Category Archives: Brainstorming

Ginger and Almond: Friendship

Unexpectedly came face-to-face with myself as I wrote on Almond Tanglebreeze’s story, and now I’m stuck.

Almond just spent all afternoon shopping with Ginger, who was helping and guiding her every step of the way.  Now it’s dinnertime in Pixie Hollow and I am faced with the decision that defines everything about Ginger for the rest of the story–the unanswerable question that has defined my entire life.

Does Ginger stay, or does Ginger go?

Is their relationship one of mutual friendship, or of one girl being the other girl’s counselor, guide, crutch?  Does Almond have anything to give to Ginger, or is this a one-way friendship only?

And since I don’t know the answer to that question in my own life, I’m having trouble writing about it in Almond’s.  :/


I’ve realized that to make a friendship go two ways, Ginger has to need something from Almond.  So now I just have to figure out what it is that Almond can offer Ginger.

And in the process I will hopefully discover what I have to offer others as well. 🙂  Now that is cool.


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What do Pixie Hollow fairies do all day?

Water-Talent Tasks

  • Watering plants
  • Collecting dew
  • Making ice
  • Boiling water
  • Working with water vapor and ice
  • Exploring waterways
  • Bringing rain out of clouds?


  • Lighting fireflies
  • Making rainbows
  • Angling light
  • Making stars sparkle?


  • Garden
  • Take care of all plants in Pixie Hollow
  • Grow things/provide food


  • Help animals find food and shelter
  • Teach baby animals things they need to know
  • Help animals get along with fairies, each other, etc.
  • Translate messages between animals and fairies

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Conversations Between Ginger and Almond

“So where were you?”

“I was at the library, researching.”

Almond didn’t know any fairies who did research in their spare time.   “What were you researching?”

“Sunsets,” Ginger said simply.  “I want to find out what makes them happen.  But none of the Pixie Hollow books say!”


“How does that happen? How does cake turn from all that liquid mush into cake?”

“Well, the heat dries all the liquids.”

“Yeah, but if that were all it is, then shouldn’t there be powder?” Ginger asked.

Almond felt stunned as she realized that made sense.  “I think it’s the eggs.  When you cook eggs all by themselves, they turn hard.  I think that same idea gets spread throughout the cake. And I think the flour mixes with the eggs so much that they make something new out of it, so that it sticks together and stays firm like that.”

“Wow, that’s really cool,” Ginger breathed.  “Baking is as cool as light and water!”


“You know what my favorite thing about light is?  The way it changes color.  Like if I put a green leaf over a beam of light, the light turns green.”


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Ginger Rainglow

From the writing prompt: Part.  This is about a fairy in one of my Pixie Hollow stories, Almond Tanglebreeze’s First Ball.  Ginger Rainglow is Almond’s best friend, but I have to nail down her persona, because she’s an all-out dud in my story at the moment.  (And yes…I’ve thrown out Pixie Hollow’s odd fairy birth thing and gone the more traditional route.)

My last name is Rainglow.  My mother and father are water-talents and they’ve trained me to be a water-talent.  But deep inside, I think I’m part light-talent.  When I was young I tried to show my parents how light and water were so similar, and so interwoven.  I showed the my favorite trick, taking a water drop between my hands and angling it so that a beam of sunlight struck right through it, and then split into 7 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.  And I could watch water reflecting sunlight for hours.  I love to think about the difference between the light of the sun, so bright and warm, and the light of the moon, so cool and calm.  Sunsets and sunrises alike astonish me, and I know it’s related to the way that beam of light made a rainbow on our wall at home.  I just don’t know how, and I am determined to find out.

The other thing that separates me and my parents is our personalities.  My parents are gloomy, like mainland rain, but I would rather glow and spark!

I care about my parents.  But I feel so misunderstood by them.  All the time they are telling me to act more like a calm, steady water-talent.  But I can’t help how excited I get by things.  The world is just so interesting.  There is so much to know!


So what is the solution to Ginger’s parent problem?  According to worldly wisdom it would be:

  1. Ginger just goes on being herself and her parents eventually understand.
  2. Or, Ginger talks to her parents and explains to them how much she likes light.
  3. Her parents realize her maturity and decide to let her live her own life.

But to make a good story it would be more like:

  1. Something Ginger does with light makes a huge impact on her parents. Saves their lives, or some animal’s life, or saves Pixie Hollow.
  2. i.e. Maybe something goes wrong at the ball, and Ginger realizes it’s because of water and light somehow.

But this story is about Almond. So how does she fit into Ginger’s story?  At the moment Ginger has more of a story-inspiring character.  What does Almond need to make her life a story?

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Story Bursts

Story bursts are incomplete stories that pop into my head, usually from the creativity-inspiring Pixie Hollow Forums.

Story Burst #1

The sparrow-men at Pixie Hollow were suddenly spending hours foolishly staring in the windows of and all fancying themselves musicians.  Cedar pulled his guitar case strap tighter over his shoulder and glared at the window of Barrow’s Trends displaying shiny, colorful new guitars.

Cedar was angry because guitar-playing had always been his special talent.  Fairies flocked to hear him play on the ledge of Cranberry Cliff at sunset.  But now all the fairies and sparrow-men of Pixie Hollow would be playing guitars and his talent wouldn’t be special anymore.

Story Burst #2 (an idea from another PHF member)

Fairies that are secretly mermaids, a la Emily Windsnap.


Do you know what’s interesting about my story characters?  I get a great picture of the character in my head–usually very introverted and stand-offish of the other characters.

And I have no idea how to draw them out of themselves.

Because I don’t ever experience that in my own life.

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Old Schoolhouse (TOTC)


  • Bricks – red with white on them. Or made of wood with lots of paint chipped and weathered.
  • Shingled roof sagging, gap in one part of it.
  • Some broken/empty windowpanes.
  • Boarded up door — some boards missing. Or door bashed in.  Or not bashed in, maybe the handle knocked out.  Inside on the ground.


  • A few wooden chairs and tables suitable for seating 2 or 3 students a table.  Some overturned.  Some broken and missing legs.
  • A fire hearth.
  • Dead leaves, shingles missing from the roof, dust, some glass pieces, including a full windowpane.
  • Blackboard.

Story of the old schoolhouse: “Bad boys” used to come here and smoke.  Behind it, out of view.  Not usually in it. Some would sneak into it at night and tell ghost stories.  Particularly of a mysterious gray cat that some say they have seen.  Somebody once came and knocked off the outer handle.  The inner handle dropped to the ground inside the schoolhouse.


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TOTC Revisited – Entrances?

After two years of leaving it alone, I’ve picked up my Tales of the Crystals story again.  I wrote lots and lots of pages in it the last time I looked at it, but it started to drag.  I lost my way and so did the girls!  So I’ve got to start from the second chapter (the first one is great; I just tweaked it a little here and there) and rewrite it, starting with how in the world they get into Collingwood.


Door portal idea.
Voice? (their names?)
Sound of bells
Chased into the woods

Before I had them enter voluntarily.  But them suddenly finding themselves in it is much more fun.

I can definitely make use of the woods…Or the old schoolhouse…But what one earth would motivate them to enter an old, abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse?  A fairy light?  No, something more concrete than that is needed for Lea.  A rushing wind that nearly knocks her over?

More time in conversation before entering Collingwood?  Perhaps a way of getting them to problem-solve on their own, like I thought of in an earlier post?

Oh I know…A light glowing from the inside of the schoolhouse.  That’s simple. (In broad daylight?)

Okay, if I were to enter into another world voluntarily, how would I do it? Voluntarily stepping through a shimmering, transparent doorway or a rainbow’s end or a sun ray or a waterfall.

Magic notes appearing?  Same handwriting?

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