What’s Next?


This is sort of my overdue update/New Year’s resolution post. Although I haven’t really made concrete resolutions so much as general goals. I don’t like making specific resolutions because then I feel guilty when I don’t actually do them, lol. In particular, I want to share with you my plans for upcoming projects. Relapse doesn’t so much end in a major cliffhanger, but it definitely has some loose ends, so you may be wondering: What’s next for the Reborn series?

The short answer is: Er, I dunno…..

But that’s not entirely true. Hence, the longer answer:

I have lots of ideas for future books (yay!). Right now most of them are still jumbled up in my head, so I have to put them down into a plan/outline. I’ve known almost since I started writing Reborn where the series was headed, especially as far as Siobhan’s story is concerned. But I’ve since realized that I also want to focus on some of the other characters. For instance, I really want to go into Anna’s story in more depth. She may just get her own book, or at least be the principle POV in the next book. I also left things hanging with Carly at the end of Relapse, so I want to pick up her story again. Siobhan’s story obviously isn’t over, either–I’ve hinted that she has some special abilities compared to the other halflings, but we still don’t know why. Well, I know why. 😉

I just can’t decide how I want to split all of this up. I could alternate a few POVs within one book, like I did in Relapse, or I might write the third book about Siobhan and then a few novellas focusing on these other characters…and then maybe release a few things around the same time. I just really don’t know how I want to do it right now. My goal over the next few months or so is to get my notes organized and do some outlining to figure all of this out.

But I’m not allowed to write anything yet, haha. I have to concentrate all of that brain power/energy on finishing up what I need to in order to graduate first. I’m so close. Between school stuff and putting the finishing touches on Relapse and promoting it, I got kind of burned out at the end of last semester. For some reason, I didn’t think I would–I guess because the editing and marketing stuff, even though it’s work in one way, it’s also a lot of fun, at least for me. But by the time winter break rolled around, I was just…done, haha. I didn’t do or think about anything over break. I had two weeks off this time, which was nice.

By the way, the reason I’m not allowing myself to do the actual writing yet is because once I get into the zone, it’s hard to get out. I get really obsessed with it. I’m obsessed with this whole thing, anyway…it’s hard for me to resist doing at least something related to it, whether it’s updating notes or the Facebook page or whatever. I also have a growing pile of awesome books to read and review for fellow indie authors, which I’m starting to make a dent in. I think one of the best parts of this has been helping fellow writers with their projects and reading incredible books I might not otherwise have gotten the chance to read. It’s also forced me to read outside of my YA/NA/paranormal romance/urban fantasy comfort zone, which is good, too.

I seem to be rambling a lot, but haven’t actually recorded any goals yet. So, here we go:

1. Finish dissertation.

2. Find a big kid job.

3. Get caught up on reviews.

4. Continue to update book-related notes and do some serious outlining.

5. Solidify details of next project. And then tell all of you about it!

I guess my point is, there is definitely more to come from the Reborn series, so stay tuned. In the coming months, I’ll have a better idea of installments and release dates and announce those when I have it all figured out. Thanks for being with me at the beginning of this journey, and for your patience. 🙂 And please feel free to share your thoughts or questions in the comments.

*****

Relapse on Amazon.

Relapse on Goodreads.

The Girly Heroine


The subject of “strong” female characters has been on my mind a lot lately. A few of my fellow bloggers and writers have addressed this subject, most recently H.N. Sieverding’s blog post The Trouble with Alpha Males. So this is a post that I just really needed to write. I hope we can have a thoughtful, productive conversation about it.

First off, I want to say that I think it’s GREAT that people are talking about how women are portrayed in books, on TV, in movies, etc. It’s a subject that really needs to be talked about, especially considering the way girls and women have been portrayed through these media in the past. I think it’s fantastic that we now have characters like Scarlett Johansson’s character in the Marvel franchise, Black Widow, who is beautiful and smart and can kick ass. Women haven’t always been given these kinds of roles, and I think it’s an important step for our society to show women as warriors, fighters, soldiers, “superheros.” It may be especially important for young girls to see these kinds of role models–to read about strong female characters like Katniss from The Hunger Games and Tris from Divergent and then to see them in film. We need to teach and show them that women are smart and strong and awesome.

But today I’d like to make the point that being physically strong isn’t the only type of strength and isn’t the only way to make a “strong” female character. And to start criticizing female characters for being “weak” because they are not as physically strong as a man is going down a road that I think is just as bad as not showing women as warriors at all. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but I certainly have. And I am going to attempt to explain what I mean by this in the following post.

Not everyone is physically strong–men or women. There are a lot of men who aren’t physically strong–who don’t fit the stereotypical “alpha male” mold. The alpha male is the ideal–we’re a society that reveres demonstrations of physical strength and power. And yet I think in our society there persists this idea that a man doesn’t need to be physically strong to be considered “strong” or “dominant”–there’s just something about being a man that automatically makes you “strong.”

I’m a woman, and I’m not physically that strong. I want to work out as much as I need to be healthy, but health is what’s important to me, not being “as strong as a man.” I’d also like to take some self-defense classes at some point because I think those could be useful. But I have no desire to push my body as far as the human body can go. If that means I’m not as physically strong as some other people, be they men or women, I don’t really care. There are other things I like to do that are way more important to me. Does this make me weak? If I write a female character who is like this, does that make her weak?

Fuck no.

Like I said, as a society we may look up to people who can kick ass, but physical strength isn’t the only type of strength. I’m going to be self-centered and use myself as an example again. I’m really smart. I feel that my intelligence is probably my greatest asset–my greatest strength. I know that I can intellectually do the same things “as men.” It may not feel like it sometimes, but we have made great strides since the 1930s or so when women were expected to be housewives and maybe teachers or nurses. (Again, not that there is wrong with ANY of those things. The problem is not with being a stay at home parent, but that is what was expected of women at the time–like all women are the same and should be content with that and aren’t given any other options.) I’ve grown up in a society that has allowed me to go to college and graduate school and pursue scientific research. Generally speaking, I’m pursuing something that was once really considered a man’s world (and maybe, to an extent, still is). Intelligence is another type of strength.

So is what I’ll call emotional intelligence. Going back to the physical strength thing–in a lot of ways we’re still a male dominated society, and maybe we seem to admire physical strength because that’s what men look up to. You’ve probably heard that women tend to be more helpful, more nurturing, more caring. Is that true? I don’t know–but I do know that they tend to be seen as more submissive traits, “weaker” traits, and that’s perhaps because they’re not valued as much by men. (Not all men. Or it’s that men are taught this. Again, I’m not talking about specific people, but about our society and culture.) Being nurturing or wanting to raise your children–whether you’re a woman or a man–does not make you “weak” or “submissive” or (gasp) “girly.” It’s not that there’s something inherently wrong with being this way, it’s perception–it’s the way we regard the task and why we look at it this way.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about “girly.” It’s not a bad thing to be girly. It’s not bad to be a woman that has traits that are typically thought of as more masculine–but it’s not bad to be feminine, either, and being feminine doesn’t make you “weak.” I like the color pink. I like wearing skirts and dresses. I like flowers and bunnies and unicorns. I like romantic comedies. I don’t really give a crap if this is because somehow I was taught to like pink and romcoms. Maybe it is, but they’re things I like, and I’m not going to reject who I am. I also like things that aren’t typically geared toward women, like action movies and science magazines. Yes, Scientific American still seems to be in the men’s section of the magazines, and this really pisses me off. But my point is, you can be feminine and be smart and strong, too.

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m writing this. I’ve read a lot of articles and blog posts criticizing certain female characters for being “weak.” Like I said at the beginning of this post, “strong” female characters is definitely something we should be talking about. I’m glad people are talking about it. But the times I’ve seen female characters called “weak” seems to usually be because they aren’t physically strong. I think this needs to stop. Yes, it’s good to have female characters that are warriors, but not every single woman needs to fit this mold.  And if she doesn’t, that doesn’t mean she’s weak. I’m afraid we’re approaching an all-or-nothing type of model–that, unless a woman is EVERYTHING, smart, beautiful, strong (but also has the type of body typically thought of as sexy), clever, then she’s not interesting or not deserving or something.

This is a theme I’m trying to incorporate into my Reborn series. If you’ve read Reborn, you know that my main character, Siobhan, is a runner, so she is athletic in this way, but she is not a super soldier. She has other types of strengths that will revealed throughout the series (and that may arguably make her a better match for the Olympians than physical strength would). She’s petite, blonde, and, yes, she was a cheerleader in high school and is a “sorority girl”–which I know bothers some readers. She likes pink and shiny stuff and dressing up. She also like scifi and fantasy and is a biology major. Her big sister in Gamma Lambda Phi, Victoria, is intelligent and clever, but also a warrior. In my book, I wanted to have all different kinds of female characters, but they are all strong, in my opinion. (But I’m sure at some point someone will insist Siobhan isn’t a strong female character…and if they do, kindly refer them to this post.)

I’m done babbling. So, what do you think makes a “strong” female character? Please respectfully share in the comments!

Monday Night Babbling


http://memegenerator.net/instance/34442510Here is yet another post about how I’m working on the sequel to Reborn. I need people to bounce ideas off of (person reading this: that means you), and, whether you’ve read Reborn or not, you may be able to help me with some of these. If anything, I think that merely getting these ideas down will help me reorganize my thoughts. Because, you see, I’m a bit stuck. Thankfully, it’s not for a lack of ideas. I have a lot of ideas (yay!), but I’m not sure how I want to go about organizing them into a series. The Reborn series was supposed to be a trilogy, but it has possibly exploded into four or five books.

Points-of-View

One of the issues I’m struggling with is that I chose to write Reborn in first person (from Siobhan’s perspective), which I don’t really regret, because I like getting inside my characters’ heads. But Siobhan and Jasper’s story (the primary conflict in Reborn) isn’t the only one I want to tell. For instance, I thought of a great idea for a book from her friend Anna’s POV. I think Anna would get her own novel, and she’s a much more perceptive person than Siobhan, so her voice would be more poetic. (Siobhan and Anna are from the same small town, so their voices wouldn’t be drastically different, but I definitely want to incorporate some distinctions.) The only problem I’m facing with this is that it would be kind of a parallel novel to Reborn, or at least the first part of it would be. It would end up being book 1.5 in the Reborn series or something. Okay, I’d round it up to book 2. My other concern is that I wouldn’t want to release Anna’s book next at all because Reborn ended in a cliffhanger, and it’s likely if readers care at all, they want to know what’s going to happen to Siobhan and Jasper.

Also related to POV: The other sequel I have envisioned would be from two first person POVs. I think I can make this work, but I’m a little worried it might be too ambitious for a second book. One of my favorite authors, Karen Marie Moning, has pulled this off well, but she waited at least three or four books into her Fever series to experiment with voices. (Side note: Admittedly, I used to have really weird pet peeves when it came to what I felt were “jarring” changes in POV, but I’m slowly getting over this, ha! Now I can see why authors do this. We think of other stories we want to tell along the way.) Maybe I should take a step back. Right now I have three main couples whose relationships I want to explore. Like I said, Siobhan and Jasper were the main focus in Reborn. Carly is a secondary character in Reborn, but I’ve known what happens to her character for quite some time: I’d like to introduce that in the sequel and write it partially from her POV. Finally, like I said earlier, I think Anna and her man (lol) might get a book by themselves. The problem is the events in these two books would probably overlap. I know this sounds confusing. I’m starting to confuse myself…I may just need to revisit my outlines…

I guess I could write both books and release them around the same time with a suggested reading order, but that sounds hard. In fact, writing is kinda hard. Why am I doing this again? Oh, right, because I love it! Even when my brain doesn’t want to work…

Book Titles

Okay, this is less of a confusing mess. I’m just curious to hear your opinion on the matter of book titles. Originally, every title in this series was going to be a word with an “re” prefix (Reborn, Relapse, etc). Then I thought maybe it would be better for the word “Reborn” to appear in every title so readers could associate it with the same series (Reborn, Darkness Reborn–maybe not that exactly, but you get the idea). I’ve seen both (Think Divergent, Insurgent, etc. versus Darkfever, Bloodfever, and on). To be honest, I might stick with the title Relapse anyway since it goes so well with the theme I have in my head, but I’m still curious what other writers and readers think.

*****

P. S. I made a tumblr, so follow me and I’ll try to follow back! I only say “try” because sometimes I still get confused on how to do things on tumblr. :-/ Warning: I mostly reblog all things Rumbelle, Captain Swan, Delena, and Hiddles/Loki…..

Reborn Dream Cast


As part of her NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) series of posts, my friend Sara over at WhatANerdGirlSays wrote this post about her dream cast were her WIP The Reawakened ever to be made into a movie (as I’m sure it will be!). Anyway, it made me think about my own dream cast for my debut novel, Reborn. Who would you cast? Let me know in the comments!

1. Candace Accola as Siobhan Elliot

Ms. Accola is one of my favorite actresses on The Vampire Diaries. Her Caroline is beautiful and upbeat but also independent and even a little neurotic at times. Siobhan is also very outgoing and at times a bit (a lot) of a control freak–Candace would play her perfectly. Plus, she looks the part: petite, pale, blonde. She just needs some violet-colored contacts and a pair of blue and purple butterfly wings. Amanda Seyfried would also make a good Siobhan.

2. Tom Hiddleston as Jasper Hart

If you know me at all, I know you’re shaking your head right now, groaning, “Oh, Shaina…” I have a ginormous little crush on Tom Hiddleston, most well known as playing scene-stealing Loki in the Thor franchise. Jasper has slightly longish, dark hair, pale skin, intense blue eyes and…well, you know, muscles. He’s charming and sexy with a dangerous, sinister edge. I’m not sure how told Tom is, so he may be slightly older than Jasper is supposed to look, but other than that he’s perfect for the role. Ok, we need to move on because I’m getting a little hot and bothered from this Google image search…

3. Leighton Meester as Anna Wallace

I’ve only seen a little bit of Gossip Girl…to be honest, it was too much fluffy drama, even for me. (Maybe the early seasons are better?) Anna is Siobhan’s ex-best friend from high school. They had a huge falling out in high school, but at the beginning of Reborn Siobhan realizes Anna is the only one who will understand what she’s going through; she needs her best friend back. Anna is a tall, willowy brunette with a healthy tan and hazel eyes. She’s a singer and a music education major. While Siobhan is rather flighty and impulsive, Anna is practical and discerning. At first, I wasn’t sure who would be a good fit for Anna, then Leighton popped into my head. I think she could pull Anna off, plus she contributed vocals to that one Cobra Starship song, didn’t she?

4. Mark Salling as Jimmy Wallace

This was also a hard one to “cast.” Jimmy is Anna’s brother and Siobhan’s ex-boyfriend from high school. They give their relationship another go in Reborn, but Jasper always seems to cause problems for them (like he does wherever he goes…). Jimmy’s character is inspired by Iggy Pop in his Stooges days, but Iggy’s kinda older now. If I could go back in time, extract 20-something Iggy and cast him in my pretend movie, I would. (To do list: Build time machine.) Jimmy has brown hair and hazel eyes. He’s the wild and arrogant frontman of fictional punk rock band Search and Destroy. This was hard for me because I feel like there are few male celebrities or even musicians nowadays that truly embody rebellion. Adam Levine fits the arrogant, sexy rock star stereotype well, but he doesn’t look like the Jimmy I have pictured in my head. Mark Salling played bad boy Puck on Glee, can sing and looks good with a guitar, so I think he’ll do.

5. Charlize Theron as Farrah

Farrah is the mysterious new house mother of Siobhan’s sorority, Gamma Lambda Phi. She has long, ash blonde curls, golden skin and jade green eyes. She has a bubbly personality and is nice to pretty much everyone except Siobhan. Although she seems like one of the “good guys,” she holds a grudge and has a vicious jealous streak. I haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman, mostly because I can’t stand Kristen Stewart’s “acting,” but I’ll bet Theron’s Queen was wonderfully evil. She could definitely pull off Farrah’s nice and naughty sides. She just needs to grow her hair out again.

6. Anna Kendrick as Victoria

Victoria is Siobhan’s big sister in Gamma Lambda Phi. She’s tall, athletic with auburn hair and amber-colored eyes. She’s not supposed to be that pretty, but her beauty and strength comes from inside. As president of her sorority, she’s a charismatic and wise leader. (Not that Reborn is a super deep book or anything, but I see Victoria and Anna as reflections of each other. They’re both characters Siobhan trusts and goes to for advice. Victoria is Anna’s counterpart in the Olympian world.) I think Anna Kendrick is very pretty, so casting her as Victoria isn’t some insult to her or something. I just think Ms. Kendrick is great at playing offbeat characters. Victoria is sort of a nice blend of offbeat, awkward but strong that I think Kendrick could pull off.

*****

So these are the “lucky” folk I’d cast as the six principal characters in Reborn. There’s quite a handful of secondary characters, so I could keep going, but I’ll save those for another day. Who would you cast? Who would you cast for your own book?

Thursday Thoughts: Changes in Point-of-View


My blog is getting a lot of hits this week, so I thought I’d bring this up while I have your attention! 😉 Also, I’ve been meaning to announce a new series of posts, Thursday Thoughts, as a home for my more opinionated posts and for my posts about writing. (I feel like I’m probably borrowing this title from another blog, but I don’t remember whose…)

Anyway, how do we feel about changes in point-of-view in books? How would you feel if most of the book is written in first-person but the epilogue is written in third-person? I’m asking because my current story is written in first, but I’m considering including an epilogue that focuses on another character in the book, only it’s on a different world, so Siobhan isn’t there. Since the short scene will be separated out as the “epilogue,” I feel like it might work, but I’d like to know what you (as a writer or reader) think. Have you ever seen anyone do this?

Another reason I want to include an epilogue is to leave a bit of a cliffhanger, which is a whole ‘nother point of discussion. I want there to be a sequel, but then again, I don’t want there to be too much of a cliffhanger. Not because I don’t want to leave readers hanging (I love doing that, lol), but because a potential publisher might be more willing to commit to one book than a series from a new author. So perhaps I should go for mostly wrapping the book up while leaving just a little teaser…

Genre-Bending


What genre do I write?

In my About page I loosely call myself a smut romance writer. But I’ve come to realize, I don’t really write that much smut -do I? Some of my fanfic ideas pretty much revolve around S-E-X, but, while there are sex scenes in my other stories, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the plot depends or revolves around them.

I’m not even really a “romance” writer, paranormal or other. Romances follow a formula: Two people meet, usually hate each other but have undeniable sexual tension, stuff happens, it looks like they’re not going to wind up together, but then they do. (I’m not saying this is a bad thing, at all -sometimes you want a predictable ending, and it doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy yourself on the journey to get there.) But while I would say that love and romantic relationships are very important themes in my stories, I don’t think they really follow this formula. So calling myself a romance writer could be misleading.

I throw around the term “urban fantasy” a lot to describe my novel-in-progress. I think it’s a pretty fitting description: It’s a fantasy or paranormal book, and the setting is in the city. My author idol Karen Marie Moning identifies her Fever series as being urban fantasy. But I’ve also heard the genre “urban fantasy” used to specifically describe stories or books that combine African American main characters and culture with fantastical elements. Most of my stories or even mere ideas for stories involve sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal themes, so I think they’re still fitting descriptions for my work. And obviously, if the main characters are of high school age, you can stick it in the “young adult” category.

I’m just trying to find a niche for myself, to be able to succinctly describe my work to other people. To be honest, I’m not even sure I want to stick a specific genre on my stories. I want to borrow elements from different genres, although as I said all of the categories I’ve mentioned above do fit. I don’t want my work to follow a formula. I want my books to be sexy, but I don’t want the whole point of the book to be waiting for the two main characters to have sex. I do love a good love triangle, though, which unfortunately has also become a popular formula as of late. This also isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just I’ve always loved this device, but now that it’s in every single immensely popular book that’s out there, it’s overdone. Now it’ll just seem like I’m joining the crowd.

My WIP The Fallen has a love triangle developing, but again, that wasn’t the point of my writing it. It’s really about this girl who is forced to confront some demons from her past and who is trying to reconcile that with her new life in college. Although the book is certainly not supposed to be anything super profound -it’s meant to entertain -I did want it to follow Siobhan’s journey of self-discovery, which is why it takes place in college. She’s trying to unravel the mystery behind these powerful new people in her life. And sure, all the while she has three hot guys who all want her: Her college hook-up Max, her high school beau and sexy punk rocker, Jimmy, and her handsome but manipulative TA, Jasper.

Sorry, I know this is a weird post -I’m just typing as I think this over. I guess I’m trying to get in marketing mode so if/when I write some query letters, I can be very persuasive. 😉

What genre do you classify your own work as? Or do you like drawing from a variety of influences? What genre do you think I write (lol)? Feel free to sound off in the comments!

Character Profile: Celeste Lowe


Well, somehow it’s Wednesday already, and since I don’t have another chapter of The Fallen ready to post, I’ve decided to post a character profile such as those Heidi’s been posting on her fantastic blog, Inside the Mind of a Fantasy Writer. (I’m also borrowing her format because I like it.)

But first, a little shameless self-promotion reminder to “Like” my blog’s Facebook page by clicking on the link in the menu on the left. (You may have to scroll down a tad, but it’s there!) And thanks to those of you who have!

Now, let’s meet:

Celeste Lowe

From: Star Eyes (paranormal romance, YA)

Character Type: Protagonist

Age: Sixteen

Physical Description: Silver-blonde hair and blue eyes

Species: Alien from the planet Mondra

“Occupation”: High school student

Relationship Status: In a relationship…but it’s complicated

Love interest(s): Dave, a human teenager, is her true love, but she can’t deny her attraction to Hazri, another Mondrian.

Goals: To feel like a “normal teenager”; to be a good friend and girlfriend; to figure out what the Mondrians want with Earth

Obstacles: Since her people are telepathic, it’s almost impossible for her to keep anything from Hazri.

Strengths: Telepathic and telekinetic; loyal; open-minded

Flaws: Forgive the cliché, but she “cares too much” -but seriously, she cares deeply about her friends and family, so can be easily devastated. But she also does have a jealous streak.

Enjoys: Astronomy, journalism, hanging out with her friends

Excerpt:

“You know what?” Dave said after the server had already left. “I just realized that I don’t have any silverware.” He tried to flag down the host.

“Yes, you do,” Celeste said, nodding toward his plate.

“I swear that wasn’t there…oh well.” He placed the napkin on his lap and drizzled some dressing over his salad. Celeste glanced around, hoping that no one had seen the bundle of utensils wrapped carefully in a dark red napkin rise off of the empty table next to them, fly through the air and land quietly beside Dave’s plate.

This was actually really enjoyable to write -I sort of abandoned the world in this book, so it was fun to revisit! Hope you liked this glimpse into Celeste’s character, too!

Dirty Words


Soil? Soot? Mud?

No, not those dirt-y words.

I can’t even believe I’m writing this as I’m doing it. This post is rated M for Mature and N for Naughty.

I started to ponder this because I’m currently (finally) reading one of Karen Moning’s Highlander books. (I don’t know which number it is…but I know it’s not the first one. So it looks like I’m going to end up reading them out-of-order.) As much as I love Ms. Moning’s work, she uses the word “impaled” (for, you know) a lot in this book. And for me it’s just not a sexy word.

I’m not being prudish…there are other great words and phrases out there to describe sex, whether it your characters are making love or just plain ol’ fucking. Depending on what atmosphere you’re creating, a man can enter a woman, ease/slip/slide/slam into her, pump in and out of her, grind against her. (I’m sure you can think of other/better ones?) But impale just sounds painful.

And what should we call the tool with which he pleasures/takes/fills her/brings her to the brink? (She could also shatter/dissolve/unravel/come undone.) Although there are many rather obvious choices, sometimes the possibilities sound silly as you’re reading. On the other hand, for a smutty book penis sounds a bit medical. How about his cock/manhood/hardness/shaft? (I can’t believe I’m coming up with these without using the thesaurus on Microsoft Word. The smut is just pouring out of me tonight.)

Wet is of course often used to describe when the woman is ready for her man to impale her. But use its synonyms with caution because they can end up sounding icky rather than sexy: moist/damp/clammy (wait, no, don’t ever tell your man that you’re clammy for him.)

Romance writers: What do you think? What are the best words/phrases to use when writing about s-e-x?

Working Title: “Title”


Well, I wanted to keep to my Sunday, sometimes-Thursday, Friday posting schedule, but didn’t have time to write anything new, insightful or nerdy. So instead, I perused My Documents for a sample of my old writing. I decided to go with a document named “Something,” which contained the Prologue and first chapter I wrote to a planned book with the tentative title “Title.” I think it’s pretty cute…it’s another Greek myth-inspired story (which I apparently subconsciously gravitate to) and depicts a nostalgic Calypso talking to her friend, Dewdrop. (The most adorable name ever, if I do say so myself.)

***

She stood where the beach met the crisp blue water. Digging her feet into the yellow sand, she curled her toes and allowed it to seep between them, wet and rough. Beyond her, the waves rolled like sheets of blue silk billowing in the salty air. Her hair, the color of the golden beach, blew across her face and briefly obscured her forlorn expression. Then, she brushed the hair out of her face to reveal her sad, teardrop-shaped eyes once more.

“Calypso!” a high, clear voice behind her called. Calypso did not turn to acknowledge the voice and still did not turn when a girl appeared beside her. She was young and small, and her long, auburn hair was plaited into hundreds of small braids. She wore a white dress tied at the waist with a yellow cord. Noticing Calypso’s intent gaze, she followed it into the blue distance where it was hard to tell where the ocean ended and the sky began.

“Calypso, what’s wrong?” she persisted and hugged the woman’s petite waist. Calypso sighed and stroked the girl’s hair.

“Oh, Dewdrop,” she said as the girl retracted her arms. Calpyso sat down and patted the sand beside her so that Dewdrop would do the same. “No one ever comes to my island anymore. No one ever comes.”

What are you talking about?” Dewdrop wondered. “The others visit you all the time. Hera, Aphrodite, Aries…everybody loves it here. It’s a beautiful island.”

“I do not mean them,” she replied curtly and diverted her gaze to the ocean again. “They do not come to see me, Dewdrop. As you said –it is a beautiful island. The most beautiful. I’m talking about people. People used to come here.”

“People? From where?”

“From everywhere.” For the first time that afternoon, a small, wistful grin appeared on Calypso’s lovely face. “Explorers would come, travelers, sometimes men going to war –what strong, handsome men used to come here.” Dewdrop narrowed her eyes in confusion as Calypso continued nostalgically. “They would come, and we would entertain them here, give them food and shelter. And sometimes I would just…”

“Just what?” Dewdrop pressed.

“Just keep them here,” Calypso said, laughing musically. Dewdrop laughed too, although she wasn’t entirely sure what Calypso meant.

“Ah, yes, I miss those days,” Calypso confessed. “There was always excitement and anticipation, wondering who was going to come next. But then fewer and fewer came, and the ones that did come tried to hurt us and would not let us help them. And then one day, no one came. No one has come for ages.”

A tear trickled from one of Calypso’s aquamarine eyes. “It’s okay,” Dewdrop assured her. “I’m sure someday someone will come again.”

“Perhaps.” Calypso picked up the hem of her flimsy purple dress as she rose. Dewdrop scrambled to her feet as well. “Perhaps not. Come on –let’s go back.” They glided swiftly over the sand, away from where the sun broke the ocean into a thousand tiny blue diamonds. Above, the sky was clear and cloudless.

Daily Prompt


In the spirit of procrastinating even more from studying for my midterm, I thought I’d give the Daily Prompt a try today. Clicking on the link below takes you to their post:

Daily Prompt: Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

My word was whale.

Nova holds her brother’s hand tightly as they watch the magnificent, sleek killer whale rise again from the ocean. For a moment, it seems suspended in time, droplets of water flying from its glossy skin and freezing in midair. Finally, it dives back down and vanishes beneath the shimmering blue surface of the sea. When it doesn’t come up for a third time, Zeb tugs on the sleeve of Nova’s now dirty and tattered white tunic.

“Where’d he go?” Zeb wants to know. His shiny eyes, as blue as the sea before them, search the area the whale used to occupy. He’s pouting, his brow furrowed.

“I guess he’s gone to join his friends,” Nova tells him. They linger on deck for a few more minutes, but the whale is truly gone. Nova releases her brother’s tiny hand and heads for the stairs leading below deck. The salty air is rattling the sails and whipping her greasy hair in front of her face. “Come on, Zeb. Let’s try to wash up a little before dinner.”

Zeb takes one last look out at the empty ocean, and then dutifully follows his sister to their quarters.