My Kind Of Christmas Eve

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There’s only one more day until Christmas! Some of us are racing out to buy the perfect gift at the last minute, while others are wrapping or baking before time runs out. Whatever today brings, keep the spirit of the season close at hand to make even the longest to-do list a bit of fun.

One of my cats got in the spirit of things and gave me a little chuckle:

Photo by: c.b.w. 2012

As for me on this Christmas Eve, I plan on settling down with a good book in the morning and pulling out a set of knitting needles in the afternoon. By evening, I’ll be with my family enjoying Sloppy Joe’s only my mother can make and giving my Grandpa a hug to make up for the one he’ll be missing. As I’ve said many times over the last two weeks, with great sadness comes great joy. Even though there is an empty space, if I know my family at all, we will still celebrate with laughter and smiles. The holidays are a time to appreciate what we have and love those in our midst even if memories are all we have left.

Our Christmas Eve parties have never been about fancy dishes or dressing up, but rather coming as we are and nibbling on a potluck buffet. There’s a pickle to find and Christmas Bingo to win, rum and Cokes to drink, and little dogs dressed up in ridiculous costumes. A fun time is had by all.

Sometimes a gift or two is exchanged, but on the whole its all about being with one another. Christmas music plays until someone wants to watch a holiday movie, (usually Home Alone or Die Hard 1 or 2). Traditional we are not and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To make my Christmas Eve complete, here’s my letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,

I’m probably much too old to be writing you a letter, but as my Grandma always taught me, no one is ever too old to be a kid at heart. My life is full of more than I could ever need, so my wants are really quite small.

The people I love still surround me and I hope they continue to be happy, safe, and healthy. While my Grandma has since passed, I know she isn’t far away.  The memories I have of her are the greatest gift of all.

I continue to be blessed with a husband that gives me far more than I deserve. How I am so lucky, I will never know. Grant me the wisdom to know how to repay him for all his kindness and love.

My “boys” and “girls” are growing older, but I still look forward to their wagging tails and gentle purrs each and every day. May they continue to live happy, carefree lives.

My friends are few, but precious. May they all find peace in their challenges and may I always be there to give them hope and comfort when they need it the most.

My bookshelves are full, but I wouldn’t mind a little more space to magically appear.

The end of the world did not come, (shocker), so may the next year be one known for more good than bad.

Merry Christmas,

c.b.w.

p.s. I know we’ve had several discussions regarding one Pink & Pretty Barbie. She wasn’t under my tree last year, so maybe this year? I’m still not too old for this Christmas wish to come true. Here’s a visual aid:

Pink & Pretty Barbie Photo source: amazon.com

Pink & Pretty Barbie
Photo source: amazon.com

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Merry Christmas!

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c.b.w. 2012

Celebrating A Win!

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When I joined Rachael Harrie’s Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign, my goal was to network with other writers and hopefully learn a few things about establishing an online platform for my pen name.  The whole experience turned out to be incredible from both business and creative standpoints.  I found myself in the mix of some pretty incredible writers, which makes my next bit of news all that more amazing.

I am beyond thrilled to report than my piece entitled Fatespeak won the Second Campaign Challenge!  This was a difficult challenge not only because of the prompts involved, but due to some tough competition put forth by so many talented and creative writers. In all honesty, I felt totally out of my league!  It’s an honor to be in the same company of writers I’ve come to admire so much.

To see my name at the top of the list is surreal at best.  This is the first competition I’ve ever won, which makes this a pretty exciting milestone!

Congratulations to all the winners!

The prizes are pretty exciting, too!  With my deadline of sending query letters out by the end of April, a critique of the first 30 pages of my manuscript is going to be very helpful.  I can’t wait to have a neutral third party dig in and help me find the weaknesses!  In addition to a critique, I also won:

This is like winning the lottery!

Thanks so much to Rachael Harrie for running the campaign and all the judges for all their time and effort.  The prompts were inspiring and the challenges irresistible!  I’m already looking forward to the next campaign.

To celebrate, I thought it would be fitting to re-post Fatespeak.  Enjoy the read!

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Fatespeak

Activity #1 – Pitch/Logline

The Fates meet their match in one small girl.

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Activity #2 – 200 word flash fiction based on the prompts

Aria peered through the Oracle Eye and smiled at her victory.  Amanda and Ian were safe, hidden away from The Fates who had so cruelly decided they should die.   She was supposed to lead them to the moment of no return, but broke her oath instead.  Under Rosewood Bridge they would stay, until she found a way to spare their lives.

“You cannot save them.”

Aria jumped and spun towards the sound of her Elder’s voice. Mena’s deep violet eyes pooled with sympathy, but remained stern.

“Why not?” Aria asked, despite knowing the answer.

“Their fate has been written. Your interference has only delayed what will be.”

“It does not seem fair that beings with so much free will, should be so readily controlled.” Aria turned back to the Eye and watched Amanda bandage the gaping wound in Ian’s leg with what remained of his t-shirt.  “They have done nothing wrong and do not deserve this end. How can it be right?”

Mena gently squeezed Aria’s shoulders,  “She will drown and he must bleed,” the Elder replied. “Listen, my youngling.  As a Fatespeaker you must deliver what The Fates demand.”

“And if I refuse?”

“I cannot protect you.”

(199 words)

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Activities #3 and 4 (Combined) – Poem with a twist/Five sentences using each of the prompts.

The Fates sing in unison . . .

Young love perishes too soon,
never to age, always joined

The orb shall fall as must innocence,
ignorance cannot reign

A delicate balance struggles to thrive
on the brink of collapse

The meek suffer with dirty hands,
to humble those who refuse to see

 Natural order binds our will;
a ribbon between us,
no one is truly free

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Activity #5 – Flash Fiction about the water pear.

The Fates hovered in stasis overhead.  Hands joined, eyes closed, and oblivious to the small girl below.

Aria stood her ground with a wooden staff firmly in her hands.  One swing would destroy the only link between the human world and her own.  The Oracle Eye pulsed with warmth and light, just as it had for thousands of years.

“Show me Amanda and Ian” Aria whispered softly.

A dark-haired girl and a tall boy instantly materialized, both wounded and frightened.  In the back of a dark cave, they huddled together and shivered as their fire began to die. Once the link was broken, The Fates could no longer find them and they would be free.

She tightened her grip and arced the staff for a mighty swing . . .

“Stop!” Three voices cried.

“No!”

“You have no right to disrupt what has always been,” The Fates seethed with rage.

“You have no right to take what is not yours.”   Aria said and unleashed her will with all her strength.

One blow was all it took.  The glowing orb erupted into pulverized glints of light, all of which faded to nothing upon hitting the ground.

(195 words)

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To see the challenge prompts that inspired Fatespeak, go here.

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c.b. 2012