Category Archives: Short Stories

Finish the Story: Stormy Saves the Day

The fairies were all aflutter.  Bess had accidentally spilled a whole bucket of green paint into Havendish Stream, and now the whole stream was green!  The plants were suffering because of the paint in the water.  Some were just turning green, but others were outright wilting.

Some of the water-talents had been able to separate the water from the paint by just scooping up the water out of the stream and leaving the paint behind, but this made the stream murkier and murkier.  And the water-talents’ wings were getting tired from running back and forth to water the plants.

The tinker-talents were in the middle of constructing a pipe system from the stream to the plants to save the fairies from traveling back and forth, but they were quickly realizing how many plants needed that water and that all of Pixie Hollow would be covered in pipes if this continued.

“Stormy!  Stormy!” a bright voice rang off the cavern walls of Spider Silk Grotto, where Stormy Seastone was collecting dewdrops from spider webs.  The voice belonged to Ginger Rainglow and her blonde hair was flashing in the dim light.  “Come quick!  Havendish Stream is green and it’s killing the flowers and all the fairies are busting their wings trying to fix it!  They need all the help they can get!”

Stormy quickly placed her water basket on the stony floor and followed Ginger out to Havendish Square.  “What happened?” she asked as they flew.

“Bess dropped green paint in the stream and no one can get it out!”

They arrived at the frantic scene, nearly getting run over by fairies rushing out to bring water to the plants.

Ginger flitted off to find other water-talents to help as Stormy landed gently on the banks of Havendish Stream and took everything in.  She closed her eyes and focused on recalling everything she new about water purification.

“WAIT!” she suddenly shouted.  “Wait, everyone!  I have a better way! Water-talents, listen up!”

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Luna’s Party

All My “Children” (Characters):

Luna Appleblossom, Jade Merrywings

Stormy SeastoneMahogany, Stargazer NightcloudLavender Vanillaberry

Cinnamon Copperbeam, Ginger Rainglow

Almond Tanglebreeze

Cedar, Bluebell

Rose, Marigold, Iris/Ivy, Violet

Rosalind, Megara, Katharine, Lea

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Ginger: A water talent that wants to be a light talent.
Stargazer: A light talent that wants to be a garden talent.

It’s totally lame that this story is pretty much only conversation. But it’s the only way I can get a firmer grip on my characters’ personalities!

———————————————————————–

Ginger Rainglow Meets Stargazer Nightcloud

Luna Appleblossom was having a party at her house.  Her best friend Jade Merrywings came, and she also invited her friends Stormy Seastone, Mahogany, and Stargazer Nightcloud and asked them to invite whoever else they wanted.

“I heard some new fairies arrived recently,” said Stormy.  “We should invite them.”

So they invited Cinnamon Copperbeam and Lavender Vanillaberry.

While Jade put out some tea, Luna flew out and put an ad up on the Fairy Postings board for her party, and two other fairies arrived, Ginger Rainglow and Almond Tanglebreeze.

“Welcome to my party!” said Luna when everyone had gathered.  “I’ve got some freshly brewed cherry blossom tea for everyone.”

“I brought some nuts and berries from the Pantry,” said Mahogany.

“I brought some lemon tarts,” said Stargazer Nightcloud.

“So let’s get to know everyone,” said Luna when all the fairies had gathered their goodies and arranged themselves on Luna’s various pieces of furniture.  “Let’s just do introductions first–your name, your talent, and your favorite part of Pixie Hollow.  I’ll go first.  I’m Luna Appleblossom, and this is my home.  I’m a garden-talent, and my favorite part of Pixie Hollow is the Pick Up Petals game.”

“I’ll go next,” volunteered Stormy, who was seated on Luna’s right.  “I’m Stormy Seastone.  I arrived at Pixie Hollow four years ago.  I have to say, as a water-talent, my favorite part of Pixie Hollow is Soapstone Stream.  I help fish get over it in Bubble Bounce, but I just love how it feels and looks there–all cool and calm, and pretty with so many water lilies.”

Since Stormy had started a trend of going around the circle, Mahogany, on Stormy’s right, continued it.  “Okay, I’m Mahogany.  I’ve been here just a little longer than Stormy.  I’m an animal-talent.  I spend a lot of time volunteering at Harvest Hustle, but I think my favorite place is Drowsy Den, where I help the baby animals get to sleep.”

Mahogany looked to Stargazer.  “Okay, well, I’m Stargazer.  Nightcloud.  That’s my name because I like to stargaze, but it’s also the name of a flower that smells incredible, and since I want to be a garden-talent, too, I like to think I’m named after both.”  She smiled happily.

“And what’s your favorite part of Pixie Hollow?” Stormy asked.

“Oh!  Well… I guess I really like my favorite stargazing spot, Lily Ridge, just outside Rosetta’s Garden.  You can really see Reigel from there.”

Mahogany gave her an inquisitive look.  “Reigel?”

“Yes, it’s my favorite star.  It’s really bright and colorful.”

Mahogany smiled at her, and Luna said, “Thanks, Stargazer.  And now we get to meet someone new.”

All eyes turned to the fairy with the lavender eyes.  Her cheeks turned a pale shade of pink.  “Well, I’m Lavender.  Lavender Vanillaberry.  I just arrived yesterday.  And I’m very happy to be here.  Um… I’m a garden-talent fairy, and I’m not sure what my favorite place in Pixie Hollow is yet.  But I hear Spring Valley is really beautiful.”

“Welcome, Lavender,” said Luna warmly.  Several fairies echoed her.

“But I’d like to get to know you,” said Lavender softly, turning to the fairy on her right.  “You’re as beautiful as the queen!”

The fairy next to her laughed a tinkling laugh, and as she did, pixie dust sparkled off of her.  “You’re very sweet!” she said.  “Thank you.”  She turned her eyes to the rest of the circle.  “I’m Cinnamon Copperbeam, and I am also newly arrived.  But I feel as if I have always lived here.  Everything is so fresh and perfect.  It’s a lovely place.  I’m sure I couldn’t decide on a favorite location even if I had seen it all!”

“What’s your talent?” chimed in the fairy on her right.

“I’m a light-talent.  Like Stargazer.  Only I don’t know what I specialize in yet,” she said with a smile.

“Well, now, Ginger, you better take your turn,” said Luna to the fairy who had spoken.  “Tell us who you are.”

Ginger opened her mouth to speak, shut it again, then said, “Well, I’m not quite sure.  See, I’m a fairy who wants to be something other than she is!  I’m a water-talent, but I would really like to be a light-talent.  Or something that combines them both!”

“That’s very interesting,” said Cinnamon.  “Perhaps we can learn together.  I start my light-talent classes tomorrow.”

Ginger’s eyes lit up and she leaned forward excitedly.  “Really?! That would be great! Do you think they would let me?”

“You could ask Iridessa,” Stargazer said.  “She’s really nice.  I’m sure she’d let you come to the classes.”

“We could go down together to ask,” said Cinnamon.  “Perhaps after the party is over.”

Ginger clapped her hands together.  “That would be flaptastic!  Let’s do it.”

Luna brought the girls in again.  “But before we get too carried away,” she said,  “let’s finish the circle.”

Almond smiled gratefully.  “Okay.  I’m Almond Tanglebreeze.  I’m also fairly new here.  I’m a baking-talent.”

Lavender furrowed her brow. “A baking-talent? I don’t remember there being a baking talent to choose.”

Almond blushed.  “It’s a smaller division of fairy talents, I think.”

“They don’t arrive to the same nook of the Pixie Dust Tree that nature-talents do,” Stormy informed them.  “They arrive to the nook that contains all the food-related serving talents.”

Almond glanced upward to recall.  “Yes, there was a cooking-talent, a tea-making-talent, a baking-talent, a food-gathering-talent, and maybe some others… And we all take turns serving food in the Tearoom at mealtimes.  But there’s so many of us it’s hardly any work at all.  Not that we’re lazy or anything…”  She blushed again.

Ginger laughed.  “Lazy!  How could you be?  You have to get up at 4 in the morning to get all the yummy things baked for all of us!  I think it’s really marvelous.”

Cinnamon, as well as several others, looked up on Almond with new respect.  “You get up before the first rays of sunlight warm the earth!” said Cinnamon.

“Well, you must, too,” said Almond.  “Don’t you help with bringing the sun rays to warm the earth?”

“Well, yes, but we have to,” laughed Cinnamon.  “Or else no one else could do their jobs!”

Ginger spoke up again.  “And who can work on an empty stomach??”

The fairies laughed and laughed.

“Jade, we still haven’t gotten to you,” said Luna, playfully elbowing her friend.

“Oh, that’s no problem,” she said with a dismissive wave.  “It’s great getting to meet so many new people!”

Luna said to the girls, “Jade’s been my best friend since our arrival day!”

“Yeah, ever since animal racing, when her lizard flipped over in the mud and I had to rescue her!” Jade said.

Luna laughed out loud.  “Well, if you hadn’t started it by kicking up all that mud in my face–”

“Oh, it’s my fault now!  Has nothing to do with the fact that you were distracted by Vanessa Plumlace’s new pet peacock–”

“Hey, I’d never seen one before!  It was my first day,” Luna joked, sticking her tongue out at her friend.

“Mine too, you goof, and I was still winning…”

By now, all the other fairies were laughing so hard at the playful volley between the two friends that they had totally forgotten they hadn’t really finished introductions.

“Okay, I think it’s time for some games,” Luna finally ended the goofiness.  “Anyone care for more tea?”

The girls arose from their seats and the party began.

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TOTC Excerpt

I think this is my favorite paragraph of the story so far:

Katharine’s thoughts were not so romanticized as Rosalind’s, or so innocent as Meg’s, or so skeptical as Lea’s.  She believed with all her heart that there was a land in grave danger and that she had been chosen to be part of the plan to save it and that she must fulfill that duty.  But she didn’t feel honored, settled or excited about it.  She had never felt so unprepared in her life.

That whole section is pretty good, in my opinion–you really get to see inside Katharine’s head.  But I’m not going to share the rest, haha! 😉  You’ll have to wait.

This really isn’t going to be a short story… Oh well.  Calling it that makes me feel like it’s a more…achievable goal.

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TOTC – Brainstorming 4

I’ve started writing my story.  I got a LOT written – 10 pages in one day!  But now I’ve covered absolutely everything I brainstormed and I have to start brainstorming again for the next portion.  What I have to figure out now is how the girls get introduced to Collingwood.  What I mean is, they are all waiting outside the old schoolhouse right now, which they all got messages to go to, and soon Orianna or somebody will make an appearance, or perhaps…. (And here the brainstorming begins.)

  1. A mysterious person or being flits out of the woods and darts away.  The girls, after some debate, follow after it.
  2. The girls decide to go into the schoolhouse and the schoolhouse door is the magic portal.  Actually, that kind of fits with the one picture in the Instruction book.
  3. A unicorn appears and the girls are so astonished that they walk towards it and then step through the portal.
  4. The unicorn turns into Orianna?  I like that idea…

She obviously has to lead them into the woods so that her true figure won’t be seen.

FYI, I think Lea should be the one that first notices the unicorn in the woods.  She’s the detailed one.

Notes for improving what I’ve already written:

More foreshadowing about the fantasy world they’re about to enter.  I.e., the girls all have a common interest in fairy tales, or they all have a funny feeling about the notes they got, that they should go–something like that.

More foreshadowing about the fact that they will all be working together in the near future.  I.e., settling an argument amongst themselves or even something as simple as getting to know one another and finding commonalities between them all.  I like that.

Describe what they’re wearing and what they look like!  Really need to do that.  But it won’t be too hard…

The girls’ personalities need to be clearer in their word choice.  It’s so hard to not write like myself!

Ways to fit in fantasy foreshadowing:

  • Rosalind: She’s already Belle in the 60-second drama.  Perhaps name what character she wants to be out of Tales of Hans Christian Andersen and why.
  • Lea: Something snarky about Rosalind and fairy tales?
  • Meg: She’s already been compared to Megara from the Disney movie.  Work with that more.
  • Katharine: She’s already involved in the Renaissance-themed dance.  Work with that more.

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TOTC – Brainstorming III

Ways to get to Collingwood

  • reflecting pools
  • a secret meeting place
  • a not-so-secret meeting place
  • Megara could first discover it?
  • following a singing voice
  • somewhere in the woods
  • bathroom stall 🙂
  • summer camp cabin
  • abandoned cabin in the woods?
  • stream? fort? I love those!
  • library?!!!
  • abandoned outhouse?
  • hidden lake
  • abandoned garden
  • abandoned toolhouse/shed

That’s the list hubby and I came up with in the car.  I LOVE the library idea and I’m going to go with that.

Things the girls might collectively enjoy

  • choir
  • make-up
  • boys
  • dances
  • shopping

I really liked the dances idea but I really think they should wind up in Collingwood via the library.  The opening of a magic book, perhaps.  So maybe they all meet once, before Collingwood, at a dance.  It’d also be a good explanation of how Rosalind got her special dress.

Rosalind dresses fashionably, but tastefully.  She’s one of those girls that is boy-crazy, but once she finds the one, her heart’s his forever.  (But there ought to be a point where two guys hold her heart at once for a while.  She’s my epic romance girl. 🙂 )

So, along the library line!

I. Ideas

A. The girls are all working on class projects toward the end of the school year.

1. What classes do Rosalind and Lea have together?  That involve projects?

a. Social Studies
b. Life Science, or some other kind of science
c. Big school – more possibilities.  So…Marine Biology?  Plant Biology?
d. English?
e. Foreign language?
f. History of Ancient Civilizations

I best like the idea of Plant Biology or a foreign language.  Perhaps foreign language can be the project one of the other girls is working on.

They all are in the library the same day, working on separate projects.  And somehow they all end up opening the same book that leads them to the magic land.  We’ll straighten that out later.

Now do they all have interest in magical lands prior to being swept away to Collingwood?  That would be convenient.

The dance:

  • Katharine helps organize it.
  • Rosalind, Lea and Megara attend it–Rosalind for the social life, Lea because Rosalind or her parents dragged her into it, and Megara because her parents gave her a gentle push and perhaps a friend of hers (not part of the group–maybe she visits into Collingwood in some later piece!).
  • Renaissance themed, of course! 🙂

Then, perhaps, they were researching Renaissance-themed work in order to prepare them for the dance?  Maybe that’s why they picked up the book?  In which case they would not get to go to the dance, because they’d go to Collingwood first.

Which leads me to another problem.  The problem of time.  Does time freeze in the real world while the girls are in Collingwood?  My thought is yes, although it’s a bit overplayed.  They can’t have their families missing them and presuming them dead while they save Collingwood!  Much too dark for this age group and this genre.

Still a problem.  The idea is that the girls all get to Collingwood at different times.  Which means real time, however little of it, must pass before all of the girls are there.

Hrumph.  Quandary.  It seems the best solution is to whisk them all away at once. :/  But HOW?!

Okay.  So, just for the sake of thorough..ness, let’s play with the idea of time really passing while they are in Collingwood.

No, it still won’t work.  Their study partners would wonder where the girls want, follow back to the books, and open it themselves.  Can’t have that happening.  Besides, their positions as Keepers of the Crystals are fairly permanent–until Collingwood is safe and sound again.

Wouldn’t it be funny if somebody from Collingwood stepped into their real world and grabbed them off the streets.

And rather alarming for the poor girls.  Panic: not a good way to start the saving of a magical land.

Sigh. I desperately need to run through the cassette and the magic quest cards and get an idea of exactly how long these “missions” take.

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TOTC – More Brainstorming

So the girls are between the ages of 12 and 15.  There are a few ways to divide up the grades:

  • The three eldest girls all in the same grade, Megara one grade below
  • The two eldest girls in one grade, the other two one grade below
  • Katharine in 9th grade, Rosalind and Lea in 8th grade, Megara in 7th grade.

The last option is, of course, the most logical.  But Katharine must have met all three of the girls somehow.  That just makes sense.  Perhaps Rosalind and Katherine are in choir together, Lea, being very good with numbers, in honors math with Katharine or something, and Megara… Oh, the young one!  Perhaps Megara and Katharine share a love for horses and are in 4H together or something. I like that idea.

Rosalind and Lea share many classes together, since they are in the same grade.  Lea has met Megara and gets along with her pretty well.  Maybe Lea is part of the “leadership team,” the team that introduces the new 7th graders to the school.  (See, Lea has some good points!)

What is it that Lea sees in Megara?  Their friendship is an odd one.

I. How in HEAVEN’S name do Orianna and Old Man Oak see these 4 girls and choose to whisk them into Collingwood?!

A. Perhaps there’s a power greater than Orianna’s, a kind of omniscience, that chooses the girls for them and draws them in.  Like in “magic before the dawn of time” in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

B. The girls actually accidentally step into the world somehow, while they’re all meeting for…something.  That would also be like the Chronicles of Narnia.

I like the idea of them purposefully being chosen, but making that come across as realistic will be hard.  I don’t like the omniscient-power thing, though.  Too weird.

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Tales of the Crystals – Background

Orianna, Old Man Oak, Queen Llanoor, and Banach the Elder are holding an important Forest Council meeting.  Lady Morphia’s power has grown and she is once again trying to take over Collingwood as her own.

Lady Morphia – Background Sketch

Lady Morphia’s interest in the magic that runs Collingwood began when she was a young girl in the village.  She studied under the great master of the magic arts and everyone learned that she was extremely talented with the magic arts, and thought she might be the next mistress of the magic arts, but she took an evil direction with the abilities she learned, making the people of Collingwood increasingly uneasy.  Then one day, after causing the land much grief with a singular incident, she was stripped of her honor by the people of Collingwood and sent out of the heart of the land, into the outlands where the swamp goblins, ogres and dwarves live.  She moved into an abandoned fort/castle there and began plotting her revenge on all the land of Collingwood.

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