Monthly Archives: July 2013

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 5, Scene 5

This week’s post is Chapter 5, Scene 5 (1.5.5).

Please let me know if you have trouble with link navigation – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 5, Scene 4

Perversely, the seed for Akiiya’s story—and a working title, Hostages to Fortuna—came from a rabid fan website: Andrew O’Connell could do no wrong. No one is perfect. What kind of personality let devotion paralyze judgment? What were the repercussions to the one enthralled? How did it lead to humans sacrificed for a cause?

She found notebook and favorite pen, raced to container the deluge.

 

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 5 – …his feet part of iron and part of clay…, Scene 5


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Writing down the hurricane

Things come into everyone’s life at times and leave behind the landscape of destruction: death. Work. Travel. A child’s illness. Taxes. Deadlines. The list is endless – and includes positive things, too: a wedding. The birth of a child. Marriage. A new job.

Many come as dust-devils – small enough and short enough to deal with on a daily mode.

But the big ones leave behind a hollowed out core of exhaustion and pain.

It is all for naught, for a writer, if it isn’t captured, polished, and used in one’s writing. Continue reading

First guest post: CFS and holding it together day after day

Peter Alexcee has given me permission to post something he wrote on a private Facebook group. He is my first guest blogger – I love firsts.
I’d like it better if it weren’t such a difficult subject for us – day-to-day living. Take it away, Peter.
This sickness (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) sometimes makes you feel like you have to hold it together, for the next moment, the next day. Eventually though, you realize that you’ve been holding it together for such a long, long time, through such much of life, the good, the bad, the stressful, the sad, the peaceful, every moment. Then you realize that what if I stop holding it together, for it takes so much effort, each day, each moment seems so important though. So you tell yourself that today you’ll rest. It is important for your sanity to just say no and rest, to recharge your batteries, recharge your mind, recharge your soul. Then that day becomes 2, and it gets easier and easier to rest, you tell yourself.Feeling tired, fatigued, and that’s a major part of this sickness. It is inefficient mitochondria that is at the heart of this sickness. The mitochondria do less, you feel tired. But it is not just feeling tired, for the mitochondria run your brain, your immune system, your nervous system, your heart, your lungs, and your digestive system. Everything slows down. The only way I can compare it to is the day after a marathon, the day after a major sporting event, where you’ve given it your all, and have nothing more to give. But for us, the day after doesn’t stop there, it continues day after day. And you’re back to holding it together again.

This is what I have to go through each day. It is hard for others to understand, even if they say they understand. And some even do understand to some degree because they found themselves exhausted the day after a major physical event, and know it takes a few days to recover. So they know what its like “the day after”, our day after, day after day. And we’re back to holding it together.

We wonder, how much do we rest? How much should we exert ourselves, to move, to “get out”, when we try to listen to the loving, concerned advice of those who don’t know, and think just exercise is the answer, or that special drink they’ve heard of that provides energy, or eat healthy or certain kinds of food, thinking good food, thinking natural health foods, vitamins or mixes will help. The mitochondria is our body’s engine, it runs everything by combining the food we eat and the air we breath. It doesn’t matter much what kind of fuel is used, the body will still have trouble creating energy from it. It is like trying to get a junk car to run in a race. Even with the best fuel that car won’t win the race, it would still barely go.

This is my day, day after day, and again we try to hold it together.

Gratitude: Don’t forget to pay the Wikipedia piper

If you’re anything like me, when a new subject comes up, and you need to do research, you do a search (Google or otherwise), and end up for starters at…WIKIPEDIA.

Why? Because they never fail to have SOMETHING, written in reasonably clear English, that serves as an introduction to whatever it is you were researching. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 5, Scene 4

This week’s post is Chapter 5, Scene 4 (1.5.4).

Please let me know if you have trouble with link navigation – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 5, Scene 3

Roland looked deep into her soul from the jewelcase cover. The intelligence in the eyes frightened her, the bane of women of her kind since long before Rochester bewitched Jane Eyre. She flipped the case, read the back, slit the cellophane without volition, slid the CD into the player.

The crash of martial music returned her to the opening scene, a clashing show of swordsmanship where Roland disarmed his foster father in mock combat. Ganleun bowed, his hatred quickly veiled; Roland cloaked his own contempt in courtesy.

Outside, crepuscular shadows lengthened as they had at Roncesvaux. Kary lost herself in the soundtrack, entranced before the fire again, grinding the story ever deeper into her bones.

 

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 5 – …his feet part of iron and part of clay…, Scene 4


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

The B1 bomb: an exercise in hope for a writer with CFS

***PLEASE DON’T TRY THIS EXPERIMENT AT HOME – unless you’re me, of course.***
***DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor, nor do I play one on TV.***

I am, however, a PWC (person with CFS) of long standing (24+ years), and can tell you that hope is a problem when you have a permanent disability or a chronic illness.

From Wikipedia comes a good definition of hope: “Hope is the state which promotes the belief in good outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life.”

I have always been fascinated by the concept of what happens to a person when a long period of focusing on illness is suddenly changed because the illness is cured, or improved. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 5, Scene 3

This week’s post is Chapter 5, Scene 3 (1.5.3).

Please let me know if you have trouble with link navigation – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 5, Scene 2

A thought cut deep: What if you die tonight, and Susan goes back through the History folder on your browser, and sees where you’ve been? Her cheeks hot, she brought the computer back to life, deleted the trail of links, cleaned out the caches and the cookies.

Eschewing the treacherous fire, she finally heeded a commonsense requirement for food. She knew she would pay for the orgy with days. She forced extra water, made herself stretch—it might help. Some. In bed, she read Dorothy Sayers, deliberately choosing a section on bell changes in The Nine Tailors, until her eyes closed.

 

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 5 – …his feet part of iron and part of clay…, Scene 3


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Clash your symbols to blast through writer’s block

SPOILER ALERT (if you are reading Pride’s Children as we go along, you may want to skip this one for now.) This is my WRITING blog, and some viewers may be more interested in my odd techniques than in my stories.

I think of WRITERS’ BLOCKS as objects in my path I need to blast through to get to where I’m writing.

It helps me immensely to write down why I’m blocked, what’s holding me up, possible solutions, bits and pieces about how I got to an impasse. IOW, I write myself out of the block by studying it instead of running from it. Continue reading

Technology headaches: changing the writing environment

As a writer with CFS brain fog, I need ABSOLUTE quiet to write. To the extent of needing physical means to block out all sound – I use industrial-strength noise protectors worn over earplugs. The neighbor’s gas-powered leaf blower. The lawn mowers. The TV. The BIRDS chirping.

So, when the Macbook 1,1 I’ve been babying for years (2006-present), bought to be Silent Running, first started spinning up the fans frequently, I did a brave thing: Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 5, Scene 2

This week’s post is Chapter 5, Scene 2 (1.5.2).

Please let me know if you have trouble with link navigation – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 5, Scene 1

Finally, one God stumbled.

Rage made Marsile take a chance, rage was his undoing. He rushed his staggering opponent, using his mount’s sheer bulk as a battering ram. Roland, forced back, saw his chance, stepped into the attack, received the Moor’s blow, but slipped his sword into the gap. The Moorish chieftain’s head flew from his shoulders even as his body was carried past. The head rolled to a stop glaring up at an archer; Marsile had lost his place in legend.

Roland, mortally wounded, fell forward, catching his own throat on blood-stained Durandal, dead before the hundred arrows pierced his body. In the confusion, the young cleric slipped away, carrying the story’s ending to the courts of the king.

Kary’s face was wet, but she could not remember how it got that way.

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 5 – …his feet part of iron and part of clay…, Scene 2


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Story as mosaic: using Dramatica as nucleation sites for the individual tiles

ennucleation/nucleation* sites

I don’t see a lot of people talking on the self-publishing forums about using Dramatica to plot their novels. I do.

As I’m re-writing/revising/editing/re-visioning my novel-in-progress, I’m returning to the Dramatica text boxes I blithely filled in (encoded) years ago with the ideas that came from the story-as-it-was, and deepening my understanding of each of these items, as the scenes I assigned the ‘apps’ – the Dramatica appreciations (elements) – to come up for review. Continue reading

Celebrating writing milestones

Humans reflect at milestones, they make changes, evaluate their goals, celebrate.

Today is a nexus: the 100th blog post. The Fourth of July – American Independence Day. A few days after the middle of the year 2013, and the 10th straight month of posting. The week of the 21st posted scene for Pride’s Children. The second birthday of the chinchilla, Gizzy. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 5, Scene 1

This week’s post is the beginning of Chapter 5 (1.5.1).

Every time I add the beginning of a new chapter, I have to work on the navigation. Please let me know if the links don’t work for you.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 4

The movie’s parallel track ended with the king’s swift justice: the knight entrusted with Ganelon’s sword during the trial beheaded the traitor as he knelt at Charlemagne’s feet. Vengeance brought the lady Aude grim satisfaction, but no comfort. As she passed, the young cleric on his knees raised his bowed head. Her bleak visage, as she surrendered her life to the cloister, clearly marked her for untimely death.

The soaring angelic voices of a boy’s choir filled Kary’s head as the credits rolled, but with the house lights came panic. She made it to her feet somehow, fumbled with coat, tissues, purse. Her throat hurt. She didn’t know where to look. She blinked hard. She held on to the backs of the seats, escaped to the ladies’ room, took refuge in a stall where tears coursed down her cheeks.

When she judged everyone must have left, she came out, splashed her face with cold water, held wet paper towels to her eyes. The last thing she needed was someone asking if she was all right.

 

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 5 – …his feet part of iron and part of clay…, Scene 1


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.