Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Rest Is Yet Unwritten

It's Wednesday, and I don't have a blooming thing to post.

That is not to say I have not done any writing in the last three weeks.... oh heavens, yes! I have written. I've got oodles--scads of words!

But my creative psyche is one giant pinball game with an endless array of ramps, slides, and bumpers... So while, yes, I have all these great ideas unfolding one right on top of the other... I am unable to make cohesive progress in any one of them...

So, just for the fun of it... I'm going to post a snippet from each of the projects I'm working on, both the novels and the fanfictions! Hope you enjoy them!

The Water-Man 
(Avalible on Wattpad)
The maid began stacking dishes in the large sink as she waited for the large pot of water on the stove to boil. One of the bowls still had scraps in it from the preparation of the vegetables. Mollie hurried to the Dutch-style door at the back.

She nearly dropped the mess back on her own apron when two baleful silver eyes stared at her from the darkness.

"Oh, bless me!" She gasped. She gripped the bowl in her hands and smiled at the newcomer. "Well, if it isn't the Major! Come in, my lad. I have scraps for you!" So saying, she unlocked the door to permit entrance to a large black dog, which she welcomed with a pat on the head and a rub behind the ears. Major only sniffed at the bowl in her hands. Mollie chuckled and laid it on the floor before him. "You're a silly one, you are," she mused. "Doesn't Mr. Buxton feed you enough?"

The water began to hiss and boil, so Mollie left the dog in relative comfort and retrieved her pot of washing water.

"Mollie, where is the--oh gracious!"

Mollie whirled around as Pearl cried out, but she was only staring at Major, who regarded her with something like curiosity.

Mollie laughed. "Oh, come off, Pearl; it's only Major, from the Buxtons' house across the lane. He never bothers anyone, just comes over for scraps when he knows there's good ones to be had!" She offered the dog a bit of meat trimmed from the pig, which Major accepted gladly. "All right then, you silly cove, be off!" She gave the hound a slight push toward the door and turned back to Pearl. The fair-skinned, golden-haired maid remained as she was, plastered on the counter.

"You were looking for something?" Mollie reminded her.

Pearl blinked as Major disappeared into the night. "Hm? Oh yes, Lady Dalton would like some of the powdered confectioner's sugar for the fruit."

Mollie grabbed the round bowl from the cupboard. "Better get the sieve, too," she advised.

"Thank you," said Pearl, and dashed upstairs again.

Silence reigned in the kitchen once more. Mollie heard a shuffling sound on the stoop and smiled to herself. Turning around, she prepared to cajole the dog.

"Well, Major, back again-"

She froze.

Two dark faces leered at her.

"Oy, Tycho, wot 'ave we here?" One rumbled.

The Commander's Courage  
(Book 2 of the Writer's Tale series, based on the story I wrote)

I stared out the window at the expanse of star-speckled night sky that surrounded the ship. But it wasn't the stars that got my attention. As I watched, large, clumpy grey shapes zipped back and forth across the expanse, releasing colored bolts that flashed among the white stars.
Not only was I on an enormous space cruiser... It was also the command ship in the midst of an active battlefield!
A jolt at my ankle kept me from staring much longer.
"Come along, madam," Cher coaxed.
I could not stop picturing the floating ships. Something about the shapes seemed familiar...

"Oh!" I gasped. "Now I get—" The words died in my mouth as I nearly blew my whole secret right there to Cher. The android stared at me, servos whirring as her eyelids blinked. I faced forward again. "Never mind," I said quickly.
"Come along," Cher repeated.

I was glad the android only said one thing, because it was easier to keep my mouth shut, even though my mind spun at a million miles per hour in my head. I knew exactly where I was this time!

Several years ago, I was hunting for a new idea to write about, and somebody recommended a short-lived TV series they could only describe as a "space western." I had no idea what that meant, but I was always interested in sci-fi, and besides, I recognized a couple of actors on it. I watched the show and loved it so much that I had started creating my own version of it (also combining heavily with some other sci-fi movies I watched and books I read) in story form. I had a contingent of diverse characters that I threw onto an enormous spaceship just like this one, setting them to wandering the halls and finding different rooms, figuring out how the alien systems worked, and just talking with one another...
At which point the story fizzled and died because I couldn't think of any idea cool enough to match the things other people had already done.

I was practically floating with excitement as we ascended the ramp toward the flight deck and the command bridge. It was like coming back from a long absence and finding out where the story had gone without me.

(A Supernatural fanfic) 

I nearly fell off the bed when the knock sounded at the door. I slowly hobbled over there, making sure to do exactly as Sam had said, shoving the twenty dollars at him and grabbing the pizza and slamming the door all at once. It smelled so good that I ate an entire piece before I remembered that I had been spending most of my life eating hospice food because no one thought I cared. And I didn't. But I wasn't in hospice anymore. I was in a seedy motel room, wolfing down a ten-inch pizza, waiting for two near-perfect strangers to return with clothes and hair dye to disguise my appearance so that we could abandon my sister...
At the thought of her, my stomach clenched and I dropped the pizza slice in my hand as my head grew light and I nearly threw up. What must she be going through right now? I had no idea how far the boys had driven after we pulled away from the hospital. The memory of her, laying there on the hospice floor in a dead faint—what would she do when she awoke? What had the brothers told her about themselves? Would she trust that I was in good hands? Would she go to the police? Was I now a fugitive—or a victim? I didn't know where I was, I didn't know how to contact my sister, to let her know I was alive—I was stranded, trapped.
The word came out of my mouth before I realized it. Mary was back, running through my mind like she had at first. She did not look at me, though. She must have heard my anxious thoughts.
"I'm not trapped!" She murmured. "I can't be trapped. I am perfectly safe."
"But I can't go anywhere," I said.
She turned my head to look around the room. "Where are the boys?"
"They left to go to the store—"
"Without me?" Her presence spread, slowly edging me to the back of my own psyche. "They can't do that! It's not safe—"
We took a step forward and ended up somewhere else entirely.

(A Supernatural fanfic)

"Well, this has been a complete waste of time!" Dean grumbled sarcastically.

"We'll be all right," said Clara, "there's no need to panic."

"I'm not panicking!" Dean snapped, turning away. Two paces later, he faced Clara and his brother again. "Okay yeah, I'm panicking a little—are you freaking kidding me? We just freaking TIME TRAVELED!"

"Dean," Sam caught his brother's shoulder. "We can figure this out."
Dean shrugged off the hand and stalked away. "Yeah, well we'd better!"

Sam caught a worried expression on Clara's face. "What is it?" He asked.

"Another reason the TARDIS might have left," she began slowly, "is that it detected danger."

"Danger?" Sam didn't like the chill that came with that word. "Like what kind of danger?"

"The energy the TARDIS possesses, the reason it's able to travel inter-dimensionally, is—"

"Lemme guess," Sam winced, "quantum energy?"

Clara nodded, "That's why they've been after the Doctor and the TARDIS for years. He's practically immortal, and with the TARDIS..." Her voice trailed off.

"They'd feed off of him for years," Sam finished.

"Who knows what the Angels would be capable of, with a virtually infinite power source?"

Sam watched his brother disappear down the road through town. "So if the TARDIS radar got spooked and transported away—" he looked back at her.

Clara nodded, confirming what they feared. "They're here."

(A Percy Jackson fanfic)
"Look, Sawyer, I know it's hard, after having the dream and getting a prophecy and everything—"
"Yeah," Sawyer cut in flatly. "I mean, isn't that what it means to be chosen by the Fates?"
Percy sighed, "I guess not all the time. But hey," he stood, and Sawyer did as well, "No hard feelings, right?"
Sawyer cracked a wry grin. "Not really; actually, I came to give you this." He pulled something small and flat out of his pocket and handed it to Percy.
It was a square of plastic the size of a credit card, solid black with a golden, glittering lightning bolt emblazoned across the front. Percy's fingers tingled as he held it. It was the same sensation he had felt when carrying Zeus' lightning bolt.
"What's this?" He asked, fighting to keep his voice calm.
"It's a Bolt bus pass," Sawyer answered, smiling as if he sensed Percy's nervousness. "All Zeus' children have one. Just present it on any bus in the world, and they'll bring you wherever you want to go."
Recalling all of the long, irritating road trips his quests generally required, and the dangers that often beset them when they were stuck in a town hunting for a new ride, Percy felt an instant sensation of relief as Sawyer said the words "wherever you want to go."
He immediately pulled out his wallet and tucked the bus pass safely inside. "Thank you, Sawyer," he said, extending a hand. "This means a lot."
Sawyer shook it like a man. "No problem; I mean, just because I'm not meant to go, doesn't mean I can't help, right?" He glanced up at Percy.
The son of Poseidon nodded firmly. "Absolutely."

(A Supernatural fanfic)

Betty began subtly tugging on her cardigan. "Well, ah, we worked together, if that's what you mean. But we weren't, like, friends or anything. We had opposite shifts. She usually opens, and I usually close." Betty closed her eyes as if trying to recall a memorized story. "On that day she disappeared, I came in at one because that's when my shift starts, and nobody had seen Bella at all. We had her contact info on file, but nobody except her parents answered, and they had no idea where she went. That's when I knew—" Betty started the sentence but stopped herself with a gasp.

Dean squinted at her. "Knew what?"

"Knew that she was gone," Betty stammered.

"Betty," Sam continued with the interview, "let's talk about the week she disappeared. Do you remember if she had been acting strangely at all?"

Betty blinked, as bright red splotches appeared on her cheeks. "No, not really..."

"Did you ever see anything out of place around here?" Dean suggested. "Maybe some strange objects or symbols—"

"Symbols?" Betty shrieked, clutching the counter so hard that her knuckles were white. "N-no, I never saw anything like—"

"How about smells?" Sam wondered where the fear was coming from. What was innocent, dowdy Betty trying to hide? "Anything like rotten eggs, or cinnamon?"

Betty was visibly trembling now. "N-no," she stammered. "I didn't—that wasn't—" Suddenly her face twisted into an ugly grimace and she burst into tears.

"I DID IT!" she screamed. "IT WAS ME! IT'S ALL MY FAULT!"

So there you have it... Each one is a ton of fun, and I cannot wait to see what others think of them--but each one vying for my undivided attention is resulting in my inability to pursue any of them! What to do? Hopefully by next week I will have a new excerpt from "Commander's Courage." Till then... Phew! I have my work cut out for me!

How about you? Are you a distracted writer? What solutions have you tried, to be more consistent about writing? Share them in the comments!