Writing Challenge Guest – Snailquake

Snailquake is a zoologist-in-training with a house and garden full of animals who once needed homes. She has a degree in English literature and spent three years running creative writing workshops for people with severe mental health conditions. Her blog, Tea Time at the Zoo, can be found at: snailquake.wordpress.com

Barry White Likes a Fight

Some say I talk too much but that’s ridiculous because I hardly ever say anything at all, not like Colin, and I always say if you haven’t got anything interesting to talk about then you might as well not talk at all because none of us are listening and Colin goes on and on and on and on about food mostly, like it’s the only thing he can think about, whereas some of us have a bit more whatyoumacallit and can think about important stuff like fighting and trees and celery and melon rind and that bit in the middle of a pineapple that’s got exactly the right level of chewiness and pineapple is probably the best food after celery and maybe parsnip.

They call me Barry because I’m white but I don’t see what “white” has to do with “Barry” and the other white guinea pigs aren’t called Barry, they’re called Colin and Twogoose, and Twogoose has an ugly stupid face because he’s the reason I have to live on my own in one corner of the garden and I can’t sit under my tree because the tree is where Twogoose lives with Horatio, and I was living with them and I was FINE except Twogoose was hassling me and who does he think he is, so now I’ve got my own bedroom with hay and everything in this upturned dog bed thank you very much and if any of them others come in here I’ll bite their face off.

I like celery and parsnips and walks in the long grass and I like fighting as long as I’m the winner so I generally start the fights because then they’ll think I’m big even though I’m really small and there are seven of us and Orkney is the runt but I’ve never fought Orkney because what’s the point, whereas Colin has plenty to bite and he deserves it, and one of these days he’s going to get it, but then again last winter we sat under the TV table and he let me eat his bedding which was hay and I like hay, and I like carrots and did I mention celery and sometimes I like a good old sing-song because who doesn’t and I like parsley.

Some say I’m also easily distracted but that’s compl

A photo of Barry, courtesy of Snailquake

Find out more about the writing challenge here!


Writing Challenge – Leigh Townsend

It’s only fair for me to participate in my own writing challenge!  If you want to participate, find out more here.  This is a side character from the new novel I am writing, Dragon Pendant.

My name is Nicolette, but all my friends call me Cola.  For most of my life I’ve been mistaken for an elf.  You see, I’m tall and skinny, with no curves to speak of, so I superficially look like one of them.  My eyes, also elfin, are ice blue, pale enough to be almost white.  Still, my dark hair should be a giveaway, since everyone knows elves are almost always blonde or silver-haired.  It bothered me at first, especially when it provided fodder for bullies in school, but I’ve come to accept it.  I live in a gate city, after all, where people expect to see elves.  It might be different if I lived in a community farther distant from Erova, but this is my home and where I choose to stay.

This is a good place to live for someone in my career.  I’m an artist, a painter to be exact, and my art is primarily abstract.  Recently my work has been getting some recognition; many paintings have sold, and I had my first solo show six months ago.  That’s where I met my boyfriend Eli, which in itself is a funny story.  He is an elf, although his intense purple eyes are very unusual for his people.  He came to my show and mistook me for another elf.  Like I said, it happens frequently.  Imagine my surprise when someone started explaining my own work to me!  His embarrassment was endearing, and the vivid color of his eyes took my breath away.  We’ve been together ever since, and he’s even taken me to Erova a few times.  His mother terrifies me, but his sister and I have become good friends.

It’s nice to be included in his family, as I don’t have much immediate family of my own to speak of.  I am an only child, and both of my parents are gone.  My father died when I was in junior high, and my mother passed away a few years ago from cancer.  She nurtured my love of art and encouraged me to pursue my dreams.  I was so pleased that she lived long enough to see my first paintings sold.

Writing Challenge Guest – Nicole

Hi, my name is Nicole and this post is my response to Leigh’s challenge.  I live in Illinois, in the Peoria/Bloomington area.  I have been writing on and off since high school.   I am an avid book reader, my favorite genres being fantasy, science fiction and murder mystery. I am also one of Leigh’s friends from college.

My name is Stella.  I live in the country of Markelli, in the royal city of Amshala. I am fifteen and I am a mage.  With my friends, Joselyn and Olyvia, I help keep the streets of Amshala safe from rogue mages and supernatural beings, as well as your average thieves and slitthroats.  There is one man in particular that I wish to catch. He is a rogue mage that targets young girls. The man is known only as the Shadow Hunter. I was almost one of his victims. I bear a scar on my right wrist as the result of our first encounter.  It was also the first time that I used my powers on a large scale.  At the time I had no control over what I was doing and I nearly burned down the warehouse that we were fighting in.

Catching this man is no easy task, since Markelli is primarily an anti mage country. To keep a low profile, we do our work in the evenings. Of course this is when most miscreants are up to no good. During the day, the three of us work in different stations of the palace. Joselyn works as a maid, Olyvia works in the stables, and I work in the kitchen as well as in the laundry station.

Olyvia has a gift for seeing magical residues. We met after my first encounter with the Shadow Hunter, about five years ago. She noticed a residue on the warehouse and found me hiding nearby. She also helped me get the job at the palace.   Olyvia also got Joselyn a job in the kitchen a few months later.  Joselyn and I did not get along well after we first met. Joselyn has a rather bossy and opinionated personality, while I tend to be the confrontational type.  Upon our first meeting, I was so angry with her that I ended up pushing her into to the wash water. She later retaliated by having all but one of my dresses and shifts cut to shreds and had the remaining ones washed in itch weed and peppery spices.  Olyvia, being the peace keeper that she is, got us to call a truce before things got too out of hand.  Joselyn and I decided, however, that in the event that one of us should be apprehended for using magic, it would be best if people still thought that we were not friends. So now whenever we are in public it is said that we fight like two rival alley cats.  Joselyn started working as a maid because the head cook was convinced that we would end up killing each other if we continued to work in the same area.

All three of us are orphans. As for myself, I was found as an infant on the door steps of the church orphanage. The only thing I had with me was a necklace that has a small pink multifaceted gem stone in the shape of a heart.  My powers were locked inside this stone. I can only use them when I am wearing the necklace. Though it can be troublesome if the necklace is not there when I need it, I find that it gives me the opportunity to fell normal during the times when I don’t need it.

If I had to describe myself, I would say that I am average.  I am not too short or tall.  I am definitely not a buxom beauty, but on the other hand I do not have the looks of something you would find living under bridge in the darkness. I am slender of build and I have long dark blond hair, hazel eyes and a slight olive complexion.  My friends say that I never think before I act, but I believe that it is better to not let an opportunity pass me by.

Find out more about the writing challenge here!

Writing Challenge Guest – Barbara G. Tarn

Barbara G.Tarn is a writer, sometimes an artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller. She’s been building her world of Silvery Earth for a number of years – stories comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels. An indie published author, she blogs at http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/

Hello, my name is Ludwig and I’m a character from a graphic novel. My author picked me up from the limbo of characters waiting for a story along with four friends of mine back in 1998. For a year or so, all she could do was gather us! OK, she was working on another, very dramatic graphic novel. But eventually she got back to us. US! Our story was titled “Mercenaries?!” (yes, punctuation included – we weren’t really mercenaries), but she called us her Sweeties. We spent so many years (and 500 pages…) together… She told (not always very well, she should actually rewrite it, tsk!) our story, sharing ten years of our life and enjoying her first comedy very much. When she wrote “The End” she was so devastated she kept drawing us for another year. She even started to re-draw our story in color. Heck, she even wrote a screenplay, hoping to see our animated version! It went nowhere, of course. She wrote a novel version as well, but it sucks. And now she uses our faces for another graphic novel (original title “New Mercenaries” – how unoriginal is that? Luckily she changed it to SKYBAND), a “serious” one, she says. Me think she should just quit. Or get back to us, if she really loves us. Introduce us to the world in technicolor… but she’s too busy to give us a second chance, sigh! Now that she has the technology to make us world famous (and I mean famous outside of our times and our world, Silvery Earth… how cool is that?), she forgets her Sweeties! Bad, bad author… sigh!

Find out more about the writing challenge here

Barbara also provided a pic of her characters, check it out!

Mercenaries?! in the limbo. l. to r. Winged Brandret, Brianna, Ludwig, Birdsong and Maxian

Issuing You A Challenge

May is going to be a crazy month for me at work.  It’s not so much that I have a lot going on (which I do) but my schedule is going to be really wacky.  Every week my “weekend” days are different, I’m working a couple different evenings, I’ll even be out of town for a few days on business.

This means that blogging everyday may prove to be a bit of a struggle.  So I’ve decided to enlist the help of some of my friends and family, and perhaps even you.  As a comparison of different writing styles, as well as a fun exercise for all of my writing friends, I’m issuing a challenge.

Create a character (or use one you’ve already created).  Writing first person, as that character, introduce yourself in 200-500 words.

A few folks have already agreed!  I’m hoping to intersperse 10-15 guest writers amongst my own posts for May.  I’ll be completing the challenge as well, with at least one but maybe two of my existing characters.  If you’re up for the challenge, send me an email to my author address – author.townsend@yahoo.com – and let me know!  I’ll need your writing and a couple of sentences introducing yourself (along with a link to your blog, if you have one) by May 5.