Category Archives: Fiction

Writing Prompt: A Trip to the Store (Katharine)

I made up my own writing prompt.  Write what happens to your character on a trip to the store.  Make sure *something* happens that will help the plot move along.

(Please ignore my complete ignorance of how a construction business works.)

KATHARINE

“Hi, Katharine,” said the store clerk. “How’s your father doing?”

“Fine, Alice, thanks for asking,” Katharine said as she laid clementines on the conveyor belt.  “He’s ordering more supplies for the housing development on 85th.”

“That’s the 3rd time this month, isn’t it?” Alice asked.

“Yeah. Joe just can’t get it through his head that an entire condominium complex needs much more to work with than a cul-de-sac.”

“Your father should be the one running the business,” said Alice. “He always did have a head for that kind of thing.  $38.17 today, dear.”

Katharine filled in the check.

“Do you need help out?” asked Alice.

Katharine glanced at the two bags.  “Well, I walked, so unless you’re paying Nick to walk all the way to Glencoe, I don’t think so,” she said.

“You know he would, with or without pay,” teased Alice.

“Oh stop,” Katharine laughed. ” I don’t have time for that kind of drama.”

“You sound just like your father,” said Alice with a smile. “Take care, dear. Watch out for cars.”

Katharine laughed to herself as she left with the grocery bags.  Alice had sort of taken on the “mother” role since Katharine’s mom had passed away 8 years ago, and sometimes it seemed like Katharine was frozen at that age to Alice, even though it’d been almost 9 years.  Still, it was nice to be cared for.

As she hit the button for the crosswalk, she noticed a rowdy group of kids from the high school on the other side.  Her brow furrowed and she clutched her groceries a little tighter.  Maybe I’ll let Nick help me next time, she thought for a moment.  The light changed and Katharine started across.  The kids weren’t paying attention to her, and she’d gotten almost all the way across when one of the boys shoved another one right into her, and groceries tumbled out of the top of one of her bags.

“Aw, look what you did, loser!” said the first boy to the one he’d pushed.

“Whatever, man, you did that!”

“What? C’mere, I’ll punch you again!” said the first boy as they continued walking, leaving Katharine to gather her groceries alone.  Katharine let out her breath as she knelt down.

Suddenly long blonde hair was flying back through the posse at her and she heard someone shouting, “Losers! Learn some respect!” Rosalind crew bent down beside her to help.  “Sorry about that, those guys are idiots.”

The two of them hopped up onto the sidewalk just as traffic started moving again.

“Why do you hang out with them?” Katharine asked, placing some bruised bananas on the top of the bag.

“Who else is going to teach them respect?” Rosalind asked.

Katharine raised her eyebrows and looked down the crosswalk.  The guys had disappeared with the rest of the group into the pizza parlor.

“Besides,” Rosalind continued, “Gray likes me. He’s way nicer than Leo and Neal. I gotta run or they’ll order without me. See you later!” And she was off with a dash.

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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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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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Fairy Names- Why I Chose Them

Mahogany – A type of beautiful, red wood. I love the sound of the name and made her hair color match the wood.

Stormy Seastone – What is more romantic in a moody kind of way than a stormy sea? And a “seastone” just sounds pretty–like sea glass. Stormy is a water talent and in appearance reflects a mermaid.

Stargazer Nightcloud – Stargazer is a type of lily, extremely fragrant and exotic-looking, but I chose it for its literal definition: One who gazes at stars. I was thinking of someone quiet and contemplative, and star gazing seemed like a fitting hobby for her. “Nightcloud” was just created to go with the star gazing idea.

Luna Appleblossom – “Appleblossom” is more her name-identity than “Luna.” I wanted something light and girly, and fragrant, delicate apple blossoms seemed fitting. Luna means moon. I chose it simply to suit the last name.

Jade Merrywings – Jade is a kind of beautiful green precious stone, highly valued in eastern countries like Japan. “Merry” means happy. I haven’t nailed down her personality, but she is rather exotic-looking.

Cedartree – My only sparrow-man. “Cedar” sounded manly to me.

Almond Tanglebreeze – My dear baking-talent.  I chose “Almond” because of the baking, “Tanglebreeze” because of her tangled emotions that she is always trying to get a handle on, but it’s often like trying to grasp a breeze as it goes by.  She is very sweet in temperament–something to go with the baking idea.

Ginger Rainglow – Almond’s best friend and PH guide.  She’s very unlike Almond: straightforward, energetic, decisive.  I chose “Ginger” because ginger is very spicy in large amounts, although it tastes good.  Ginger Rainglow can be spicy and come on too strong, but she always backs off if people let her know she’s overstepping bounds. That’s why she’s a good friend for Almond. 🙂  Rainglow…Ginger glows, for sure.  She’s just that type.  And the “Rain” just sounded good with it, although I don’t think it really suits Ginger.  She’s a more sunny disposition.  So I think “Rain,” since it’s part of what functions as her last name (i.e. family name), symbolizes her struggle with being so different from her family.  I could easily envision Ginger’s family telling her, “You’re a Rainglow!  Act like one!  Rain and glow are slow, tempered things.  You are far too unpredictable.”

Sugarplum – The large baking-talent that Almond works for.  She makes me smile just thinking of her. 🙂  I chose Sugarplum because it calls to mind “sugar-plump,” which just seemed perfect for a baker.

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Hidden Things – Rosalind (TOTC)

Writing prompt from http://partwild.wordpress.com

Hello world!

My creator sent me a note the other day asking me to do a silly little writing exercise thing.  I can’t imagine why she wants it.  All I have to do is write about things I have hidden…But I couldn’t think of more than 4 items in all the time I was given!  But, to humor her, here it is.  I still can’t imagine why she’d want something like this.

Make a list of things you’ve hidden.  Illicit objects, treasures, presents, opinions, desires, flaws.  Go for quantity over quality. Don’t worry if it’s interesting or even true. 6 minutes.

  1. My best friend’s favorite necklace (I was mad at her)
  2. My mom’s shoes (I didn’t want her to go out with another guy)
  3. The letter I got from the first boy I kissed (I think I still have it somewhere)
  4. The flask my dad used to use

Tomorrow I am supposed to write about one of them.  But I can write about all of them in less than 5 minutes apiece, I’m sure!  So I’m going to do it now–don’t tell [scratched out].  I mean, M.  That isn’t her real name.  People are so strange.  Why hide who you really are?  It screws everything up later when they find out who you actually are.  I should know.  I’ve dated…But I should probably not say anything.

Hey, there’s an item #5.

5. The number of boys I’ve dated.

So anyway!

…Why do I hide that?

Well, see, the people I know don’t seem to approve very much of the boys I date–either what kinds of boys they are or how many there are.  I don’t get it.  I’ve never done anything super stupid with them and they’ve never hurt me.  None of them are alcoholics or crackheads.  Sure, some of them liked to party, but that isn’t the same thing as being an alcoholic.  I would know.  My dad was one.

The truth is, despite how I hate being controlled, I hate being in conflict with the only steadfast people in my life even more so.  My stupid dad left my mom and I to fend for ourselves when I was 7.  I’ve never forgiven him.  My mom can’t hold down a job, so I’ve spent a lot of my life finding random jobs here and there to do.  I was a mechanic for a while!  Most people don’t believe that; they think I’m too into looking pretty.  Which isn’t the true me at all.  Makeup and hair is just another way to express creativity.  Just like theater.

I love theater.  I love my theater teacher and his wife.  They’ve taken a lot of care of me.  I owe my life to them, pretty much.  They take me in when things are bad at home.  See, Mom has had lots of boyfriends.  And most of them have been jerks.  One of them even…But I shouldn’t talk about that.

6. That time one of my mom’s boyfriends made moves on ME.

He didn’t get very far.  I hit him right where it hurts.  With a golf club.  (I always keep a golf club by my bed in case of burglars.)  He never came around again.  My mom was pretty furious with me over that.

My mom could never see outside her self-addicted world enough to understand me.

Anyway, what was I talking about?  Hidden things.  I guess I haven’t even talked about the things on my list yet.  Well, sort of.  I hid my dad’s flask once when I was really little, too little to understand that he could just go out and buy another one.  I was trying to stop him from drinking.

And my mom’s shoes, that was when I was little, too.  Too little to understand that hiding her shoes wouldn’t stop her from going out with stupid guys.

My best friend’s favorite necklace–I hid that from her when we had a fight when we were in 4th grade.  I’m not very proud of that.  She came crying to me after I hid it, telling me it was her grandmother’s locket, and could I help her look for it?  I felt really bad, and at first I just went up to my bedroom where I had hidden it to get it and bring it back to her.  But it was gone.  I couldn’t find it anywhere… And I came back down and she was still crying, and I had to tell her.  I told her everything–I had hidden it from her, and I was very sorry about it now, but I had lost it.

The worst part was, she didn’t get angry.  She only looked even more hurt than before.  And she cried worse.  I tried to touch her, but she moved away, then moved back, as if she didn’t want me to see that she’d moved away.  “Rosalind,” she said finally.  She looked at me with those tear-streaked eyes and said quietly, “Rosalind, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”  And that was that.  She walked away, just like that.

It was probably the worst day of my life.

I tell myself I am angry about it now, but I’m not just angry.  I wasn’t angry that day she left me.  I was something a lot worse.  I only got angry later, to protect myself.

I guess there is one thing I hide from everybody.  Only now M. is going to know and she is going to tell the other girls at some point…She told me so.  😦  I’m not crazy about that, but I trust her, and I guess that’s what this was supposed to be about.

So, the one thing I hide from anybody (please don’t tell):

7. Pain.

Epilogue

Oh…I haven’t written about the last thing on the list yet.  But that will have to wait.  I’ve done as much as I can do tonight.

Good night, M.

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Protected: Hidden Things Part II – Katharine (TOTC)

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