Work In Progress — Sneak Peek

I’ve had a rather productive Sunday. I lazed around, did a little laundry, cooked a decent meal, and wrote. Wrote a bunch! Sometimes I get hit with a story. I’ll be taking a shower, or doing laundry, or I could be in the middle of a conversation with someone and somehow my brain juices start flowing and then BAM I gotta write down this story or I’ll die.

That kind of happened to me today. I got an idea for a character while I was showering and thought, ‘oh, I’ll write about her later’. So I did that and then started working on my novel that I’m trying to focus on and then another story snuck along and I had to get it out.

I wrote out the idea that came to my head as quickly as possible. So here’s a sneak peek from the newest story I started writing:

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I pulled my key out of a pocket on the inside of my black jacket and opened the front door. I stepped in and and took in a deep breath. Smelled like home. That familiar, comforting smell of mom’s candles and all the fires we had in the fireplace. Just a bit dustier than how mom kept it.

I walked over to the kitchen and cracked open the window  above the sink for fresh air. Back in town Old Papa Dragan had told me it wouldn’t rain here for a few weeks and Old Papa Dragan was always right. I could stop back by the house in a few days and close the window.

I lingered in the living room for a moment and ran my fingers along the fireplace mantel. I adjusted my bangs in the antique mirror hanging above it and then headed back outside the cabin. I locked the door behind me.

It the fifteen years we had lived in the cabin not a single soul came knocking so I wasn’t exactly sure why we ever had a lock in the first place, but I was stuck to old ways.

Once I was back on the trail I picked up my pace to make up for lost time. The more I thought about the conversation I had with Helen, the more I realized how urgent this matter was to her. Plus, if I can make it back sooner than expected then hopefully mom and dad won’t go as berserk on me.

I took even breaths in and out of my mouth as I sprinted around the skinny, birch trees. I wasn’t following Helen’s map. I didn’t need it. I knew exactly where that old mine was and I knew a faster path.

My eyes wandered the forest floor in front of me, making sure I wouldn’t stumble upon a fallen tree, but I also kept an eye out for animal traps or any fires that may be burning the distance. People from this camp may have spread out and decided to search the forest and I had no intention of bumping into a scavenger.

A few squirrels and a rabbit skittered by as I switched from a light jog to sprinting through the forest. My legs were starting to burn with ache. I wondered if the blisters on my feet were bleeding. The reconnaissance trainer, my trainer, had been working me and two others in the town day in and day out. All we did was run, jog, walk, take small breaks to eat and drink water, and then more running, jogging, and walking. As scouts, we needed to be quick and used to running in case we couldn’t use a horse. Or in case someone was after us.

The military grade boots sucked and I decided on my next mission I’d be wearing my own shoes. I trusted them more, anyway. These boots were slick and I didn’t feel as balanced as normal. I probably wouldn’t be able to climb trees or hills or rocks as well in these compared to my old sneakers.

I gradually slowed to a walking pace to catch my breath. I took a swig from my water bottle and recapped it and swung it back into my backpack. I creeped down into a hunched position and moved around trees, occasionally pausing behind one. I was close to the edge of the woods. Soon I saw the end of the forest and the clearing.

“Holy shit,” I whispered to myself.

I stumbled down into an army crawl and elbowed my way back into the woods. Hopefully no one saw me creep out of the forest. Whoever Helen’s source was.. he was wrong.

This group was no small band of thieves. This was the type of group that old townsmen told stories of in the town bar. This was the type of group parents warned their children about to scare them so they wouldn’t leave town.

This was an army. This was an army of scavengers.

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Odd, how my brain works. So now I’ve got two novels I want to work on. I’m still going to spend more time and effort on my original novel and try to get that out as quickly as possible. Then I’m going to work on this new story that has me all pumped up and wanting to share it.

Then I’ll have two novels to revise and edit. Oh boy, what have I done to myself? ;)

xo, Sarah

What Do You Read?

I’m curious. What do you read? Fiction or non-fiction? Any specific genre or do you just pick up books at a bookstore or click on anything random online?

I’ve realized I’m a bit of an oddball when it comes to reading. People always ask what my favorite books or favorite authors or favorite genres are and I normally stand there like an idiot without a response. I have too many. I don’t usually mind what I read as long as I enjoy it.

I do know a few people who only read specific authors or specific genres. And that’s it. They don’t try anything else, normally. Which leads me to wondering what you guys read.

Family, friends, and random people: what do you read? Can you pick up anything and read it? Do you hate a specific genre? Let me in on your secrets. ;)

xo, Sarah

A Three-Sentence Story

Say what?! Yeah. I wrote a story in three sentences. You may be thinking, ‘Gee, Sarah, that’s easy.’ But, it’s not. It’s incredibly difficult, actually. I got the idea from Chuck Wendig’s site TerribleMinds.

I actually had a professor in college who had our class create a one sentence story and the sentence had to be as brief as possible. That was stressful. His idea was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” One story wrapped up in one sentence with just six words.

Here’s my three-sentence story:

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Sherry struggled to drag me towards the cave and I stopped trying to fight her. Blood flowed down my face and dripped off my chin as she pulled me into the cave where we had dug up the dirt hardened by winter. I thought, ‘She’s gonna bury me where we buried our brother,’ then my eyes closed.

and I also wrote a one-sentence story:

My old house moaned and creaked often so it didn’t strike me as odd that there was a tapping and scratching noise until my friend said, “whatever’s moving near your backdoor is probably just a tree branch hitting the house from the wind” and I said, “we don’t have any trees in the backyard.”

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Give it a go. Write a three-setence (or be brave and do one) story and share in the comments!

xo, Sarah