December 2, 2015

In Which I'm a Writer

In case y'all weren't aware, I'm not only a student, blogger, and book lover. I also write. My goal is to be a published author of YA fiction someday. And hopefully that day isn't terribly far away... Anyways, I digress. This semester, I took my first creative writing fiction class at my university, and I shared some of my pieces on Tumblr toward the end of the semester. I decided to share them here, too, for those of you who don't have Tumblr.

So I'm gonna start with a short piece I wrote during class when we got to write for a couple minutes at a time after each prompt. Our prof gave us a sentence and it had to start our stories. It's short because of the time limit, and I haven't given myself time to develop it further since we can't turn in any science fiction or fantasy stories for class. *sigh* That's been hard for me, since I'm writing a superhero novel.

Piece #1:

At night, we slip away to be our real selves. The masks we don aren’t masks at all, but part of us. When the moonlight hits me, I’m no longer a girl but a sleek tortoiseshell cat. In the next moment, one of my friends crosses the same slash of moonlight dappling the forest floor and he appears as a fox. The others follow close behind—a phoenix, a leopard, a cocker spaniel, a lioness, an owl, and a large mouse.
We dart through the trees. The fox yips, and the spaniel howls. It’s a haunting sound that reaches the villagers’ ears. They’ve made up legends for years about the strange pack that roams their forest. Little do they know it’s always been a group of teenagers.

This next piece was written during class during another prompt-athon. We all had to look through paint chips and use the name of one to inspire our story.

"Spiced Wine":

Fancy dresses flowed to the floor in smooth silky lines, chiffon ripples, and tulle layers. Tuxes with black or white ties escorted them around the room. The smells of innumerable perfumes and aftershaves permeated the air, along with pine, cinnamon, and sugar. Voices clattered against the columns and rose to the top of the rotunda. Heat and cold mingled, and the temperature was just right.
Goblets of spiced wine and plates of hors d’oeuvres circulated on trays. At the center of the room, like the sun with the planets revolving around it, stood a tree like no other. It stretched towards the rotunda. Tiny white lights twinkled amongst the branches and sparkled between ornaments of scarlet, gold, ivory, emerald, and navy. An avalanche of presents flooded out from the base. Spiky greenery and velvety ribbons lined the railings of the balconies and spiraled around the columns. The whole room was ablaze in lights except for the balconies, which remained shadowy. This was the Drosselmeyers’ annual Christmas ball.
Up on one of the small balconies overlooking the grand ballroom stood a girl, Clara. She was no more than twelve, which was still too young to attend the party below. But there were no rules against watching. So she paid attention, on behalf of her parents and grandfather. She noticed things they couldn’t.
She saw the mayor holding court in one sector of the round ballroom. He was middle-aged with a round belly and a ruddy face. He had arrived early as usual, and Clara and her little brother had been allowed to greet him. He had brought chocolates and presents for them—only the best for the children of the city’s greatest benefactors.
Her grandfather lingered close to the tree. He could see all from that spot, and he was likely supervising the servants. Every Drosselmeyer Christmas ball had run smoothly, and he wasn’t about to let that record be broken by one bumbling maid or a drunk guest. Still, he didn’t notice the things that Clara would.
Her parents still stood near the tall oak doors. A few guests trickled in every now and then, and her parents were the hosts of the evening. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, even though they couldn’t join in the festivities yet. Frederick stood close to Marie, and his arm was around her waist. She leaned into the curve of his body and watched him as he spoke. Clara was grateful her parents were even now very much in love.
Clara sensed someone watching her, and she startled. Her gaze fluttered around the room, trying to find the person who had spotted her among the shadows of her favorite balcony.
There. Across the way, on one of the other balconies.
It was a boy, about her age. He stood like a statue, stone-faced and silent. His arms were behind his back, and his posture was unfairly perfect. Clara met his gaze. They stared at each other for several minutes until the boy cracked the tiniest smile. Clara sniffed and turned away. Boys were so annoying.

She returned her focus to the ball. The dancing had begun now that all the guests had arrived. Gowns in shades of spiced wine, cranberries, champagne, and mint leaves whirled around the tree. The band played a light, jolly tune, and Clara couldn’t resist tapping her foot to the music. Later on, she would tell her grandfather and parents about the boy, the woman who followed the mayor the whole night, and the group of men who had exchanged money and other items several times. For, now though, she could enjoy the ball from afar.

And this piece was written during class as well but I finished it after to turn in. We spent that day working on setting, so our prompts were all photos and paintings.

Piece #2:

The street was like something out of one of the murder mystery novels Dee read—all shadows and litter, and condemned buildings. The tattoo parlor was the only business still in operation on this block—or at least open at nine p.m. on a Wednesday, and that was her destination.
The large woman at the desk looked up at the jangle of the bell. Her eyes were heavily outlined, she wore red lipstick, and she chomped on gum. Her skin was a worn tan, and Dee was fairly certain blonde was not the woman’s natural hair color.
“Um, hi,” Dee said. “I’m here to see Roman.”
The woman jerked her thumb over her shoulder. “You can head back there.”
The fluorescent lights overhead hummed and flickered as Dee stepped around the desk. A few steps more, and she was pushing the curtain aside. A curly-haired boy was sitting at a worktable. He was meticulously sketching something, pausing every few seconds to erase part of the drawing and then pencil the detail in more carefully.
“Hey,” Dee said after a few minutes.
Roman jumped. When he saw her, his eyes crinkled and his smile stretched across his face.
“You actually came,” he said with a laugh. “Harrison, Lakeisha, and I totally thought you were gonna chicken out.”
She spread her hands wide. “Well here I am.”
Roman grabbed his sketch and stood up. “Are you sure you really want to do this? It’s pretty permanent.”
Dee nodded vigorously. “I’m positive,” she replied.
Roman patted the chair by the workspace. “I’ll get Vincent,” he said. “Make yourself comfortable.”
Dee situated herself on the chair while her friend went into the backroom. She looked around and studied the tattoo parlor. Drawings upon drawings covered the walls. There were black and white sketches and full-color pictures—faces, scrolling quotes, funky words, maps, stars, birds, arrows. If someone had thought of it for body art, it was on the walls of Jonas’s Ink and Piercings.
The place was dead, which Dee didn’t think was unusual for nine at night. But then, what did she know about the tattoo business? Maybe business had been slow for weeks, and things weren’t looking good for Roman’s family. Before she could think on that any longer, Roman emerged from the backroom with his brother. Vincent had sleeve tattoos, which made him at least seem like he knew what he was doing. Dee hoped he wouldn’t mess this up.
“All right, whaddya want?” Vincent asked, once he was settled in his seat and his needles and ink at the ready.
She looked up at Roman who handed over the drawing. Vincent squinted at it and scratched his eyebrow.
“If you were a normal client, I wouldn’t judge, but this is really girly, Dee,” the scruffy guy said.
She shrugged. “I see nothing wrong with that.” She pointed at the drawing of two small primroses with the words I think I am finally clean curved below them. “I’d like it a little smaller than Roman drew it, and I’d like it right here.” Now she pointed to her right forearm.
Vincent shoved up his sleeves. “Settle in then, Miss Dee. This is gonna take a little while.”
She leaned back in the rickety chair and smiled up at Roman. He leaned his elbows on the table and got comfortable to watch.

I hope y'all enjoyed those! I may share more at a later date, I don't know. I have some that I submitted for workshop and portfolios that I'm especially proud of. Thanks for reading!


  1. I love all of these, but especially the second one. (Please tell me you're going to continue it? A Nutcracker retelling would be fabulous!)

    1. I'd like to! But it's not a priority at the moment (my superhero story is).


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