Creat a Backstory #2

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Here is a link to the rules and an example post in case you missed them or need a quick recap:

CREAT A BACKSTORY

And here is the character who needs a backstory! (Please be aware that I am unfamiliar with this photographer so if you decide to look up more of her work, be cautious as I have no idea what will show up.)

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Photo credit: Natasha Rodionoya Photography

I have to say that I am extremely excited to see what some of you will come up with; I absolutely love this picture!

Talitha’s Curse: Installment #2

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Read Installment #1 HERE

One- A Curse is Caused part 2

“Queen Serenity had her baby!” Cicili beamed and I stopped shredding, suddenly interested.

“A baby girl!” Cecil chimed in and I turned to face them. My mood changed for the better, I couldn’t help but smile.

“Yes a girl! And they are to call her Ayanna! Princess Ayanna Philippon!” Cicili finished with enthusiasm, practically bursting with joy.

“Well how nice!” I clasped my hands and beamed, “We shall prepare a meal for our queen immediately and bring Princess Ayanna some gifts!”

I was already planning out what would be needed to make Serenity her favorite baked potato casserole, along with her favorite lemon raspberry cupcakes, and began writing out my store list.

“Yes Cecilia that is expected, however, there is an organized list of which all visitors must sign up on in order to visit the castle. We wrote our names on the nearest date available, but I’m afraid that its still two weeks out.” Cecil explained.

“A list?” I asked, slightly confused. This was not a usual custom.

“Yes, apparently our queen wishes to visit personally with everyone who brings her and the young princess gifts. She had a list organized so that this could be accomplished; there is a limit to her seeing only 4 persons a day.” Cecil once again spoke, the one who always knew the practical details.

“Oh.” I said, not at all surprised that Serenity had done this, she had always enjoyed making lists when we were kids.

“When are we to go see her?” I asked as I pulled out my ever handy pocket calendar. Flipping to the week that was precisely two weeks from today. I looked up at the two of them, waiting for my answer.

“Oh it’s the 10th that we signed up on.” Cecil answered as she removed her outing slippers.

I wrote down “Go see Serenity” on the 10th and then moved over to the previous block which was the 9th and wrote, “Make food for Serenity.” I never did a single thing throughout my day without consulting my calendar first, so it was vitally important that making the food was listed the day before.

The fact that I had a small tendency to forget things over long periods of time was also a reason for writing it down.

“Okay girls, I must finish our dinner so that we do not starve when we go to bed tonight. So, if you don’t mind, please go busy yourselves so that I can cook without interruption.” I announced when I finished writing in my calendar and had placed it back in my pocket.

“Would you like us to help with dinner? We don’t mind at all.” Cecil offered, already washing her hands.

“Oh! Cecil can help you with dinner,” Cicili batted her eyes, “I must attend to the garden as the weeds are overbearing.”

She picked up her skirt and started walking towards to door.

“You put a spell on the garden that will not allow weeds to grow.” Cecil stated dryly as she dried her hands.

“Ah, yes of course. I was speaking of the weeds that are growing around the garden.” She smiled, “Off I go now!”

And she walked out the door, leaving Cecil shaking her head.

Cecil and I finished dinner a lot more quickly than normal. We were both so hungry that a few spells were involved to speed up the process.

Just like I don’t typically use spells throughout my day, I don’t normally like to make my food with spells either, mainly because it never tastes as good as a homemade meal. However, I was willing to make an exception. Once.

Pulling the cheesy potato casserole out of the oven, I asked Cecil to go ahead and fetch Cicili so that she would be clean for dinner. I set the table in her absence and a few moments later, our meal was dished out and the three of us sat down together to eat.

Not one of us had taken a bite, however, when suddenly the lovely doorbell that I had just installed earlier that day sounded off. A beautiful tinkling that lasted about five seconds brightened my mood as I tossed my napkin onto the table and rose to meet our guest.

“What a gorgeous sound Cecilia! Is that new?” Cicili spoke at the same time that Cecil asked, “Well who could that be at this hour?”

Ignoring both of them, I opened the door with a smile. But the smile vanished and all of the blood drained from my face when I saw Talitha standing there, a huge, unnatural smile on her face.

She was wearing all black, her normal attire, and her thick black hair was braided down to her ankles, also normal. She held her usual black spell bag in her right hand and an umbrella hung from her left arm; she always expected rain. What was not normal though, was the smile spread over her face. It even looked strange.

“Cecilia! Darling! It’s so good to see you!” Talitha exclaimed and embraced me in a brief hug before all but shoving me out of the way to let herself in.

Cecil and Cicili had heard her exclamation and, being familiar with Talitha’s voice, were immediately at the door, wearing the same expressions that I’m sure I was.

“Oh Talitha. It’s, um, surprising to see you.” Cicili attempted to be friendly and embraced Talitha briefly.

As I said before, Talitha was once a very dear friend to the girls and I, and it was nice to see her again after such a long time. But in light of her previous actions, and the fact that she was still banned from the kingdom, made me uneasy at her presence.

“How are you fairing?” Cicili practically choked on the words.

“I’m doing well Cicili! In fact, I am doing amazing!” She swept her arms around the room and did a happy twirl.

My mouth went dry and I tried to find something to say, but I was frozen where I was, completely unable to think. How did she cross the border? She must have used her magic, and that is extremely illegal!

“We were just about to eat,” Cicili began as she nervously looked at me.

I shook my head violently, knowing exactly where she was going with that statement, but she continued despite my silent protest.

“Would you like to join us? I believe Cecil and Cecilia made cheesy potato casserole, that was always one of your favorites-”

“But we understand if you’re busy, so please don’t feel obligated to stay.” Cecil blurted harshly, causing Talitha to raise her eyebrow.

In the awkward silence that followed, Talitha studied Cecil eerily. My breath caught and I found myself creating an escape route should something bad happen. My palms began sweating and I had to focus on telling my lungs how to breath. Talitha’s powers scared me and I didn’t want to be on her bad side at all, but nor did I want to be on the wrong side of the law, and I was quite certain that entertaining a person forbidden to enter the kingdom was on that wrong side.

****

Come back next Monday for Installment #3!

Talitha’s Curse; Installment One

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Prologue

Joyas. Joyas is a land in a faraway kingdom in a faraway place. She is a vast land swallowed by incomparable beauty coating every inch of her domain; from the individual grain of sand found on the outskirts of her lovely beach; to the colorful petal belonging to the unique flowers in her forest. From the snow on her mountain high, to even the deepest part of the ocean filled with creatures surrounding her.

As her name implies, Joyas is enriched with a strange joy found no where else. The culture is cheerful and welcoming, and her people are ever friendly. The natural food grown there is sweet and the animals are only native to their habitats in Joyas. And sadness and gloominess are unheard of.

It’s not that sadness isn’t felt by the people of Joyas, its that it isn’t allowed. Gloom was permanently banned during the reign of King Davion Philippon and his queen, Serenity Philippon. Though in the writing of the decree, he banned “the feeling of gloominess”, it is incorrect to say that a feeling could be banned. So rather, it was the people who carried the feeling who ended up tossed from the kingdom, never to gain entrance again.

King Davion had earned the trust of the civilians throughout years of humble and joyful service. With his playful, yet firm hand, he eventually won the favor of those who visited or engaged in business with Joyas too, leading to his immense popularity and ultimately, his power. Davion Philippon was by far the most favored king Joyas ever had; and his queen, Serenity, was just as favored.

There was just something special about their smiles when in public, or the way that they handled the people of Joyas with more understanding and gentleness than their ancestors had. No one knew for sure what it was, but nevertheless, all who knew them loved them and followed them willingly and without question.

So when it was announced that Queen Serenity would have a child, and that she wished for it to be completely free of gloom; everyone supported their idea of banning the influence of the unwanted feeling by deleting the carriers from the kingdom. It was agreed upon by all that banning gloomy persons was the most sensible way to protect the future heir.

Well, agreed upon by all except for one incompetent fairy.

One- A Curse is Caused

Standing at the sink, I sighed and scrubbed the dishes that were plied high as a mountain. With soap suds sloshing in every direction, I was anxious for the girls to get home with the cheese I had sent them to get for dinner. Looking at the clock again for the hundredth time, I huffed at the hour hand. Almost seven.

Another late dinner; I rolled my eyes. This was becoming a regular occurrence, maybe I should just stop sending them to the store.

I had only a cup of coffee for breakfast, because I had slept in, unintentionally of course. Then I had been forced to skip lunch to get a quilting order finished on time, and now my sisters were late for dinner; was I destined to starve to death?

Of course, I could have used my fairy powers to make myself something to eat, or to finish the quilt by magic, but I usually like to refrain from using powers unless absolutely necessary. Being a fairy in Joyas was once a normalcy and enjoyable, but that was back before Talitha was banned.

Shivers ran down my spine at the sound of her name on my tongue. That fairy was a mystery who had once been my friend, even though she had been gloomier than the gloomiest of all gloomies. She was perfectly harmless and had one of the kindest hearts I’d ever known, she was just not one to smile often.

When King Davion outlawed gloom and they forced her to leave Joyas, something snapped within her and her actions of defense led to her to abusing her power; therefore, giving fairies a bad reputation.

Huffing and unintentionally slamming a plate down into the sink, a huge splash of water and soap came up and slapped me in the face. Caught completely off guard and trying not to explode at myself for such a mess, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

Why had this day gone so bad? I had done my best to be cheery this morning but Cecil and Cicili had been at each other’s throats for who knows why. Then, when I finally couldn’t take it anymore and blew up at them, telling them to take their fairy grumblings to some place far away, they suddenly became best friends and ganged up on me and I ended up with a torn wing.

The day only went downhill from there, with me spilling things while I walked, running into the door because I forgot to open it, and I even ruined my favorite book by spilling laundry soap on it. And now I couldn’t even wash dishes without mishap.

Reaching for a towel next to the sink, I wiped the suds and water off my face and then began drying the dishes, willing myself to remain calm. I was drying the last dish, which happened to be my favorite tea cup, when Cecil and Cicili burst in loudly and scared me dreadfully. I dropped my teacup and stared silently at the shattered pieces scattered about the floor. I needed to go to bed and just end this miserable day.

“Oh dear Cecilia! That’s your favorite teacup! Here I’ll fix it!”

Cicili reached down and mended all of the pieces back together with her special touch of magic. She handed the fully restored teacup to me with a smile and said, “There you are! Now let us tell you the wonderful news that we heard from the dairy lady!”

I ignored her enthusiasm and set my teacup into the cupboard. After closing the door, ensuring that my teacup was out of harm’s way, I asked for the cheese and all but yanked it out of Cecil’s hand. I carried the block of sharp cheddar to my work space on the counter and began shredding it, uninterested in the town gossip.

“Queen Serenity had her baby!” Cicili beamed and I stopped shredding, suddenly interested.

****

Come back next Monday for the next installment!

Create a Backstory #1

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Create a Backstory is beginning! On the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month I will post a picture of a character (male, female, human or not) in which the participants will either comment or post on their own blogs the following requirements.

  1. First and Last name
  2. What type of world they grew up in
  3. A one or more paragraph snippet of what their story would be like.
  4. (OPTIONAL) A short scene that would be written to open the story.
  5. THE BACKSTORIES MUST BE VOID OF SEXUAL SCENES/OVERLY GRAPHIC GORE/ AND CUSSING!

Here’s an example of what the post would look like:

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Amanda Schultz

A high school student in a small town in Texas.

Amanda’s life is so repetitive and messy. She hates the never-ending amount of homework piled up on her bed; she’s usually an organized person, but clothes are scattered all around her floor because she’s never home to clean; and her friends have so much drama going on that she can’t ever get a break. All she wants is to be able to have some fun with friends who hate drama as much as she does and get away. So on the first day of summer, she packs her bags and heads out on a road trip across the country, making new friends and running into danger all along the way.

Look like something you would enjoy participating in? I hope so, because I have a couple of bonuses that I’d like to add. As I said at the beginning of this post, whoever participates can either leave a comment with your backstory or you can take it and post it on your own blog and leave the link in the comments. The following Thursday (so the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month), I will post my 3 favorite backstories here and link back to those blogs!

I don’t know how well this will work but I got some feedback from a few readers and I think that at least a few of you will really enjoy this! All of the pictures I use for characters will be found on Pinterest and I’ll do my best to give photo credit, but it’s really hard to hunt down the original photographer off of Pinterest….

Anyways, here is the character in need of a backstory for August 4th!

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Remember that if you participate though your own blog, leave me a link so I can read your backstory! Happy writing!!!

Tune In for (Two) Upcoming Series!

Hey guys (and gals)! I’m here to announce two series that I’ll be starting in the month of August. The first is a short story that I’ll post as an ongoing series once a week, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty that I wrote last year, Talitha’s Curse. It’ll probably end sometime in September or October. Want to see the cover?

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Excited or what? I’m super pumped to share it with you and hope you’ll enjoy each installment!

The second is a writing challenge that I thought about as I was making the above cover. I thought that instead of doing a writing prompt challenge, where I post a picture and all of you wonderful writers invent a story based off that picture, I would do a Character Prompt Challenge. 

Basically once a week (or once every two weeks) I will post a picture of a character and instead of writing a story, the challenge will be to create a name, personality, backstory etc for that character. I’m still working out a lot of the details and figuring out how it’ll work but I think it’ll be a great exercise for character building!

So of the above two series I plan to start, which are you most excited for?  Do you, as a writer, plan on participating in the character building challenge?

When Calls the Heart-Season One is FREE + $100 Gift Card

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When Calls The Heart has quickly become a “must see” tv series and FishFlix; Christian Movies has an incredible deal going! ANYONE who preorders the DVD set of the complete 3rd season of When Calls the Heart FROM FISHFLIX will receive the first season completely free!

Preordering is only available up until October 11, 2016 so be sure to help spread the word about this phenomenal deal!

Annnnndddd, ANYONE who writes a review of their acquired Season 3 DVD set has the opportunity to enter a giveaway for a $100 gift card to FishFlix! (Thats a lot of movies guys….) You just have to leave the review on THIS PAGE and then send an email to promo@fishflix.com to verify the “nickname” you used to publish your review. The winner will be drawn on September 1, 2016.

Preorder Your Set Now!

Wisteria Writer Tag

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I was (unofficially) tagged for the Wisteria Writer Tag by Lilly over at Living by Chapters! Check her blog out its quite fabulous!

The Rules

Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Answer the ten questions asked.

Add ten (writing or book related) of your own.

Nominate ten people.

The Questions and My Answers

1. When did you start writing and why?

The earliest piece of writing I have is when I was 6, in which I was writing the story of my life up to that point in my young life. I remember reading the biography of Mark Twain before that and deciding that the world would not be complete without a biography of next Mark Twain! So that was the humble beginning of my writing venture :) 

2. What/who inspired you to begin writing?

Well, like I said in the above answer, Mark Twain was (and continues to be) inspiration for the beginning of my writing. But I also owe credit to Jules Verne, Jack London and of course Martha Finely.

3. What are your favorite genres to write about?

I find that I enjoy writing war fantasy and contemporary romance the most. I also really enjoy writing inspirational, contemporary fiction. An odd combination is it not?

4. What books do you hope to publish in the future, and/or have already published?

Well I certainly want to see A Queen is Knighted in print someday, but I also have a fantasy short story (The Doors of the Kingdoms) and a romance novel (A Ring’s Worth) than I would like to see published too, but those will be after A Queen is Knighted.

5. Have you inspired anyone to start writing?

I have offered many suggestions and tips to several different girls who have thought of writing books and to my knowledge they have taken off with it, so I suppose that I have🙂

6. What is the best compliment you have ever received on one of your pieces of writing?

When it comes to my fiction, the best compliment was that “I have a natural gift of plotting”. But the compliment that always comes to mind, that was the most meaningful to me was about my writing in general, I was told by a very special family member that “I have a very good grasp of the English language” and it meant a lot to hear that.

7. What is the best book/story you have ever written?

Best? As in most popular or my personal favorite? My most popular would be my Chess stories but my personal favorite would be A Queen is Knighted, and The Doors of the Kingdoms.

8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Don’t be scared of a sloppy first draft! Its going to be terrible I promise! You’re going to read over it and want to throw it away but that’s what the editing process is for. If you edit as you go the book will never get finished because you’ll pour all of your time and energy into making it look perfect before it’s even finished. Take it from me, that’s why I’m going on 4 years of writing A Queen is Knighted and it’s not even finished.

9. Which authors do you hope to meet someday?

I would really like to meet two of my many writing mentors, Norma Horton and Cindy Vincent. Though we’ve only spoken through email I would absolutely love to one day meet them both and just have coffee and pick their brains🙂

10. Where do you hope to be as a writer in 10 years?

I would love to be a published author, but I really hope to be an established editor or literary agent in 10 years.

My Questions:

  1. If you could have the life of any main character in any book, who would you become?
  2. Do you prefer reading books in 1st or 3rd person?
  3. Do you prefer writing books/stories in 1st or 3rd person?
  4. Do you have a music playlist for when reading or writing? What does it mainly consist of?
  5. Which author stands out to you as having one of the most unique writing styles? What makes it unique to you?
  6. Do you prefer physical copies or ebooks when reading and which would you like to see your future masterpiece as?
  7. Is your favorite spot to write outside with the breeze gently cooling your face or inside, curled up comfortable on your bed?
  8. Tell us a little bit about your current writing project.
  9. Do you enjoy writing romance scenes or would you rather avoid them at all costs?
  10. Write a one paragraph story using the 3 following words: Pun, Sparks, and Jaywalk.

My Nominees!

Hallie @Hallie Sadler

Suzy @Craftzncraziness

Alyssa @writinganyone

And any other writers who I may have failed to remember! (I follow so many different blogs, all of them amazing by the way, I just have a hard time remembering names and links…..)

Thank you again Lily and I hope my nominees enjoy answering the (tough) questions🙂

-Rayleigh