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Category Archives: snippets

everything is awesome! (for now)

Project Remembrance is going swimmingly (I just love that word) right now and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve made some changes with the point of view (switching it to first person, Skye – but past tense, as first person, present is so overdone these days), general style, characters, etc., and it’s coming along well.  You really can’t imagine how good it feels to write a thousand or so words every morning and have it actually feel like I’m accomplishing something.  Fan-fiction is great and I love it dearly (and I have an entire list of fic I want to write eventually), but nothing beats working with your own stories and characters.  These past few days have seen me the most content and satisfied I’ve been for a while (as a writer, that is).

At present, there are 3,877 words in PR’s document, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’m happy with it.  I’ve made it a goal to write at least a thousand words every day (something I can do in an hour, and sometimes even less) and, so far, it’s going well.  Although I think I’m going to have to work on pacing, since I’m not even out of the first scene. *cough*  I will admit that I’ve been indulging my love of courtroom scenes/dramas, but I’ll be moving on when my next writing session rolls around.  There’s still a lot of plot and characterization to work though and the story will most likely change again and again and again, but I’m having fun now and the whole thing’s going very well.  So well, in fact, that I thought I’d share a snippet. (it’s been a while since I’ve done that, actually)

Rita Vern, the director of the Department, walked past without so much as a glance toward my table. Her jaw was set, her eyes directed straight ahead, and she looked like she was ready to do battle. As was I.
I didn’t recognize her lawyer, which was unusual given that I rubbed shoulders with those in the law business every single day of my life. The fact that I didn’t recognize the male lawyer meant that he was most likely near the top of the competitive chain, something that was only achieved by being one of the best of the best.
My mom might have been too hasty with setting me up in such an important case.
“When do we start?” Pette said in a whisper.
I turned away from my scrutiny of Rita Vern and her lawyer and back to Pette. “Soon,” I said. I removed my datapod from the table and started it up. Having all the details of the case in front of me wasn’t necessary, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
Though nothing was ever really, truly simple in our legal system, this case was relatively straightforward, at least on the screen. Pette Ricks was bringing a case against the Department of Records, with the charge that they slandered her daughter’s name while compiling her dead file. She wanted the dead file reclaimed, destroyed, a new one made, and – if I could manage it – certain limitations imposed against the Department to prevent that kind of thing ever happening again.
It was the last part that worried me. Since the Department was almost solely responsible for keeping the peace in our country, because of the dead files, they had the near full backing from what government we had. Taking measures against them was always tricky.
A headache was coming on, I could feel it, but I pushed it away. Not now. I couldn’t deal with it right now.

Eva

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in project remembrance, snippets, writing

 

nanowrimo – week 4

Today’s post will be very short in comparison to the other three I’ve done for NaNoWriMo, because I’m doing a really big push today and tomorrow to get the words down and actually win the challenge.  I’ve written 2,000 words today, I’ve got 3,700 left to write to win, so once I’m finished writing this post to give you a quick update, I’ll be right back with my writing.  I think I could probably win today if I spend all my computer time writing – not sure if I’m going to be doing that, though, because breaks are great, but I should definitely get at least another thousand words in before the end of today.

I’ve been pretty good about keeping away from Pinterest, Youtube, and other distractions, and I think my word count shows that.  In fact, on Thursday I wrote for nearly two hours straight on a computer that had no Internet access and I got a LOT accomplished.  Turning off the Internet really does help, no matter how cliched the advice has gotten to be.  Another thing that really helped (and something I wish I’d thought of at the beginning of this month) is to play a movie soundtrack in its entirety (movie soundtracks are usually about an hour long apiece) and do nothing but write until the music is over.  I’ve been really enjoying the music for Kung Fu Panda, even if it doesn’t much match the theme of my book.  Check it out!

You can view, download and comment on Kung Fu Panda free hd wallpapers for your desktop backgrounds, mobile and tablet in different resolutions.

Okay, I’ll quickly share a snippet, and then it’s off to the grindstone again. (*wink*)  And I promise that when NaNo’s over, I’ll share more about the actual plot and characters in Project Remembrance.

Jonas Breen.
Skye gazed at the name on the mysterious file.
Jonas Breen.
Related to Liz Breen perhaps? Possibly. She wasn’t sure, she couldn’t be sure of anything at this point. From what she’d seen of her mom and Liz’s encounter, it had been awkward and not without some trepidation on Liz’s part. Maybe Liz’s coming had had something to do with this file. Skye somehow didn’t want that, because an agent – intern, really – coming from the Department of Records would probably want the file back, she would get mixed up in a big, tangled mess, and she hated that kind of thing.
All she wanted was to keep the file and figure out the story behind it.
And she couldn’t do that if those stuffy people from the Department of Records took it away.
Skye looked around her, almost furtively. It was the dead of night, her mom was certainly asleep – just to be sure, she’d checked about twenty minutes ago – and now it was time to open up the file and see just what exactly was in it. But there was still a part of her that wanted to wait, to savour it. There would certainly be some interesting things, and she was craving to read whatever was inside, but she also wanted to save it. Anyway, hadn’t she promised herself that she’d do things in alphabetical order? She still wasn’t done Ruth Akins or Connie Breen.
Well, maybe she’d just finish memorizing Ruth, and then jump ahead a little to Jonas Breen.
Maybe.
Probably not, though, since doing things out of order was something that made her uncomfortable.
After all, she hadn’t been up to the attic in quite some time and there was still that old computer sitting there, just begging to be worked on and fixed. She still wanted to fix it…didn’t she? Or had these dead files really taken over her life, the way so many people had said happened to them? They’d always said it had been in a good way, but she didn’t want anything to take over her life. She’d had everything – law school, repairing, social life – in neat little slots. Before the dead files. And now everything was messed up. ~Chapter 5

Eva

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in nanowrimo, project remembrance, snippets, writing

 

nanowrimo – week 3

This week has been a study in procrastination, and yet I actually got a lot accomplished.  I have about 18,000 words left to write in eight days, which I’m not looking forward to, to say the least, but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m up to 31,874 words right now which is whole lot more than I expected I would have at the beginning of this week.  Anyway, about the procrastination…I’ve watched animated movies (Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon), watched Combat!, taken a gazillion Combat! screencaps, watched Combat! fanvideos, pinned a ton of stuff, and just overall did a bunch of things that are Not Writing.  And yet I have 10,000 words to show for my week of procrastination.

Don’t ask me how that happened, because I don’t know.

Anyway, I have a feeling that this coming week, the very last week of NaNoWriMo (goodness, time goes by SO fast these days), will be a ‘buckle down and get to work for real’ week.  Oh, I’ll still watch Combat!, but only in the evenings.  I’ll still pin stuff, but much less than I’ve been doing.  And every day, I’ll write until my fingers are sore.  Or something like that.  Because I really, really don’t want to lose NaNo this year, or any year.  I think it’s mainly a matter of pride – bragging rights and all that – but I also think it’s awesome to win just because I’ll have 50,000 words of story.  How cool is that? (or, in my case, 40K words of Project Remembrance and 10K words of Combat! fanfiction)  Now, at this point in the week re-cap post, I usually put a Combat! fandom picture in here, and this week, it’s going to be from The Clone Wars. (I’ll explain in the next paragraph)

I’m describing the world of Project Remembrance as ‘Clone Wars meets Matched’, and I think that pretty much sums it up.  The whole ‘record of dead people’ (and, as it later turns out, people who are still alive) is similar to the Matched trilogy (although I hope not too similar) and whenever I’m writing descriptions of places around the city where Skye lives, all I can picture in my head is the Clone Wars universe, particularly downtown Coruscant.  Plus, one of the weapons that Skye uses – a kind of stun stick – is styled after a lightsaber.  I definitely don’t agree with everything about the Star Wars universe, but there are some pretty neat things in it.

Snippet time! (and I’m thinking that after NaNo, I’ll write a blog post properly introducing all the characters and more about the plot – sounds good?)

The smell of burning bread and rice sifted up through creaking, crooked floorboards of Nia’s bedroom. For a moment, she just sat there on her bed numbly as she had been doing for nearly an hour as she pieced together memories and dredged up recollections that were a hundred times better hidden. But then she realized just what exactly she was smelling.
“Oh, no…” she whispered. Springing up from the bed, she clattered down the stairs, so differently from the usual slow and steady pace she exhibited; something drilled into her by both her mother and more recently – if you could five years ago – her aunt. Now her mother was gone and her aunt was dead and her uncle was the only one left.
And he was burning their food.
Nia stood in the doorway of the small kitchen, little more than a closet in actuality, and watched the smoke billowing up from the oven’s inside and the stove top. She grabbed a cloth from the laundry rack and gingerly moved the pot of rice to one side and took the bread from the oven. Both foods were irretrievably burnt and even she and her uncle, in their perpetually hungry state, could not stomach this degree of charred food.
What had gone wrong? Uncle Proust, despite his many faults, was usually a careful, good cook with what little food they had.
“Uncle Proust?” she called, even though the scrappy living room was only two or three steps away. Her voice held more anger than usual. Her meal at the cafeteria, something included along with scholarship, had held her over as always, but she was still hungry, always hungry and Uncle Proust had ruined whatever small meal they could have hoped to eat. So, yes, she was angry.
She left the kitchen for the living room.
“Uncle?”
There he sat, in the only chair they owned, the one he called ‘his favorite’, head set to one side, sleeping. That he had fallen asleep while the food was heating was something she had never known him to do before. And why would he, when each meal was their last until something new was found? She would receive no credits until she won a case or graduated. They relied on whatever the government cared to give to those living in the slums each month.
“Uncle Proust, wake up. The food has burned.”
She shook his shoulder and his hand fell away, a lifeless quality about the way it dropped.
“Uncle Proust?”
No response. Nia took a step back, hands pressed over her mouth, eyes wide. He was dead. He had died in this house, in this chair, while the food burned and she had known nothing of it. How could everything have continued just as normal while a man died? Nia backed up until she was pressed against the wall, her eyes never having left the still, and now very obviously dead body of Uncle Proust.
What would she do now?
Aunt was gone. Father and Mother were gone. And now Uncle. ~Chapter 4

Eva

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in nanowrimo, project remembrance, snippets, writing

 

nanowrimo – week 2

(sorry this is a day late – I completely forgot about doing a weekly NaNo update until late last night when I was in bed)

How goes the battle, fellow NaNoers?  For me, it’s going pretty well.  I’m still about 5,000 words behind schedule (give or take a couple thousand), but I’m writing hard and having fun, and I think that’s a big part of what NaNoWriMo is all about.  I’m not exactly happy with my low word count (21,193 words), especially since a quick check of my writing journal from this time last year shows that by this point, I only had 10,000 more words to write before hitting 50K…but I can live with it.  I’m sure the last few days will be a mad scramble to win, but I can handle it.  I’m ready.

Now, I have a confession to make.  I’ve become a NaNo Rebel.  A NaNo Rebel is someone who works on a collection of short stories, poetry, graphic novels, etc.; someone who draws pictures or edits during the challenge; or someone who works on two projects at once.  I’ve fallen into the third category.  See, my writing was going really slowly with Project Remembrance, and since I was so far behind, I needed/wanted a project to quickly and easily boost my word count.  And just what might that kind of project be?  Fan-fiction.  Simple, easy brain candy that’s a breeze to write, partly because I don’t have to think much about characters and plot and partly because I write fan-fiction about fandoms I love/obsess over, and it’s easy to write lots about what I love.  I finished up my first ‘Combat!’ fic yesterday at just a little under 10K and I’m pretty happy with it, even if it still needs a lot some work.  I’ll be going back to Project Remembrance now, but if the whole thing slows down again, I’ve got a lot of other fic ideas I can explore.

I don’t think anyone will be very interested in an excerpt from some fan-fiction for an obscure old show, so I’ll share some more of Project Remembrance. (although I don’t know if anyone’s interested in that either)  Oh, but before I forget, I found the perfect soundtrack for PR.  I always end up finding a movie soundtrack that fits perfectly (or nearly) with my current novel’s theme and mood, and at the moment, it’s The Fault In Our Stars. (the score, not the ‘songs inspired by’ thingy)  Check it out – you’ll love it!

Alone in her room, Skye opened her briefcase.
Fifteen files, fifteen people, fifteen lives.
She wasn’t going to be all sappy and sentimental about the whole thing, but she had to admit there was something poignant about this system. In her hands, she literally held the lives of fifteen different people. All ages, nationalities, every one of them unique.
And she was tasked with remembering each and every one of them, making sure that for as long as she lived, they’d never be forgotten. In a way, it was comforting to think that the same thing would happen to her when she died. As long as she cooperated, that is. She could see how people would get attached the whole concept.
But enough of this.
She checked the tabs on the files where the names were written in clear, careful script. All the writing was the same and she wondered who exactly sat down and wrote it all out, hour after hour. It must have been tedious. It looked to be about half men and half women – or girls or boys depending on when they died – and she arranged the files in alphabetical order. That was how she’d tackle them. ~Chapter 4

Eva

 
 

nanowrimo – week 1

NaNoWriMo has been going well, considering that I’m afflicted with whooping cough, my entire family is afflicted with whooping cough, and when you’re sick, production levels go only one place.  Down.  I’m about 3,000 words behind, which is where I’ve been almost all week, and it’s not the greatest feeling in the world.  Especially since last year I took the NaNo world by storm (after only a day of preparation, no less) and reached 50K in about twenty days.  Maybe part of the reason I’m having so much trouble is that I had a lot of time to prepare, to plot everything out, to get used to the story – while everything was spontaneous last year. (and in case you’re interested, I’m at 9,942 words)

Anyway, I’ve had to resort to something I almost never do – bribery.  I bribe myself.  How weird is that? (at least I think it’s weird)  What, you might ask, am I bribing myself with?  ‘Combat!’  A delightful television show all about the trials and tribulations of a squad of men fighting in France in WWII. (delightful my foot…the thing is depressing as Les Miserables)  For an hour or so every day (if I’ve done my writing), my sister and I forget all about terrible word count and incessant coughing and all that stuff and watch other people go through much worse situations than we ever will – it’s oddly encouraging. (shameless plug: WATCH COMBAT!  It’s amazing.  Especially Doc 2.  Who I will include a picture of because it’s my blog and I love him dearly.)

A typical day of NaNo-ing goes something like this…

  • Wake up. (obviously)
  • Have breakfast.
  • Write for about half an hour.
  • Break.  Play Uno with my siblings/read a book.
  • Write for an hour.
  • Lunch.
  • Watch Combat! with Elisabeth.
  • Break until after supper.
  • Write for half an hour.
  • Go on Pinterest, send emails, catch up on Facebook.
  • Bed.

So, I’m taking a gentler approach to the challenge this year, with plenty of breaks, but at least I’m still getting words down.  Although I don’t even want to talk about the quality of those words.  I’ve decided that I’ll share a snippet at the end of every NaNo post this week, but honestly, I’m not proud of it at all.  I’m definitely placing quantity over quality.  The plot’s there, and that’s about it.  My characterization and dialogue skills have seen better days.  But here’s the snippet anyway 🙂

“Skye Amsden, here to take my memory test.”
The desk receptionist in front of Skye hardly glanced up. “You’ll have to wait.”
So Skye sat on one of the soft chairs that instantly molded around her to create the best possible experience. The technology was a luxury, even for her, but she couldn’t enjoy it.
Arriving on time was something she prided herself on, and she’d walked through the thick glass doors at exactly nine in the morning. It was now two minutes past nine, she could see no one from where she sat in the spacious waiting room, and the receptionist moved with all the ambition of a half-dead slug. All in all, not an auspicious beginning.
Nevertheless, it was a beginning.
She sat in the most professional, elegant manner she could think of for the benefit of both the receptionist and anyone who might come in. She was a prime candidate for the selection – even if she didn’t want to be – and being a lawyer was all about public image. She’d be poised, polite, and placid. After all, it wasn’t all that big of a deal. The whole dead files thing just took weeks, if not months, out of her life and leave her less time to study for things that were actually important. But no big deal, right?
Inwardly, she rolled her eyes.
The door she’d entered from opened again.
“Don’t touch the glass,” the receptionist said, without looking up, in a sepulchral voice that had the potential to raise the dead from their files, just because they’d think one of their own was in the building.
Nia walked in, data pod in hand just like Skye, and rolled her eyes, in reference to the receptionist. Then she grinned, and sat down a couple seats away from Skye. She placed her data pod on her lap in front of her and appeared to be reading something off it. Skye looked away. None of her business.
Several minutes passed. The room was so silent, Skye could hear her own heartbeat, everyone’s breathing, extremely faint sounds from somewhere outside the room, and a single sheet of paper falling from the reception desk.
Nia tapped at her data pod a couple times, and then put it in her jacket pocket, right side.
“How long have you been here?” she asked in a hushed voice.
Skye shrugged. “Maybe ten minutes.”
“They said nine o’clock.”
“I know,” Skye said. For a moment they had something in common and commiserated silently. But Nia was a rival lawyer, even if she didn’t seem to be resentful or outwardly hostile to the fact that Skye’d won and she’d lost, and Skye didn’t feel right in trusting her. Better to keep rivals and potential enemies at arms’ length. Far enough away to not fall into any traps but close enough to observe them. ~Chapter 2

How’s your NaNoWriMo going?

Eva

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2014 in nanowrimo, project remembrance, snippets, writing

 

story fragments

my current favorite inspiration pic for VIM, since it fits one bit of the book perfectly – looks exactly like how I imagined it.

So, I’ve been feeling pretty depressed and ‘out of it’ in regards to Vengeance Is Mine but I thought that maybe doing another story snippets post would get me fired up again, especially since I’ll be going back over all the best parts.  The story has changed a lot, and it’ll definitely keep on changing, so at least some of these snippets will most likely get deleted later on – consider it an exclusive sneak peek, ‘kay?  I considered sharing some snippets of the fan-fiction I seem to have no problem in churning out these days, but I decided that I needed to get back to more serious projects, and sharing bits of it wasn’t the best way (forgive me if I seem to be rambling; I’m pretty tired right now) to do that.  So please enjoy the snippets I did decide to share, and please let me know your thoughts.  The comment box is always open!

Nathan was exhausted.

Stay with it, he told himself fiercely.  Sure, it’s only your first day, but you’ve got to do better than this.  He wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand and let it drip to the dusty floor of the training room.  As far as he knew, the training room was the only place in the facility that was mostly outdoors.  There was a thin sheet of metal overtop, but the floor was natural sand with patches of grass here and there.

The trainer called Hunter stood in front of him.

“You okay?”

Nathan gulped in some air, and then nodded.  “Yeah.  I’m fine.  I’m ready.”

Hunter studied him for a moment, doubt visible in his eyes and stance.  Nathan felt like protesting some more, but if he allowed himself the truth, he wasn’t fine.  Sweat was still pouring off him, his legs felt like rubber, and his throat was dry as Director Stella’s congratulations on a job well done.

“Um…is there any water in here?” he asked, immediately hating himself for the question.  Weakness was not a virtue, and he’d just revealed some of his.

Hunter walked over to one of the storage cupboards that ringed the training, fumbled with the lock for a minute with the key he had, and then swung the door open.  Nathan saw several bottles of water inside and despite his burning wish to not appear weak, it was all he could do to not run over and grab one.  Anyway, Hunter was coming back with a bottle.

“Small sips,” Hunter instructed, tossing Nathan the bottle.  Then, before Nathan could ask anything, he said, “If you take too much at once, it’ll waterlog you, and then I won’t be able to teach you anything else for the rest of the day.  Plus, you’ll get a stomach ache.”  He nodded at the water.

Nathan nodded to show he understood – he couldn’t manage any words at the moment – and unscrewed the cap.  It was easier than he’d thought it would be to take small gulps and not overwhelm himself.  Partly because he thought it would be plain embarrassing to be carried out of the training room with a stomach ache on his first day, and partly because he wasn’t even dehydrated.  Just worn out.

“Had enough?” Hunter asked after a few minutes.

Nathan took another swig and then nodded.

“Good.  We’ll go back to the push-ups.”

:::::

The door swung open with a sticky squeak, plenty of dust billowing around him, and a shaft of light so bright Nathan thought he’d go blind.  “Agh!” he shouted, scrambling to his feet.  The light as directed to his feet, leaving a glow large enough for him to see the intruders, but not blinding him in the process.  Laii and Hunter stood there, concern on their faces.

“Hey,” Hunter said.

“Nathan, what on earth are you doing in there?”

“Well…”

Hunter must have filled in Laii on everything that had happened, she somehow knew of his favorite hide-out, and had led him to it.  Nathan stared at both of them, feeling a vague sense of betrayal.  If his trainer and caretaker-turned-advisor knew where he went to be alone, where could he go?  The answer was, very simply, nowhere.

“Just because Dylan is joining the team doesn’t mean the end of the world,” Laii said.

If only she understood.

“You know that’s not true,” Nathan said.  “You’ve seen the way we fight.  We’ll be at each other all the time and we’ll both fail.”  He threw up his hands, and said, “No offence to you, Hunter.  If anyone could keep a recruit from failing, it’s you, but you should probably get yourself a couple of new ones.”  He bit the inside of his cheek and waited for one of them to speak.

Hunter shook his head.  “Director Stella specifically ordered me to train you two.”

“Is it that bad?” Laii asked at nearly the same time.

“I was kidding about the switch,” Nathan said, glowering.  “I know she wouldn’t let you.”  And then, to Laii, “Yeah, it’s bad.  I mean, we can’t be in the same room together without brawling in thirty seconds or less.”  He plopped down onto a large paint can and put his head in his hands.  Maybe he looked pitiful, sitting like that, but he didn’t care.

Maybe he was pitiful.

“How did it even start?” Laii asked after a moment.

He looked up.  “What?”

“The fight.”

He shrugged.  “I don’t know.  We’ve been fighting since we were little.  He used to tell me-”  He paused.  Dylan’s usual insults were old news to Laii, but Hunter didn’t know about them.  He didn’t want to say it, in case Hunter agreed and realized he’d known there was something different about Nathan all along.  Not that there was, but most of the recruits followed Dylan’s lead.  Still, it was better to get it out.  “He says I don’t belong here.  That I’m not one of them.”

:::::

Nathan shivered.  The air was bitingly cold.  “So, we’re going to stand around here for hours watching for some nonexistent threat?” he asked, irritation slipping into his tone.  In the facility, the temperature was always regulated, and he wasn’t used to the jittery, frozen feeling that stole over him.  It made him feel weak and helpless.  Hunter had made sure they all dressed warmly, but it wasn’t enough.

“Is there a problem?” Hunter asked.  “It’s what guards do.  And there are threats, believe me.  If there weren’t, we’d have no need for guards.”  Nathan was about to ask him what kind of threats there were, when Hunter said, “From what I heard, there’ve been some sightings of unidentified men hanging around here.  Director Stella wants to find out who they are, and what they want.”

Nathan nodded, but he still didn’t like it.  Who cared about some random guys?

“Aren’t these jackets a little thin for this kind of thing?” Dylan said a few minutes later.

“The cold?”

Dylan nodded.

“Don’t you-?”  Hunter reached over and pressed a button at the bottom of Dylan’s jacket.  Then he did the same to Nathan.  Instantly, Nathan could feel warm air swirling around inside the jacket.  It rose up around his neck and then was sucked back down again for another cycle.  The sudden warmth gave him goose-bumps, but he wasn’t cold anymore.  “You can get cool air, too,” Hunter added.

Nathan shook his head.  “Where’d you get these?  They’re amazing.”

Hunter stuck his hands into his jacket’s pockets.  “I commandeered them from the trainer’s supply.  Most of the other trainers were getting them for their own recruits, so I did the same thing.  Don’t you recognize them?” he added.

“It’s dark,” Nathan said.

“Oh, I can fix that.”  Hunter unzipped part of his jacket and then seemingly pulled the whole thing off over his head.  But the jacket was still on, only it was a weird, glowing fluorescent colour.  It wasn’t particularly strong, but Nathan was able to see his face at least.  Hunter showed both him and Dylan ho to transform their jacket the same way.  Now they could actually see each other, and, best of all, the warm air still worked.

“You were just waiting till we complained so that you could show us all that,” Nathan said.

Hunter grinned and shrugged.  “Maybe.   But we need to be quiet now.  So, no talking.  And turn the lights off – everyone can see us for a mile away.”

:::::

Again, Lily felt the old, familiar sense of injustice rising up in her.

She cleaned houses – mansions, really – every single day.  Those houses were always clean and bright and airy (partly due to her, but if she refused to work, there were hundreds of others who would).  At times she wished that she could refuse to work, to show all the rich ones that she wasn’t going to grovel to them for money.  But she needed the money and, truth be told, to be in the beautiful mansions relaxed her.  It was a not so welcome reprieve from the squalor that met her whenever she returned home.

She was almost to her own door.

Pausing for a moment, Lily took a deep breath and forced a smile onto her face.  Her mother was ill, nervous, and easily worried.  Even if it was difficult at times, she always made sure to have a cheerful face and attitude when she was around her mother.  It was much easier than having to field concerned questions.  It was all Lily could do not to appear worried in her mother’s presence, though.  She was sick and getting sicker all the time.

Be cheerful.  Happy.  Glad to be back home.

At least she wouldn’t have to fake the last part.

Lily pushed open the door.  “Mom?  I’m home,” she called, throwing down the heap of laundry to one side of the door.  Her eyes took in the main room.  Her mother wasn’t there, which meant she was in the tiny bedroom they shared.  She’d spent most of her time there for the past several weeks.  The bed, no matter how scrawny, was more comfortable than a couple of scarred, hard chairs or a stool in the kitchen area.

It took about five steps to get to the bedroom.  Lily hesitated a moment before flicking on the light – since her mother was almost certainly sleeping – but then did so.  She was sleeping, but Lily didn’t turn the light back off.  Moving quietly, she entered the room and spent a couple minutes tidying up.  Even if they were poor, their apartment would be clean.  A clean apartment would also let her mother know that she’d been here, before going back to wash the laundry and clean houses.

Lily glanced at her mother for a moment.

She was still young, but her hair was almost all grey, except for a few streaks of black here and there.  Her eyes were closed, of course, but when opened, they were a faded blue.  Lily had often thought that she must have gotten her looks from her father – whom she’d never seen, as far as she could recall – since her green eyes and blonde hair were nothing like her mother’s features.

Was it just her imagination, or was her mother…not breathing?

Lily leaned closer, her movements controlled when all she felt like doing was grabbing her mother by the shoulders and shaking her to reassure herself that she was still alive.  With trembling hands, she tried to check the pulse, but her hands were shaking so badly, she couldn’t have felt anything.  She laid a hand on her mother’s chest.  There was nothing.  No movement and no warmth.

With a racing heart, Lily slumped onto the other bed.

She stared at her mother.

This is ridiculous, she thought.  You left her for twenty minutes.  She can’t be-she’s just sick-

Inside, she knew the truth of it, but the main part of her heart and mind wouldn’t accept the terrible fact.  She sat there, on her bed, staring into space for hours.  The laundry went unheeded.  She didn’t leave to go clean some rich person’s house.  Any knocks on the door were ignored. 

Maybe if she shut the world out and turned to stone, it would all turn out to be a bad dream.

:::::

The director lowered her hand, finished with her conversation for the moment.

There were more pressing concerns – the assault on the main gate being one of them.

She’d been warned about the rebels for months now, but since they’d never caused any problems (besides that one unfortunate event with the trainer and his student) she’d allowed security to slide a little.  Allowed a sense of well-being and safety, no matter how false, to creep in.  Now the rebels were talking advantage of that false security and launching a full-scale attack.

Well, maybe not as bad as that.

From what she could gather, there were less than a hundred of them.

Odd that they would attack with such weak numbers.

Stella frowned and switched on her tiny communicator once again.

“Sir?  I think they might be planning a-”

What happened next brought the conversation to an abrupt halt.

What did you think of these snippets?

Eva

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2014 in snippets, vengeance is mine, writing

 

a bit of ‘hunger games’ fan-fiction

my current favorite Everlark picture.

I recently read the Hunger Games trilogy and fell in love with both the story and the characters.  I reviewed the series over at my main blog, watched the first two movies, clicked through hundreds of pins on Pinterest, and even wrote a little fan-fiction: a poem, and a one-shot (a one-shot in fan-fiction means a scene or one chapter story).  The poem is from Katniss’ POV and the one-shot is from Peeta’s.  First, an explanation about the poem.  I normally dislike poetry.  Oh, I’ll read the occasional poem, but a steady diet of them would drive me crazy (for instance, I couldn’t sit down with a book of poetry and read it cover to cover).  As much as I dislike reading poetry, I hate writing it even more.  Whenever I conciously try to write a poem, it sounds forced and silly and I can never get the right rhyme and rhythm.  But, every so often, I’ll get a quick burst of inspiration and when I act on that, my poems (or, I should say poem, since I only ever get just one out of one of those bursts) are pretty good, if I say so myself.  Take a look?

When I saw/heard this in the movie, I shouted, "Together?! What?! No!!!!!! You guys can't die! How would they make a sequel?! No death!!! I love you guys!!! We've been through so much!"

A hole in my heart,
My heart on my sleeve.
I must play the part,
Or else I won’t leave.

My role has been born,
By fire within.
My spirit’s not broken,
I won’t let them win.

These berries I take,
One final, last plea.
For a much better world,
Than is closing on me.

I hold them up high,
A symbol of pride.
I don’t want to forget,
That so many have died.

We stand there together,
The boy and me there.
The berries are lifted,
An intake of air.

Then out from the horn,
A weak-kneed voice calls.
“Stop, stop, don’t eat them!”
The deadly harvest falls.

The boy looks at me,
I look at the boy.
We throw down the weapons,
And hug tightly for joy.

All else is a blur,
I can’t look away.
But revolution sparks,
On that cold, cloudy day.

And, then, the one-shot.  A lot of people have asked for the entire trilogy rewritten from Peeta’s POV, and while I was considering working on that project, I’ve since abandoned the idea.  It would be too hard and too involved, and I have my other writing to think about.  Fan-fiction is loads of fun, but it shouldn’t take precedence over your original work, in my opinion.  So, I wrote this little scene, and even though I won’t be doing all three books, I think I’ll write other scenes from Peeta’s POV and maybe some of the other characters as well.  Fan-fiction is a great way to practice writing, and working with different characters will help me with my own characters’ characterization.  At least I hope it will.  So here’s the quick fic I wrote…enjoy!

peeta

The rain bangs against the windows with a ferocity that I’ve only seen matched by the Peacekeepers that prowl the streets of District 12. I stare into the silvery streaks lashing against the glass, letting the sameness of it all take my mind away from the stale bread, blistering hot ovens, and an angry mother.
It doesn’t last long.
“Peeta!” she shouts angrily, and I break away from the window. “That bread’s going to burn if you don’t watch it!” In a moment, Mom’s beside me, her hand hovering in front of my face. I try to step back, but am stopped by the windowsill behind me. “Get to it,” she hisses. I do.
All in all, I don’t mind watching the bread. I like staring at it through the oven’s glass door, watching it turn from pale, thin dough to golden, crusty loaves. The heat gets to you after a while, but being the baker’s son for twelve years kind of gets you used to it.
This bread isn’t for me and my family. It’s for the hungry customers who stand in lines at the back every day, and for the high class citizens of District 12 like the mayor. Or the mayor’s servants, in this case. My family and I are a whole lot better off than most of the other people in 12 – the coal miners, for instance – since we have a steady supply of bread, but all of the stuff we eat is stale, which gets old after a while.
“What on earth-?” Mom says.
I turn and look, trying to see what she’s seeing. Her eyes squint and narrow as she stares into the rainy darkness. At first I can see nothing, but then the rain slackens a little and I make out the figure of someone out there. Opening the garbage cans that stand a few feet away from the back door.
As soon as I see it, Mom sees it to. Regardless of the rain, she throws open the back door and goes down a few steps. Because of the rain, I can only catch a few words. Something about calling the Peacekeepers and how she was sick and tired of all those brats from the Seam – the coal mines – coming around to look through our trash.
Honestly, I don’t get why she’s so upset. Sure, all those kids come around often, but does it really hurt if they get our leftover scraps, the bits of food that even we don’t want? I shake my head and stare at the bread. It doesn’t seem to be in any danger of burning, so I go over to the window to get a closer look at the intruder.
Katniss Everdeen.
Ever since I was five or six, I’ve always really liked her. I guess you could say I have a crush on her. She’s not particularly pretty, but the way she sings and the sparks in her eyes whenever some bigger kid insults her sister, Prim, have always fascinated me.
And now she’s out there, foraging for garbage. I had no idea things were so bad for the Everdeen family. Mr Everdeen died a few months ago, but Katniss didn’t seem too upset. A little thinner, maybe, but pretty much everyone’s thin in 12. Still, she wouldn’t have gone through our garbage cans if she hadn’t really been desperate. Mom’s temper is, I regret to say, infamous in town.
She’s still out there, shouting profanity, and I hurry back to the oven.
Ten loaves, glowing golden.
One girl out there, probably starving.
And not just any girl. Katniss Everdeen. The girl who sang the Meadow Song so beautifully that all the mockingjays outside the school room fell silent until she’d finished. It’s a rare honour they hardly ever offer anyone.
Without a second thought, I open the oven door and, using a cloth, bat two of the loaves to the oven’s floor. In a few moments, they’ll start to brown, and then burn black. I know from watching accidents happen in the baking room all the time. I turn away from the oven just as Mom storms back in.
She shakes her head back and forth, muttering under her breath.
The acrid smell of burning bread assaults both our noses.
With a cry of frustration, she stomps over to the oven and yanks the door open. Grabbing a cloth from the counter – the same cloth I’d used – she shoves around until both loaves of bread are out on the counter. The outsides are mostly black, but I know the insides will still be fresh and warm.
“Stupid, stupid boy!” she shouts and slaps me full across the face. Then, before I can react, she gives me another slap. My sight goes black and starry for a moment, and pain radiates from my left cheek. She throws a wooden spoon at me that catches me in the same spot and clatters to the ground.
I grit my teeth.
She shoves the still steaming loaves into my arms and tears the door open. With a shove, I’m standing outside in the pouring rain. “Feed it to the pig, you stupid creature!” she screams. “Why not? No one decent will buy burned bread!”
That was what I’d been counting on.
I break tiny chunks of bread off and toss them to the pig – a creature who’s already far too fat as it is – hoping every moment that Mom will leave and I can carry out my plan. Seconds tick by, and the opportunity is fading away when I faintly hear the front bell ring, meaning there’s a customer.
With another curse and a slap on the neck, Mom leaves.
I watch her leave, making sure the door closes firmly behind her, and then stare back at the pig. A moment later, I toss one loaf of bread in Katniss Everdeen’s direction, the other one. She’s huddled up against an old apple tree several yards away, and seeing her drenched and shivering and hungry makes my heart hurt for a moment.
Turning, I slosh back into the bakery.
From the window, I can see her run out from under the tree and snatch up both loaves, hiding them under her jacket. Despite the pain now coming insistently and desperately from my cheek, I smile.
Tonight, at least, there’ll be one family in 12 that won’t go hungry.
A miracle, really.

What did you think of these two pieces of fan-fiction?  Is there any way I could improve them?  Are there any other scenes you’d like to see rewritten from Peeta’s (or another character’s) point of view?  I’m open to suggestions and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Eva

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2014 in fan-fiction, random, snippets, writing