8 Sentence Sunday – 11.03.2013

Hello my dear lovelies!

As I mentioned before – Nanowrimo has started me up again on 8 Sentence Sunday! Hosted at Weekend Writing Warriors,  you can participate by posting 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, onto your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site! My 8 sentences will be for my WIP, Cherry Valley, and I do hope you enjoy it!

A bit about the story: Our heroine, Natalie, is a big city lawyer from a small town she hasn’t returned to since she left for university after graduating highschool. To this end, the only people she has kept in contact with are her best friends, Chrissy and Donna, and the occasional visit from her vain mother. Circumstances in the city have made it impossible for Natalie to stay there when our story opens, and so she returns to her home town of Cherry Valley in an attempt to sort out her life and to fulfill a promise to Chrissy who is hiding something and need Donna and Natalie to help her. Going home is never easy, particularly for someone who has made a point to turn her back on home, and Natalie is assaulted with memories of her other best friend, Lily, who disappeared when they were all 16. Delving deep into circumstances of that summer, Natalie begins to receive threats taped to her windshield, leading her straight into the over protective arms of Cole, her sort of one time fling from a decade ago and Chrissy’s older brother. Going home is never easy – but with threats and old loves and a prickly home life – is is deadly, too?

Last week’s snippet was from the beginning – Natalie has decided to leave her job, her home and everything’s she worked so hard for and go back to her childhood home. And because she has worked so hard to accomplish all this, she’s pretty upset over it. This week, she gets a call from the problem of her life, and deals with the very problems of her new reality. Hope you enjoy:

                            Frustrated at her own emotions, she got into the car stiffly and turned on the ignition. Adjusting her rear view mirror so only the slightest corner of the house could be seen, she      

                  placed her shades on her nose and put the little convertible into drive.

                She didn’t glance back once, steadfastly focusing on the road ahead, and the hours ahead of her on the highway. So lost in thought was she, that she nearly missed the jangling

        her cell phone. Turning on her Bluetooth, she answered, “Yeah?”

                “Natalie – listen to me before you hang up –“

                        Natalie tapped the screen to drop the call, the gravelly voice of her boyfriend – her ex boyfriend, she reminded herself, igniting a white hot rage within her belly. Liar. She thought.   

                       Damned liar.

Check out this week’s post for more!

Cheers!

AmmyB

Frustrated at her own emotions, she got into the car stiffly and turned on the ignition. Adjusting her rear view mirror so only the slightest corner of the house could be seen, she placed her shades on her nose and put the little convertible into drive.

                She didn’t glance back once, steadfastly focusing on the road ahead, and the hours ahead of her on the highway. So lost in thought was she, that she nearly missed the jangling of her cell phone.

                Turning on her Bluetooth, she answered, “Yeah?”

                “Natalie – listen to me before you hang up –“

                Natalie tapped the screen to drop the call, the gravelly voice of her boyfriend – her ex boyfriend, she reminded herself, igniting a white hot rage within her belly. Liar. She thought. Damned liar.

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8 Sentence Sunday – 11.03.2013

Hello my dear lovelies!

I know, I know – it’s been a very long time since I did one of these! I apologize! My life has been in upheaval for a while now. Things are a little more tame now, so I hope to continue these posts, and with that in mind, and the challenge of Nanowrimo hanging over my head, I am attempting to post 8 sentences of my WIP, Cherry Valley, onto the blog every Sunday for your enjoyment!

As before, this is hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors, and you can participate by posting 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, onto your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site!

First, a bit about the story: Our heroine, Natalie, is a big city lawyer from a small town she hasn’t returned to since she left for university after graduating highschool. To this end, the only people she has kept in contact with are her best friends, Chrissy and Donna, and the ocassional visit from her vain mother. Circumstances in the city have made it impossible for Natalie to stay there when our story opens, and so she returns to her home town of Cherry Valley in an attempt to sort out her life and to fulfoill a promise to Chrissy who is hiding something and need Donna and Natalie to help her. Going home is never easy, particularly for someone who has made a point to turn her back on home, and Natalie is assaulted with memories of her other best friend, Lily, who disappeared when they were all 16. Delving deep into circumstances of that summer, Natalie begins to receive threats taped to her windshield, leading her straight into the over protective arms of Cole, her sort of one time fling from a decade ago and Chrissy’s older brother. Going home is never easy – but with threats and old loves and a prickly home life – is is deadly, too?

This snippet is from the beginning – Natalie has decided to leave her job, her home and everything’s she worked so hard for and go back to her childhood home. And because she has worked so hard to accomplish all this, she’s pretty upset over it. Here are my 8 – hope you enjoy!:

So last time I left you with the sound of a gunshot and the worried voices of wolves who were missing a few of their own. We pick up just as the height of their worry begins to overcome them and they find out what just happened in the field.  Enjoy!

                Natalie Beauchamp was ruined.

                As she loaded the last of her overstuffed suitcases into her cherry red SC 430, she felt the frustration bubble up inside of her. Over the last ten years, she’d gone from small town girl to big city lawyer, and yet one afternoon – one humiliating event in the middle of her office – and she knew she could never pick up her life from where she wanted to. Slamming the trunk down she took a moment to glance back at her tall skinny townhome, pushing away the panic of leaving it to whatever new tenants her landlord would find. She had nurtured that house for years – she shuddered to think of the ingrates who would inherit all her hard work.  

                She’d come a long way from that small town.

                She had never looked back.

                And now she was going to return.

Check out this week’s post for more!

Cheers!

AmmyB

8 Sentence Sunday – 07.28.2013

Hey All!

I have decided to participate in 8 Sentence Sundays over at the Weekend Writing Warriors! What you do to participate is take 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, and post them on your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site!

So last time I left you with the sound of a gunshot and the worried voices of wolves who were missing a few of their own. We pick up just as the height of their worry begins to overcome them and they find out what just happened in the field.  Enjoy!

As she thought this, Bane leapt over the stone wall and crumpled slowly to the ground. Luna realized instantly why he wasn’t answering their thought queries. He was bleeding and the pain etched in his eyes told her that his whole concentration was on limping through it, not mental communication. And he was already beginning to transform.

Lilia’s relief washed through them all.

Katia transformed effortlessly and knelt by Bane. “Holy Toledos – you were shot.”

His lips formed a grim smile.  “Just once.”

Check out this week’s post for more!

Cheers!

AmmyB

8 Sentence Sunday – 07.14.2013

Hey All!

I have decided to participate in 8 Sentence Sundays over at the Weekend Writing Warriors!

What you do to participate is take 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, and post them on your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site!

So last week I hinted that not all was right in our werewolf’s world. There was a definite boom. Will we find out what happened in 8 sentences?  Enjoy!

Fox muttered, That sounded like a gunshot.

Luna growled at her brother. Don’t say that!

He looked into her eyes, unflinching. His stoic Wolfen face unreadable to her, and she felt the sudden urge to bite him.

Another bang broke the silence of the night and Rusty cowered against Luna and Katia. What if Bane..?

Don’t even say that! Katia snapped.

Vivia nodded. We’re a pack; we don’t just…She left her sentence unfinished, her strength failing her for fear of the possible.

Check out this week’s post for more!

Cheers!

AmmyB

8 Sentence Sunday – 07.07.2013

Hey All!

I have decided to participate in 8 Sentence Sundays over at the Weekend Writing Warriors!

What you do to participate is take 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, and post them on your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site!

So last week I gave you an excerpt that included werewolves racing around, sheep getting scared and mayhem just beginning. This week, we see the thunderous boom of mayhem.  Enjoy!

As the stone wall, crumbling and rotten with age came into view Luna howled and grinned her wolfish grin, running the last few meters in a few bounds and leaps. They were safe now. No one could harm them if they were in the woods. The townspeople were way too scared of them and the other animals respected their privacy. Farmers only cared for their crops and flocks, and if they were headed into the forest, they posed no threat and would be left alone.

The woods was their home and their sanctuary.

Even as she thought this, there was a loud bang and each Wolf stopped, ears pricked to listen to the eerily calm aftermath.

Check out this week’s post for more!

Cheers!

AmmyB

8 Sentence Sunday – 06.30.2013

Hey All!

I have decided to participate in 8 Sentence Sundays over at the Weekend Writing Warriors!

What you do to participate is take 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, and post them on your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site!

I know I have been absent for a month (!) but for some reason WordPress kept deleting my posts. Everything seems fine again, so hopefully there won’t be any more crazy post gaps anymore …

Last month I gave you eight lines from one of my finished novels, The Fangs Between her Teeth, about a group of werewolf friends in their late teens who are on the cusp of a dangerous war that will threaten to tear their world apart … but they don’t know that yet. They’re still dealing with the misconceptions of being The Other.

If you will recall, the previous excerpt started with a fully transformed Luna, springing into a run, followed closely by her friends. I really loved reading all the comments about the connections between the animal forces and poetry, and I want to thank everyone who read! Now,  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as the characters enjoyed running about. Enjoy!

Rounding the bend, she took the commonly used short cut through a farmer’s sheep field, jumping the wooden, broken down fence and immediately finding herself immersed in an open field of quietyly grazing sheep.  Yelping in panic, Luna got control of her limbs to avoid crashing into a rather large sheep and weaved her way through towards Vivia and Katia who were running on the outskirts. The sheep panicked, waddling around her in a large arc, spurring the rest of the flock into action so that she was soon twisting away from fleeing sheep too panicked to realize they were headed in the wrong direction.

In the back of her mind she heard a human voice shouting and she had a moment of fear before pushing it back into the depths of her mind and allowing Fox to overtake her in the race as he zeroed in on Vivia. Jackal was close to Rusty, just behind them and Wolf was right at her tail. Luna sprang from her hind legs and put distance between herself and Wolf. He growled at her, and tried to catch up.

There was safety in numbers, she thought to herself.

Check out this week’s post for more!

Cheers!

AmmyB

8 Sentence Sunday – 05.26.2013

Hey All!

I have decided to participate in 8 Sentence Sundays over at the Weekend Writing Warriors!

What you do to participate is take 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, and post them on your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site!

Last week I gave you eight lines from one of my finished novels, The Fangs Between her Teeth, about a group of werewolf friends in their late teens who are on the cusp of a dangerous war that will threaten to tear their world apart … but they don’t know that yet. They’re still dealing with the misconceptions of being The Other.

If you will recall, the previous excerpt showed the Change in Vivia from human to wolf. We now open up in Luna’s perspective again, as she finishes her own change and they all start to run. I wanted to convey a playfulness and an urgency to their racing game – they have lots of power and strength, but at the same time, they are still teenagers – children caught up in their own game. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as the characters enjoyed running about. Enjoy!

Springing into a run, Luna allowed her need for running consume her until she was at a gallop, gaining on the golden wolf that was Vivia. Luna enjoyed being human and running wild, but in her wolf form, she was always so sleek and so unstoppable! She had the world on its ear and was easily prancing around with giddiness, but with purpose. She had to get to the creek before the others! Her competitiveness steeled her limbs against fatigue and leapt over a fallen branch as she burst through the tree line and into the woods.

She could feel the others all around her, running and breathless, their pawfalls rhythmic in the otherwise quiet night. Weaving through the trees of the forest, Luna imagined them as furry spirits of the night, untouchable and fleeting, a part of the night and the forest, timeless as the forest itself.

Her inner poet sat detached in the human part of her mind, reacting to this assault of her senses with a calm exhilaration that pushed her forward with words as well as speed

Check out this week’s post for more!

Cheers!

AmmyB

Book Review: Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

It’s like that, I guess, when the past come to collect what you owe.

Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan

I have read my fair share of Second World War novels – usually the heroes are American or British, sometimes they’re soldiers or nurses, and other times they’re on the homefront, and almost always they’re white. So when I picked up Half Blood Blues I knew I was in for something different, I just hadn’t realized how different.

The novel is told by the point of view of Sid Griffiths – a former jazz musician, with a bass as his instrument – who lived through the rise of the Nazis in Germany and then the occupation of Paris before coming back to Baltimore and living his life. The story is one of facing your past and moving forward (or holding yourself back). It’s a beautiful, sad story. And a poignant one at that. Things I never considered, like the status of musicians, of black-skinned artists in the Third Reich, or even of German born, Half black citizens – because my high school history classes never covered it, and my university history classes only mentioned grand statistics.

Edugyan is a master storyteller – the story weaves itself from the 30s and 40s to the 1990s effortlessly, the narrative jumping from Sid’s past to his octogarian self, the same wit and the same tone, though older, wiser. It’s amazing what can be accomplished through language. Edugyan immerses herself in the narrative, clothes herself in the vernacular – it’s a beautiful thing and it creates the world as it was, something you can almost touch, just because the characters are using the right words, the correct expressions and plattitudes.

It ain’t fair. Gifts is divided so damn unevenly. Like God just left his damn sack of talents in a ditch somewhere and said, “Go help yourselves, ladies and gents.Them’s that get there first can help themselves to the biggest ones. In every other walk of life, a jack can work to get what he want. but ain’t no amount of toil going get you a lick more talent than you born with. Geniuses ain’t made, brother, they just is. and I just was not.

Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan

The way the vernacular comes through – “brother” “jack” “janes”  – the way the banter between Sid and his oldest friend Chip just flows seamlessly from phrase to phrase, even after sixty odd years – it’s a wonderful read. It flows over you, pulling you into the story that can be hard to read at times.

Because this ain’t no fairy tale.

Sid is a musician – a jazz musician, for heaven’s sake – under a regime that is growing in restrictions. He is black, and so are a lot of his friends, though he has friends among Jews, Germans and other Europeans. The police – “boots” – patrol the streets after dark, beating anyone out after curfew, particularly if they have the telling marks of a non-Aryan. The music scene is getting stressed – no one willing to stick their necks out to enjoy the music, instead hiding away at clubs that are quickly running out of power and booze. There is a desperation to the narrative – a hurry up and wait – where all the characters know what’s coming, in increments they start piecing together that their time together is short, but no one can figure what to do about it.

It’s a secret history that no one really knows, but everyone can recall – the rush to get out, first of Germany and then, as the Nazi troops fall on Paris, out through the South of France to Portugal and beyond. It’s a story everyone’s heard, a scene everyone’s seen at least once – in some black and white movie, in some made for school special.

But it’s different somehow – probably because you get to see all the people you didn’t get to see before and all the politics in that. There’s a claustrophobia in it – like no matter which way you turn on the street, you end up shut in. And the way Edugyan unravels it all to get to the conclusion is mastery at work.

Because the real craftiness of the novel lies in the older Sid, his regrets and his fears, as he goes back to Germany and then Poland to amend for his actions during the Paris occupation. Sid is such a real character – he is jealous and hopeful, horny and patient, run through and yet still aspirational. You sort of hate him for what he does, but you understand too – understand the ambition and the hope for something better, for a chance to make it right, for a chance to make it big. He’s a wonderfully human character that you can’t help but sympathize with by the time you turn the last page.

It’s a heart breaking novel that will leave tears in your eyes and leave you better educated than you were before – about race, culture, citizenship, and jazz. Especially jazz. Edugyan’s appreciation for jazz seems to pluck out all my sentiments from my head and put them into words.

I leave you with this:

There’s all sorts of ways to live, Chip. Some of them you give a lot. Some of them you take a lot. Art, jazz, it was a kind of taking. You take from the audience, you take from yourself.

Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan

It’s a thorough “coming home” story that spans decades and brings you right back to where it started. I highly recommend it!

Cheers!

AmmyB

Next to Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

8 Sentence Sunday – 05.19.2013

Hey All!

I have decided to participate in 8 Sentence Sundays over at the Weekend Writing Warriors!

What you do to participate is take 8 lines from your story, be it complete or work-in-progress, and post them on your blog, FB, whatever – and then link back to the site!

Last week I gave you eight lines from one of my finished novels, The Fangs Between her Teeth, about a group of werewolf friends in their late teens who are on the cusp of a dangerous war that will threaten to tear their world apart … but they don’t know that yet. They’re still dealing with the misconceptions of being The Other.

This excerpt opens up right after the previous one, and it just describes the change – no romance or tension here, just a good old fashioned transformation scene. Enjoy!

Turning to them, Vivia gave her most coquettish smile and winked. “Excellent! Kiddies – see you on the other side!”

And with that she Changed.

First, Vivia’s skin was replaced with fur and her bone structure altered, her golden fur sprung from her pores in a wave of growth that began everywhere at once, her bones fluidly making the change without much sound of awful contortion. She fell forward on all fours, uttering unintelligible words before her voice box changed and her throat became unable to speak. Her hair seemed to melt into itself and was soon absorbed into her furry skin, leaving her with golden patterns tattooed onto her body, the fur around her head creating a mane-like aura that refused to blend into the rest of her. Her face jutted out and her features widened and stretched, until her eyes were on either side of her skull, her nose stretching beyond her own limits, slanting upwards, creating space for her elongated canines and lolling pink tongue. Her ears grew and pricked up higher, the hooped silver earrings still in place over the rim of her ear, a strange sight on her Wolfen form.

Vivia growled and rolled her shoulders back, her tail sprouting from her lower back in a waterfall of golden hair, and as her bones all clicked together, she let out the howl that had been itching to be let out since the transformation had begun.

Check out this week’s post for more!

And for my Canadian peeps – Happy May 2-4 (Victoria Day)! 🙂

Cheers!

AmmyB