Every Little Bit Counts! Achievements and Celebrations!

Last week I discovered a new, awesome, post idea over on Just Get It Written.  Started by VikLit, it’s a celebration of the small things.  Of little achievements (and big).  They are doing it every Friday, but I’m going to aim for at least one Friday a month.

vik-small-things-2And today’s that day!  So, what are some of the achievements and little things to celebrate today?

  • Disparate Threads went live this week!  It feels kind of awesome to be sharing the story, and I just hope people enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it (and, yes, even editing it).
  • I participated in my first Insecure Writers Support Group, “Post Day.”  And it was spectacular!  I’d actually started the post a while ago, but posting it for this day, and all the support and comments I got felt really awesome.  I am now feeling motivated to actually try working some more on Hazel, and seeing what might come.
  • I rearranged my room, and am quite happy with the results.  There is now SPACE!   Like, I can see actual floor.  It is most impressive (previously there was a large bed, in the middle of the room, leaving little space… now that bed is against the wall, and FLOOR!

Yes… it really is the little things, isn’t it?
What are the little (or not-so-little) things that you are celebrating this week?



Disparate Threads – Into the Grand Hall

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It was a plain door, made of light wood with a simple brass handle. Nothing about it was intimidating, nothing to indicate the power that sat behind. Ayrella stood still before it, her heart beating madly. She could feel the power pressing from behind those simple doors, amazed at the strength of the simple wood to hold it all in. A moments breath, allowing Henrich’s calming assurances to whisper their way from her memory through her mind, before she reached slowly for the handle and pushed open the door into the great room.

Through it was a sight she knew very well, it still overwhelmed her. Inside those solid brick walls was a vast openness. Nothing below but the distant waters, nothing above but the open blue sky. Seats were formed out clouds for those present, circled around the edges of the room. There were many seats around either side of the room, with a break for the doorway and for the two seats set slightly apart directly across the room. Ayrella stepped out into the openness, the air supporting her as she stood alone, the focus of everyone in the room. There was no seat for her, no throne in which she could rest. She stood the focus of the room once more.

The first time she had stood, the center of their attention, had been a time of great joy. The last had been full of sadness and anger as she made her decision to leave them all to be with Henrich. And now… now the memory of both those times flooded through her and all she could think of was her uncertainty. And a strange, sudden awareness of the simplicity of her mortal clothes, as the others looked down at her with scrutiny. She simply stood and waited, trying to calm her fluttering heart, and keep those nerves from reflecting in her face and body.

“You dare return.” A deep voice bellowed from across the room. Ayrella did not need to look to know it was Ikthar. His anger rang clear, and though she had a ready retort, Ayrella knew better than to answer for herself. Not yet, at least.

“You should fall right through the skies,” Thipar said by way of agreement, always the closest friend and supporter of Ikthar, though not always able to understand what was truly in Ikthar’s heart.

“She could not have come if she had not been summoned.” Tyal reminded them all in her own calm and soothing manner.

“Even we do not know all that is at work here,” Kisha agreed. Ayrella could hear the smile coming through her words, “If she has returned, then that clearly has been deemed to be the way of things.”

“It is not our place,” Siron put in with a pointed look towards Ikthar, “to dissuade or argue the will of the Skies.”

This was met with silence, as the wind swirled around, lifting Ayrella slightly higher. She looked around her, now clearly seeing the faces of her friends and family, detractors and supporters alike. Those who had encouraged her freedom to make the decision she did and those who had seen her actions as betrayal, or a mistake. Those she had hurt.

“Dear brother.” She looked to Ikthar now, speaking directly to him as though no others were present. Her voice calm though her head spun with fear, “you know better than anyone how frightened I must be. To have been summoned here….” She waited, but not a word was said, his face set with anger. She held the floor, and would have to say much more to budge him. There were others, certainly, but it was him that she felt she owed the most.

“Henrich, my mortal husband, was taken from me in just the recent month. I had heard the stirrings of the world, and knew that things were not at peace, but it was not my matter. I had given up the right to have a place in those concerns. I had resigned myself to live a mortal life, a widow until the day when I too would have to perish from the world. But the Skies have a different plan, it would seem.” She paused, taking a breath and trying to find the certainty inside herself that she was managing to project through her voice.

“There is an unrest in the Realms. I know that you have all felt it too. To different degrees something is stirring. I felt it in the land where I lived, and I am sure that you have seen it in the Realms that you tend to. I do not know how I, a humble being even before my mortal life, can be of any aid. But, I have been bid to return. You, my dear brother Ikthar, have always been the strength of our family. You hold the seat of power, you judge fairly.” She saw just the slightest shift in Ikthar’s face, a twitch at the very edge of his mouth, a slight softening of his eyes. It was quickly suppressed, but Ayrella saw it there and knew that she had made some headway.

“You, my dearest sister Kisha, have always been the heart of our family. You tend to the spirits of mortals and gods alike.” Kisha responded to this with a gentle smile, a slight nod, reassuring Ayrella without needing to say a word.

“Our friends,” Ayrella waved her hand around to the others gathered in the room, “all have been chosen carefully for their power and place. All belong, a power to bring to the table. Necessary forces.” She could see nods among the crowd. Though some still refused to engage her attention she found many willing to connect with her gaze.

“I believed my path was to live amongst the mortals. To follow a journey reverse the one so many of you have followed. But —” she paused, blinking back a moment of tears as a sudden wave of memories pushed through her mind, “it would seem that this is not the case. I plead of you, please, simply allow me to return to take my place. Whatever that place may be, in the change this is that is happening to our Realms.”

The silence felt like a weight on her shoulders. She was certain that this was where she was meant to be, certain that this was what had been bid of her, though she had no certainty about what her place was to be in it.

A stirring began, the winds sweeping around her gently, as though to give her some comfort. Slowly, with no words or noise, another chair formed from the clouds alongside Ikthar and Kisha’s, and Ayrella found herself gently being lifted towards it.

“The Sky has spoken,” Ikthar said flatly, no emotion making its way through his words, “you are to take your seat, once more, among us.”


What if I get it wrong?

Among the many titles I like to give myself (quietly and mostly when thinking to myself) is “historian.”  History has been a passion of mine for my entire life.  As a kid I would create projects that focused on history.  Throughout school, if I were given the chance, I would turn my assignments towards historical topics.  I read historical-fiction, and historical non-fiction like mad.  I ended up with a BA in history, and an MA in religion — with a thesis focused on a historical figure.  And I have now been accepted in another graduate program, where I will pursue an MA in History (starting this fall).  I dream that, someday, I’ll have a Doctorate in History, that I’ll work in a museum or as a history professor, or perhaps a historical consultant or… the possibilities seem nearly endless.

Hey!  Look!  A historic marker... can we stop a minute?
Hey! Look! A historic marker… can we stop a minute?

I have driven my family crazy with requests to pull over for every roadside “this event happened here” sign that I could find, and have structured entire vacations around historical topics.  Sure, I have my favorite eras, locations and people, but to be honest I have yet to find a historical person, place, or thing, that I haven’t been happy to explore.

And I love to research.  To find more resources that I can use, more information.  I peruse bibliographies for fun, and love detailed footnotes that lead me to all sorts of other, passingly related, topics.  I have the ability to lose hours wandering through the internet, or library, or whatever resource may be on hand, gathering links, or titles, or anything else to “look into later.”

But I have this fear that has kept me from writing historical fiction.  Even though there are some stories that I think may belong as historical fiction, and others that I would like to write, I find myself stalling out in the face of the possibility that I will get it wrong.  That I will not be able to rid myself of modern slang and modern sensibilities enough to write a character and scenario that is realistic.  That I will make a mistake and, gasp, someone will call me on it.

It’s horrifying.  Seriously.
And I know that I have to get past this block if I want to write historical fiction.  I have to be willing to make mistakes – and trust that I can ask other researchers to help check my work.  I’m doing that for a number of projects.  I’ve been asking a friend who actually knows about sword-fighting to help me with research/resources so I can write a more realistic sword-fighting scene in my fantasy novel (not that it would be hard to get better than the current text: “she watched as he [does something that makes it clear that he’s no good at sword fighting, yup]…”), for example.

And perhaps this is reflective of a larger fear.  I hate to say it’s a fear of being wrong (because I know that I am wrong at times, just how often probably depends highly on who you ask), but perhaps a fear of being unable to capture a sense of true authenticity.  I would hate to pour so much time and energy into something and then have it pulled apart because the facts didn’t add up.  I worry about this enough when I am writing in a fantasy world and dealing with something I don’t know a lot about (like earlier-mentioned sword fighting, or farming, or royal court etiquette).  And in fantasy stories I can always have an escape-route… argue that this is the way it works in this land.

But in history, I can’t do that.  What happens if I include some turn-of-phrase that wouldn’t have been in use?  Or have someone referring to something that hadn’t happened yet?  Or I just can’t stay true to the historical sensibilities?

And how do I go about overcoming this fear?  That is the real question.  How do I find a way to be willing to make mistakes, to trust that my editing process (and my research) will help me keep from making (at least glaring) errors?  And how do I let go of the sense of needing to be right and not making a mistake?

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 This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group -- I am very much looking forward to being a part of this community!

Disparate Threads – Into The Horizon

And today it begins!

The Disparate Threads blog went live this weekend, with the first story segment (previously posted on this blog) already up.  And today begins our regular updates.  Each will be posted here, but I encourage you to visit (and follow) the Disparate Threads blog to explore more!


After a long journey, Ayerlla found her feet resting on the edge of a great cliff. Similar to the one she had left, though that momentous step now seemed so long ago. A lifetime ago, in the most literal sense.

This cliff towered above the water. Anchored to nothing, it was simply a part of the sky. The storm still churned in the distance; rolling clouds filled with murky colors, heavy with moisture and swirling winds. Simply waiting. The pressure was in the air, but Ayrella got the sense that the storm would continue to wait. Everything, it seemed, was waiting. She just wasn’t sure what it was waiting for.

Standing there, looking back towards where she had come from, Ayrella could feel the years lifting off of her. Through her time in Kirshenelle she had worked hard to ensure that she aged just right, just as those around her did, so as to not call suspicion. But now, back on the edge of the Horizon Lands, she felt those years fade away. It had not been many changes, so subtle that many would not even notice them, but had she not made the changes there would have been comments and Ayrella had striven to be very cautious. Little wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. The slightest lightening of her hair, a precursor to turning gray. All of that fell away now, fading as though they had never been.

But she knew that the years still carried in her heart.

She walked slowly and carefully, the feeling of early dawns mist on her feet. Down through the field towards the city, each step cautious and deliberate. Ayrella felt her breath catch in her throat as she approached the city, this gathering of buildings, each exquisite in its own unique way. Each reflecting the Revered Being Continue reading Disparate Threads – Into The Horizon

Opening the Writing Floodgates

To get started, let’s loosen up.  Let’s unlock the mind.  Today, take twenty minutes to free-write.  And don’t think about what you’ll write.  Just write.
And for your first twist?  Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

And thus begins my involvement in Writing 101.  The only thing I did do was go through a quick spell-check (because no one needs to suffer through my creative-spelling more than necessary).  Otherwise, unfiltered, stream-of-consciousness Allison.

I am a sucker for taking on more than I should.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but really I find that the more I have on my plate the more productive I am.  I think some of it has to do with the idea that the more I have to do the more I am aware of just how important my time is.

There are limits to this of course.  I have, more than once in my life, hit points where my body begins to rebel.  It starts to yell at me, with subtle signs at first, and then more and more insistent, telling me it is time to step back, to take a break, to give myself a rest.  In the past five or so years I’ve begun to learn these signs, and in the past three or so, I’ve learned to actually start to listen to them.

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2But those signs haven’t started up yet, so it is perfectly reasonable for me to pile more on my plate, right?  And that is what I’m doing, sort of, but signing up for Writing 101, through the Daily Post.   The plan, at least, my hope, is to use the prompts we’re given, the task of trying to write daily, to really get myself in the daily writing practice — and perhaps be able to piggy-back a daily editing practice onto that.

Because I have ridiculous goals that I want to meet, things I Continue reading Opening the Writing Floodgates

My Dream Reader

As promised, I am working my way through some of the “Zero to Hero” assignments, at my own meandering pace.  Because, truly, that’s how I like to do things… at my own pace and in my own time.  Sometimes that time is super-speed, fast-track.  And sometimes it’s like moving in slow-motion, through marshmallow fluff, on the moon.  And more often than not it is in some order that makes sense to me, even if not to the rest of the world.  So, today I am jumping in on the Blogging 101 “Zero to Hero” Assignment Day 6.

Writing for my Dream Reader.
Hmm… Continue reading My Dream Reader

Excitement fueled editing!

Yay! The Disparate Threads blog is ready to go, and open for viewing! Untitled2 - CopyBeen making tweaks here and there, and have gone ahead and put up the first story segment, since I’ve shared it here and it seems unfair to have that be my first update.  So… instead… here it is!  With the next few weeks lined up and ready, by posting this now maybe I can get myself to focus on getting even more of it lined up and ready….


A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

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