the brothers did what was barely thinkable to the other boys on their block—what remained barely thinkable to poor Ronan:  they cracked its broken back door and entered Bellinger’s salon.

They had never been allowed inside, barely been allowed even to peer inside the large square front windows. No child had.

“That stuff’s not for kids,” their mother explained each time she returned, poking her face, her generally critical fingers caressing with such admiration.

The darkened salon appeared empty. Damon stared about him. The walls were stacked tidily with tools and books. A little wheeled cart nearby was loaded with ointments, tweezers, needles, and scissors to be whizzed around the shining floor to any of the numerous mirrors. Apart from the strong smell of disinfectant, the air was scented with curried lentil soup. It drifted from the upper level. Bellinger must be there.

Ronan was understandably nervous. “This is hallowed ground to him,” he reminded his absorbed brother in a mutter. “The place he practises his craft. If he ever was to catch us here …”

His eyes jumped beyond his will, drawn to movement. But it was only a trio of GM goldfish swimming in their aquarium, near fluttering behind the glass with their outsized fins and massive bobble cheeks.

“And the man is a chameleon,” Ronan added when Damon didn’t reply, now engrossed with, of all things, a small rubbish bin. Ronan saw some blobby, yellowed substance spattered on its rim. A shred of flesh-coloured tissue – he didn’t want to think what – flopped over the edge, as well. Why were all the adults obsessed with this place? “Literally, Damon. And you’ve heard Lon’s stories – “

Along with his brother’s pride, Ronan cursed Lon long and lewdly in his mind. It was that smart-aleck that had proposed Damon take up this absurd quest in the first place.

“ –Bellinger likes nothing better than to trap kids that sneak in here. He needs faces to practice on, and refine his craft.”

“Pile of rotten mincemeat,” Damon at last spoke, a confident grin breaking through the general awe of what they’d done.

“I don’t care if it’s a pile of rotten mincemeat,” Ronan whispered harshly. “Hurry and pick something – nothing he’ll notice is gone. We have a time limit, don’t forget. He’ll be finished his evening meal any moment.”

Despite his brother’s urgency, Damon considered his surrounds lazily, drawing out his time in that forbidden salon and relishing each moment, on the lookout for their proof of entry.

“What prize is befitting … ahh, here we are! These ought to convince Lon.”

Damon chose a small set of bone shears and lifted them exultantly into the air.

“Fine,” Ronan said tersely, glancing over each of his shoulders, fine hair prickling sharply along his arms. “Let’s get of here.”

Prize held high, Damon’s jubilant smile melted into a perfectly round O of surprise, muting his intended reply. His arms dropped.

Bellinger, thin as straw and entirely unwrinkled though decades curved his spine and shoulders, stood directly behind Ronan.  He wore a face that Damon, through his icy shock, was sure had once belonged to the florist around the corner.

Ronan stood perfectly still.  He felt the looming presence behind him, and though he dared not look, knew who it must be.

Damon eyes remained locked with Bellinger’s – that lightning violet-blue wasn’t a shade he offered in the catalogue the brothers had leafed through – for several long, tense seconds. Only when he blinked did Damon think of the bone shears he’d taken, cold in his tight grip.

Perhaps he had time to rectify that proud theft before they discovered Lon’s story – every word of it – was true.

Personal Fails and More General Internet Ones

Just when I’ve written that my blogging calendar’s looking all bare, I miss a day. Terrible reason, too. Came home from choir yesterday with every intention of blogging something – hadn’t quite decided what, yet – but instead wound up catching up on the two episodes of The Hour that I missed while in Adelaide. And today … I’m using my 3G. Internet’s been out since late yesterday night. So, I suppose even had I gotten around to blogging last night, I might not have been able to.

Argh, I generally avoid this at all costs. This is the third time I’ve started this post – the iDevice has been having serious disagreements with WordPress. Not the best way to blog … but I’ll make do. I hate the term first world problems, but …

Not a great deal exciting to report, anyway. Send out a few query letters to agents. Editing the NaNoWriMo novel. Working on Behind Glass, which I was going to post today when the Internet came back, only it didn’t. Contemplating an older story that’s next in line once I finish up everything I’m working on now. Should probably be drafting the next Treading Twisted Lines and writing the last six or so chapters of Tom, but may wait until I’m done seeing to the NaNoWriMo creation. The story isn’t as terrible as I was afraid it would sound when I read it again, but still needs a fair amount of adjustment. About a third of the way through, now.

So ends another highly uninformative, not very useful post. Sorry about that. Should probably start blogging about something I know heaps about and could actually be useful for others. Sadly, though, the thing I know the most about is my own writing, just as it was when I started this blog. And I can’t even give good advice on writing. Sorry, again.

Blog content’s probably not going to change any time soon. If it does, though, you’ll probably be the first to know.

Television Plays Re-runs Like Stepping On Necks

I think it was the day before yesterday that I woke up with the tail-end of some pretty intense NREM sleep thoughts still running rings through my head. Repeating them a few times as I blearily entered the day, unsure whether they were important or not (as in, whether they were potentially related to a story) and unwilling to lose them in case they were, it was only as I came completely awake that I realised these words made pretty much no sense whatsoever. Not so unusual for sleep thoughts, I’m sure, whether they’re REM or NREM. Still, remembering them as I did has me trying to reason them out.

So, this thought, these words, were as follows:

The television played re-runs like stepping on necks.

At least, I think it was stepping on necks. Might have been chopping off heads, but I don’t think it was quite that violent.

So, now I’m trying to force meaning on this poor nonsensical simile-thing, something that was probably never meant to have meaning in the first place. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1 – That television plays too many re-runs, and this is likened to someone having their neck stood on because the sheer number of times they’ve seen the show is painful

2 – That television often plays re-runs, and this is likened to someone having their neck stood on because the shows that are being re-run are so terrible they were painful to watch the first time, let alone again and again

3 – That it’s painful when only re-runs are being played on television, and there are no good, new, original shows being produced

4 – That everybody steps on so many necks – as in get on others’ nerves? – so often that this phenomenon can be compared to television that plays nothing but re-runs

5 – A huge number of re-runs are being played on television, and someone (a criminal or psychopath, presumably) has stepped on so many necks/injured/killed so many people in their career that they can be likened to these never-ending re-runs

I’m not sure any of these make any real sense. Maybe if there’d been a few more words included in the thought, perhaps “the television played re-runs like insert person’s name or pronoun here steps on necks,” meaning might be easier to conjure. However, I’m fairly sure it’s not important. Not related to any stories, definitely not a simile I was trying to create before going to sleep.

So. Television plays re-runs like stepping on necks. Any thoughts?

Strangers, Storms, and Scars – Part 3

Nadia couldn’t see what Sienna did, and shot her a confused look as Sienna stared at the boy’s scar, speechless. ‘If you want her to let go,’ Sienna pulled herself together and instructed roughly, ‘you have to promise you won’t scream, and you won’t run.’

The boy breathed hard through his nose, frightened, frozen in Nadia’s grip. He made no form of response.

‘Well?’ Sienna demanded, eyes unwillingly drawn back to his neck every few moments.

He gave the barest of nods, the only movement he could manage, ravaged throat pulled taut.
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