Nov 5, 2014

Peace



First of all, immeasurable thanks to DL Hammons and the Blitz team for making my day last week and flooding my fiction with their lovely comments, I honestly never thought I would be chosen when I signed up, I just really wanted to visit new blogs :)

I cannot believe it's November already, it's only just hitting me but this is definitely going to be a year I will reflect on with a smile at how much progress I've made.  My work as a music journalist is incredibly rewarding, even with the sleep I sacrifice to do it, and often when I'm told by people I know that an article was good, that my writing was good, I have to remember to let that sink in.  The further I go the more I surprise myself.

I still have doubts about my writing, I still guilt trip myself for not posting regularly here, I'm a terrible friend for keeping in touch.  But I am finally getting comfortable with it all, I'm finally getting ready to actually call myself a writer.

I started this for myself, I write for myself, every bit of praise or criticism is an everlasting bonus and provides the motivation to get these stories out of my head.  Otherwise I'd probably still be re-reading that first scene I ever wrote for my WIP over and over wishing there was more.

So as always, cheers to you all, for enjoying my stories as much as I do, even when I never give you the whole picture, or forget to name characters, or delay publishing the next scene in case it isn't good enough.  It's time all these drafts got some sunlight.

You guys push the perfectionist in my away, and let me see the story in my words when I forget what I'm writing for.

something I always tell my mates,
thanks for putting up with me.
from sjp.

Oct 22, 2014

Hiding

Color
14.03.13



The mouldy straw itched at his back, prying sleep from his exhausted mind.  Rolling to his side he stared at the dust filled air as it flickered in the sunlight, the segmented light searing through the grime of the abandoned barn from every split plank and crevice between wooden doors.  

It felt strange to be resting in the darkness when it was so bright beyond, to be forced to travel through the night was a precaution, but the hiding in the hours of the living he could not adapt too.  He felt too vulnerable knowing the Guides might catch them unaware, with such light to expose them and few shadows to shelter in.  Looking over to Clarissa as she slept, blissfully unaware as always, her auburn hair burning in a streak of sun even through the dirt they had soiled it with.  He fought the need to hide her away from them, to protect this innocence from their vendetta.  She was better off never knowing color, he mused.

"She worships you for showing it to her though,"

Startled he sat up to see Serena watching him, those amber eyes boring into him as though she were making a casual observation, and not intruding his thoughts.

"What are you talking about?" An edge of annoyance from being caught so obviously striking his voice.

Realising his embarrassment she merely shrugged and looked away, the same air of indifference around her.  As if anyone could hold such faith he fumed.

"She would have found the path without you, and will continue down it even when you have left." She said, standing to dust off her dress and peek through a rotted beam.

"You think I'll leave her to the fate of the Guides?" he asked incredulously.

"The Guides are just one obstacle - " she spoke hurriedly, turning from the wall she advanced upon him, "I can taste your doubt, I can see you cringe, know your need to abandon the futile and tend to the practical, you yearn to return to your inconspicuous life away from the struggles of hope."  He sat stunned beneath her glowering form, her body suddenly bristling with passion as she exposed everything he had ever second guessed.

"Yet I still hope that you will lead her through, and be the protector she needs," going to her knees she gripped his shirt, her eyes filling him with such intensity he could hardly breathe. "Fight for her," she growled, "and don't let yourself be consumed."

Before he could answer the barn door fell from its hinges in a cloud of splinters, and like a dam collapsing he was stunned by the light that washed over him, drowning out the darkness.  A heartbeat seemed to pass before he heard the cry, piercing his mind with fear as he searched for Clarissa through the spots flashing in his vision.  Leaping to his feet he staggered forward, reaching for her hand, tightening around her touch and pulling her behind him.


Everything seemed deafening as they ran in, yelling calls to surrender, threatening and imposing, their forms dark silhouettes against the blinding day where grey robes no doubt awaited.


Part of a scene where I nailed the heart and torment of a character,
my two favourite things.
from sjp.

Oct 21, 2014

Book Blast: Loop by Karen Akins



Loop
Loop #1
Author: Karen Akins
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin



At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her. 

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future. 



"A creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers' intelligence." - Kirkus
"LOOP is a page-turning adventure with some brilliant and original twists to the time travel genre. I devoured the entire book in one sitting!" - Julie Cross, Author of the TEMPEST series
"Hilarious and suspenseful with a delicious dash of romance, LOOP is a mind-bending good time!" - Melissa Landers, Author of the ALIENATED series 

About The Author
Karen Akins lives in the MidSouth where she writes humorous, light YA sci-fi. When not writing or reading, she loves lightsaber dueling with her two sons and forcing her husband to watch BBC shows with her. 

Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player.

Sep 8, 2014

Cadence

In that undead frame of mind,


Part I - Won't Win

He sat on his haunches, caught off guard by that impossible sound, tensing in the silence for confirmation.   There was no way, no way anyone would stumble into that place, it was too deserted out here.

Then he was running, a too human scream ringing in his ears as he sprinted from his position in the scrub to the back fence where it folded in on itself, the rusted iron sheets blending like sand dunes against the dying landscape.  Breath hitching he knew he didn't have enough ammo to be able to fend off the infestation inside, cursing his sudden conscience.  

Glancing over his shoulder he couldn't spot any Crawlers, meaning they were already dining in.  Wiping the sweat from his brow and griping the crossbow tightly he made another dash, hitting a concrete wall at full speed he pushed his toes into the whitewash, reaching for the lip of the rooftop and heaving himself up.  Slowly approaching the skylight he did a quick take before dropping into the old refrigerator room.  Edging his way to the steel doors he pulled a key from the shelf and unchained the door, making sure his movements had not been detected yet.  Slipping through the kitchen he stared down the corridor at a feeding frenzy, the demons devouring their own.   Except they didn't tend towards cannibalism, their hunger didn't work like that.  Frowning he saw the shattered skull between the writhing bodies as they clawed at it, desperate for something it had possessed.  Pressing himself against the corridor wall he stopped, heavy breathing echoed behind him.  Spinning around he just about wasted a shaft on an air vent.

"I miss you Petey"

Had insanity finally hit him?  Before he knew it he was kicking in the vent and pulling himself through, choking on putrid air as it flowed from wherever he was headed.  Stumbling on blood slicked tiles he hurriedly tied a cloth around his face, years of desolation and this bathroom had developed its own rotting atmosphere.   This was the one room he had never bothered to search during his expeditions, the door had always been boarded, and there was enough of a reason for it.  Ducking into the shadow of a cubicle he stared at the rats swarming just a few feet away, a fresh trail of blood leading into the cubicle closest to the door, and the Crawlers.  

Chewing on his lip he listened out for any sound of breathing, debating whether to try calling out, was there even anyone here or was he risking his life for a corpse!   If he made any move they would be on him like leeches.   Checking his belt he grabbed a fistful of shafts, swung out and fired.  Muscle memory took over before sense could as he shot with each step, keeping a steady movement forward without taking his eyes off each head that fell until his hand was emptied.   Kicking open the barely hinged door he struggled to avoid the terror that was holed up inside.  

Lifting a girl into his arms he leapt over the build up of rancid bodies at the door and tore through the glassless entry of the decrepit diner.  He didn't stop until he was sure the only thing wrapping around his legs were the lifeless grasses that littered the area.  Collapsing in the twilight he laid the girl down and pulled off the kerchief, taking in a breath of fresh air.  It was time to wipe that place from his address book as the images stained his thoughts, and his shirt.  The girl had practically been swimming in blood.

A thought shot through his heart like a knife.  Inspecting her limbs he pulled her trouser leg up, clenching his jaw as bile burned the back of his throat.  

It was all a waste.  

He stared at her pale face, she would most likely die of blood loss before fever actually hit.  Wilfully contemplating his last shaft he held up the bow, ready to end this misery now and move on.

kind mercy or bitter reality?
from sjp.

Aug 18, 2014

Won't Win

I had a bad night last week,
*Language warning



You won't win.

Those words echo through my head and I know they're right.

I won't win.

It always comes down to the same thing.

So I unlock the door, the worn metal slippery between my fingers as I unhook the latch and let the weathered wood swing open.

The piercing gold of the sun drenched horizon filters through the grime covered windows, blinding me with its glory as I hear them moan, the shattered glass and debris shifting under their crooked steps as they crawl for me.

I wait for a sob but my face feels as bone dry as the desert surrounding this condemned place, this is the end but I'm so exhausted I just let it come, limb by gruesome limb they drag themselves forward with frenzy.

There's no point in resistance, when you end up so blind-sighted by grief and rage you may as well be one of them.

Bony fingers dig into my ankle, startling my shuddering body that something almost like fear shoots through me; followed by a pain so ragged and drawn out I think I'm being amputated by the blunt end of a hammer.  The scream that cries from my lungs is like sweet release for the both of us, the thing gazing up at me, a bit of me hanging from its teeth.

And its like its laughing at me, like this has always been their plan, to drive down civilisation with oppression and futility until we lay on our back with some rosemary by our side.

Those filthy fucking eyes were laughing at me.

Fuck this.

My head swam as I tore my boot from its feeble grip and kicked its rotting skull in until I had erased the triumph from its flesh.  I wiped furiously at my shirt, trying to rid my hands of the gore that had stained every crease, its like I mauled a blood bank as part of my morning routine.  Stooping for my broken bat a racking cough cracks through my chest, throwing me against the lavatory walls.

Jamming the lock into place I'm back at the start, and I can't avoid how weak I feel, my stomach turning at what state I might be in beneath my shredded trousers.  I don't know if its blood or phlegm that's choking me right now, all I know is, as I slide down next to a still warm corpse, that spike of fear is back. I'm glad I'm not alone in this.

I gently rest my head on its shoulder, staring at the brains that cover my bat.

"I miss you Petey".


Tunes
Won't Win - Fractures
It turned to zombie fiction,
from sjp.

Aug 6, 2014

Groundhog


Eat.

Drive.

Work.

Drive.

Home.

Work.

Study.

Sleep.

Repeat.

Craving the day I can smash out some #amwriting's.

I think I talk to my work laptop more than my family.

Got access to sun for thirty minutes today, is it summer yet?

I'm 73% sure it's Wednesday, an increase of 23% since seeing all the IWSG posts.

My constant insecurity is that responsibilities are preventing me from fully getting this thing off the ground, every time I make progress I get pulled aside.  Those are my choices though, but I keep looking to the future and waiting for when I can write again.

No facade,
Just sleepy.


Jul 22, 2014

Quest of the Artisan by Donna Hosie


THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT series continues in...



Six months ago, seventeen-year-old Rustin Hall thought he knew what he wanted. Then he travelled back in time with his best friend, Mila, to the world of Camelot, knights and magic, and everything changed.

Now Rustin is the artisan, and he knows his future because it's written in the past.

But Rustin's plan to build the first temple for the Gorian druids is cut down like the trees he talks to when the Round Table reveals the name of the newest knight of Camelot: a name that carves fear and unrest into the other knights. With Mila now in danger, Rustin, along with his friends, James and Jalaya, goes on a quest to find her before a new malevolent evil gets there first. A necromancer is building an army of the dead, and they are coming for Arthur's daughter.

Rustin will join forces with a young would-be knight called Galahad, as his quest takes him into the very heart of the Arthurian legends he grew up reading. A quest that could be the end of the artisan's life, not just in Logres, but for good.


Due for release 2015.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Donna-Hosie/e/B00A49AN7M/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Check out the first in the series!



Jul 20, 2014

Prayer

Daybreak


Part I Daybreak
Part II - Vacant

The evening air began to cool her skin as it was ushered across the bare earth, a light breath compared to the humidity that seemed to be building the past few days.  She looked to where Channer stood, talking to some old woman, helping her set up chairs for prayer.  He had become surprisingly gaunt in the few days they had roamed the hills, searching for anything, as though the anxiety that shone like fever in his eyes was consuming him from the inside.  Or maybe everything was so empty and dark and heavy with sorrow she had forgotten what things used to be.

The bell for prayer clanged discordantly in the distance making her frown.  Staring back up the hill she threw her feet under her, scrambling up the slick grass towards the frantic crowd in time to hear a sharp crack as it tore through the silence of the valley, echoing like an old rifle before it was drowned out by screams.  People ran frantically, as she struggled to where she had last spotted Channer, almost collapsing as a wave of nausea hit her like lead.

-   -   -

A rosy pool soaked through the abdomen of the old woman's dress as she lay in shock, holding onto Channer as he desperately tried to save her, preparing to haul her into his arms and carry her from the open.

"Boy..." He froze in the face of her glassy eyed stare as she raised a hand painted scarlet. "It's time for prayer."  Chest heaving he couldn't process her words, she had been as sceptical of false hope as he had, her keen eyes assessing every person like a patient rather than committing to wishful thinking.  Propping her up against a dusted chair he watched her slump, those same hopeless tears he had seen too much of falling through his fingers as he brushed the dirt from her face, and saw through the growing fear how young she truly was.

Looking up he saw Madison, rooted to the ground with her eyes fixed on the dying woman, shaking with each bullet that ripped through the air.  Leaping up he grabbed her arm, ignoring her horror as she tried to pull away from his blood soaked hands, and dragging her to a sprint.  He wouldn't let her stop until the night was so deep and their legs so tired they were stumbling mindlessly across uprooted trees.  Eventually the adrenaline and fear wore off and and sense set in.

"We should rest Madi," he said hoarsely, his voice sounding too harsh after hours of silence.  She merely shook her head, pushing away his arms and stumbling forward.  Concerned he reached for her again, worry building as she began crying out in breathless gasps that seemed to rip from her lungs.  Again she pushed away, picking up pace as she tripped further into the woods until he pinned her down.  "Are you okay Madi? Talk to me!" he yelled as she continued to struggle, both brimming with frustration.

"Did they die like that?" she screamed. 

He let her go, taken aback, stuttering under the face of her anger.  "What?"

"How did they die Channer?" she accused, advancing upon him until she could see the whites of his eyes through the terrifying darkness.  "How did my family die?" she whispered.



cliff hanging is an extreme sport,
from sjp

Jul 9, 2014

Book Blast: Vortex by S.J.Kincaid



The impossible was just the beginning. 

Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test. 

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.
  
Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyper intelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. 

Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humour, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    
S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland, that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex came out in July of 2013. The final book in the INSIGNIA trilogy will come out in Fall of 2014.

TWITTER: @SJKincaidBooks
FACEBOOK: 
https://www.facebook.com/SJKincaidBooks
WEBSITE: 
http://sjkincaid.com/


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Jun 23, 2014

Ahead

5/3/14
When you're so overwhelmed,
the story leads you to solace.


The salt air stung as the wind tore down the coast, storm driven currents being sent by the Mother from the churning depths of the ocean to the arid clouds of the desert of the Father. Two heartless expanses colliding with one another, neither willing to give way. So many saw the shoreline as a saviour, only to learn too late the treachery she hid below the surface. To tempt either element is to throw your life to their perils. Can you swim against the waves? Or walk through a sandstorm? The coast was where life was abandoned, and only the winds survived all, carrying the fury of each into the other, until all you heard were the crushing roars of the Father and the Mother.

This was just another part of Brutask that terrified him.

He had been there once, and once was all it took to learn that lesson; the screams never let him forget it. The furious foaming salt clawing at you, turning your legs to lead, filling your lungs until you choked, gasping for air, strangling your voice, dragging you under and tossing you about like the putrid sea grasses that reached for you with their ghostly fingers.

He stood on the pier, clutching the railing until splinters bit into his fingers, the salt air already drawing bile to his throat. He closed his eyes, swallowing hard until he could breathe again.  It didn't matter that they would be sailing a different ocean, far from the desert coast, the waters were just as dangerous.  Just keep your eyes on the horizon, follow the sun, one day and one night, just a short trip... He felt her presence behind him, those eyes burning into him.

"Stop. Evelyn." He muttered through gritted teeth, turning from the railing to face her as she quickly cast her eyes down.  He sighed in exasperation, she was never quick to back down, unless she knew something he didn't.  "I would rather not know if I am to drown on this trip."  Her eyes flickered back to his face; they both knew he was lying.

"You will be fine," she told him sternly, the usual bravado coming back into her features as she smirked at him. "Lug this for me will you?" She added, lifting a crate. He gave her a small smile, the crate was not important, but it gave his shaking hands something to do, and for that he did thank her.

A short trip, he repeated to himself, just around the point. He stared up at the large sails, holding his breath as they walked up the plank, joining Kai on deck as the crew finished loading.  His face appeared stern as he oversaw the preparations but they knew the elation he suppressed over the chance to leave the mountains.

"You are very pale," Kai stated, concern burrowing into his brow with a slight frown as he fiddled with his gloves absentmindedly.

"That's because every muscle is screaming at me to get off this damned boat."  He tried at a light hearted laugh but fell short, and Kai's concern continued to follow him as he headed below deck.  He knew he hated to be kept in the dark, but Damon did not feel in the spirit of describing another tale where he had cost people their lives.

His path was shrouded in just as much death as the coast.

never trust the waves,
from sjp

Jun 4, 2014

Paces

IWSG


Already?

I swear every Tuesday I think man, that was a real insecurity, it will be great for this months instalment, but it's only Tuesday, better save it for Wednesday... and then totally forget until I see all the IWSG posts popping up.

And by then I'm already feeling better, maybe it's the knowledge that no matter what little thing is niggling away there's a support group out there ready to say don't be ridiculous.  Or maybe I know I'll be able to deal with it, after all it's just an insecurity ;)

Although the last month was slightly stagnant I'm getting back in the habit of fiction, seems every time I hit a wall I just look back at all the bits and pieces of stories around me and think well I have to keep going just look at something and start writing.  Think I'll hold to that write 100 words a day dealio because even though I didn't set strict goals or anything just having it in my mind to write something got quite a few words on the page.

The music writing is picking up too which is good, although I don't do myself many favours always leaving the write ups til the deadline and watching episodes of Adventure Time between each paragraph :S  I just need to find which voice to use; how to share the euphoria of live music to readers.

I worried my last article wasn't good enough, that it was boring and read more like a schedule instead of illustrating the chilled and awesome day the festival was.  That was until friends read it and told me it was a "heaps great read!".

I guess anyone who produces something, especially when it's their hope on the line, are going to seek validation.  Even though I feel like an awkward beginner in a room full of professionals and journalists with "I like bands" written in crayon instead of a list of qualifications, I'm doing it anyway because in the end it's what I love, even if I freak out over every article I send off.

disorderedly yours,
from sjp.

Jun 1, 2014

Rhye




The autumn air was flushed with the coming chill as it swept across the hills, entangling her hair in its wake and leaving her skin raised in anticipation.  She tried to breathe deeply, calmly, fully.  But all she could feel was her heart dancing chaos between her ribs.  Resisting the urge to cross her arms over her chest she opened her eyes, inhaling sharply at the figure that stood before her, how had he come so close so silently?  She glanced over his shoulder at the growing gathering waiting in the distance.

"Is it time yet?" she asked quietly, struggling to keep her voice steady.  Too nervous to see the answer in his face she closed her eyes once more, thinking only of the sun as it shone through the clouds overhead and teased her with its light.

Feeling a sudden heat over her heart she startled, finding herself instantly pulled into his unwavering gaze as he laid his hand on her chest.

"A fiery heart will grant you a strong rebirth, don't try to quell the power within," he said purposefully.  Letting his hand fall to grasp hers trembling by her side he whispered,  "Don't hide it, and the arrow will stay true".

Blinking at the rare tenderness she nodded her thanks, watching him retreat to the others, leaving her to once again stand alone.  But for that one small comfort she might have fallen to fear as the unknown quickly approached.  She held her breath as an eerie call echoed across the plain and the priest began to draw his sight.  Focusing her mind from the darkening skies above Rhye awaited the steel touch of her future, thinking only of the warmth lingering over her heart.


Tunes
For My Help - Hayden Camlen
Dance, Dance, Dance - Blackchords
be brave,
from sjp

May 9, 2014

Nurture

#FlashFridayFic



The night air was cool on her back as she buried her face in her mother’s musky gown, eyes irritated from the tears of frustration.  Her mother merely stroked her hair, staring up at the filling moon as it illuminated the darkness.

“You will understand someday.” She whispered, gently lifting the girls chin to look into her young face.  “You will find me when the time is right.”

Standing, she calmly held back the grasping fingers of the child, swallowing the unfamiliar emotion as she walked to the window, breathing in the crisp air as it swept around her.

“I look forward to when I may welcome you as a woman my dear.” She said, smirking at the hope in her heart.

For a moment the luminescent moon disappeared in a shroud of black as it burst in the small nursery.


Leaping up the girl grasped the windows edge, hanging her body out as much as her straining muscles could will to catch one last glimpse of a shrieking silhouette as it flew into the night.


from sjp

May 7, 2014

Coming of Age

Insecure Writers Support Group



Some may have noticed some changes, most probably didn't, it's not anything that will change the course of history, but it's pretty big news in my little spheric soul.

Six months ago I was feeling pretty take-on-the-world, I saw an opportunity and thought why not?  Six months ago I saw one of my favourite bands, wrote a review on the live gig, filled out a detailed form, and applied to be a contributor for the AU review that hosts music reviews among other content.

I know people say these things take time and they always take ages getting back to you, but after a couple of weeks I started doubting, and after a couple of months I thought meh, mustn't have been for me.

I was climbing hills in the Scottish highlands when I received the email accepting my application.  I don't think I need to tell you I bounced around those hills with the energy of a toddler on red cordial.


If there's two things I'm insanely passionate about, it's writing and music.  I read the terms and conditions and it's like they were tailored for me, support local acts was number one on the agenda.  As everyone asks, it's an unpaid job, but I don't care, it lets me indulge in what I already adore and opens up amazing opportunities like interviewing the bands that got me into Australian music all those years ago.

It takes me ages to write a review because I fret about being new and having no experience and what if everyone disagrees with my opinion and I don't like music the right way and I don't know anything about anything and I rave about guitar riffs too much and and and.

But that die-hard-music-fan of me doesn't care and tells me to write it how I want.  And the results feel pretty special.


I always said in a different life if money didn't matter, I would love to be involved in the music industry, promoting festivals or something seriously hands on.  I don't know if this is the beginning or if I'll stick to a corporate job forever or if I'll write all those novels in my head.  For now it's something amazingly awesome and I'm eternally stoked to have this chance.

And then I realised something would have to give, if I wanted to jump into this head first and really embrace the music scene I'd have to sacrifice something I'd worked hard on and had never been willing to change, and it's to do with that last image.  If I told everyone about my reviews, a couple of clicks would take them to my twitter profile, and coincidently my little place here.  Everyone I knew in the real world would know I write, like actual stories.  They would be able to read it.

What I said almost three years ago is still true, I don't want my work being disadvantaged by preconceptions, I don't want people to look at me and look at my words and say "well of course you wrote that".  I don't have to worry what people will think when I write, or if anyone takes me seriously, because nobody knows me.  I hide alot of private things between these lines; they are mine and I share them with those who find it willingly, but I won't pretend everyone will understand.  To me anonymity is freedom, and you guys have earned my identity more than people who know me have earned my words.

I can either blow my writing secret in the real world, or I could give up the other side of the coin.  Everyone here would know who I am.  It's the twitter tug of war, music or writing, I can't hide both sides of my face.

So, steal off into obscurity or is everyone intrigued?

cheers,
yours forever,
from sjp

Apr 26, 2014

Winter

A to Z Challenge
W

Street art in Barcelona

The rain is like sleet as it slides across my skin, a surprising burst of cold sensations with each raindrop that trails down my upturned face.  The sound that thunders around you, you cant help but feel the joy that bubbles forth from your throat as mother nature dances in the night, and you dance and shout and clap with her.

I spy your silhouette in the distance, a smile rising in my eyes as I watch you slip up the hill, the grass slick with the torrents rolling forth.  Your mouth moves and your arms wave but I can't stop dancing, and as you fall to the mud once more I see you cast aside the remnants of a skeletal umbrella.

Now join me!

Soon your heat breaks through and you hold me tight, your warmth entrancing as you press me against your chest.  My eyes feel heavy as the releasing streamers of rain are forgotten.

"Time for bed little one".

running in the rain,
from sjp


Apr 24, 2014

Ultimatum

A to Z Challenge
U



8 days.

You gave me 8 days to decide the fates of so many.

You sat across from me, knees barely touching, the usual humour in your eyes hidden as you stared quietly, patiently.

"What about the girl you just met?" I try to inject some laughter into my voice, to make it like every other conversation we have where we joke and laugh and its all so serenely carefree.

"She means nothing if I have you."

I feel my soul inhale sharply, and I can barely focus under how surreal this all is.  I glance at my warm glass and curse myself for being so sober, last time seemed so much easier, you were too late and we left it at that.

Now you're giving me this ultimatum.

"But I'm seeing someone." We've been through this.

"I'm not telling you to break up with them." He shrugs, never releasing his stare.

But you are.  And I hate that your splitting the path like this, because its not a decision between him or you, it never has been.  It's always been about keeping your friendship or destroying your heart.

You keep talking but your words are lost in the white noise of the bar, drunken legs sauntering past, the cold weather dreary outside.

I can't give you an answer because my mind is lost to numbness, so you tell me 8 days.  But I already know what will happen, what always happens.

I would rather lose everything than live with regrets tainting my future.


Tunes:
Got It, Lost It - Big Scary
80 Miles - Megan Washington
Everything to Nothing - Manchester Orchestra
Daniella - Hooray for the Riff Raff
Paper Plane - Violent Soho
You've Got Something - The Jungle Giants
how would you choose?
from sjp.

Apr 23, 2014

Taken

A to Z Challenge: T

Something actually written right here, right now.



You took my breath away that day I saw you standing there.  Not just a whiff of air or a slight gasp, I mean my lungs collapsed.  They had to.  My heart was filling with just too much adoration for there to be room for anything else.  And it feels like a heavy weight sitting against my bones, like lifting a boulder with every pulse, but in a good way, in a I-would-be-a-gym-junkie-with-the-world-on-my-shoulders-like-Hercules-for-you kind of way.  Every time I close my eyes and picture you, that radiance, your crazy daring smile I feel such contentedness fill me up that it doesn't matter if I can't breathe.

You took my breath away but you gave me life in return.


Tunes:
Pyro - Kings of Leon
Seekir - Zola Jesus
Coming Around - Hungry Kids of Hungary
Broken Bones - The Holidays
the joy,
when google recognises contentedness as a word,
from sjp

Apr 22, 2014

Shipwrecked

30/09/13
Ally in Wonderland


"To sail beyond this place, can you imagine it!" The Captain raised his spyglass to the horizon, golden rays catching his face in a spectacular glow.  His smile was infectious as Ally lent against the starboard hedge alongside him watching the mist swirl around them, the sails wavering in the breeze, and breathed in the calm.

The air began to cool as clouds scudded across the sky, smothering the suns warmth and bringing darkness to the rippling waters below.  Glancing down she frowned at her reflection wishing for the return of the joyous weather, preferring the illusion of sailing through the heavens instead of the murky river lapping at their earthy hull.  She stared at the swirling depths, watching the silt dance in the light currents, the Captain humming a solemn tune as he paced the decks.

With a scream she threw herself backwards, clutching her trembling lips as she tried to distance herself from the nightmare she had spied beneath the surface.  The waters began to broil, rising up suddenly as if caught in a tempest from the deepest sea, spraying the little vessel venomously as if to spite the voyagers.  The sails shuddered violently with her beating heart, whipping back and forth in the erratic winds.

"My dear, hold tight!" He warned.  "Do not abandon ship, do not go into the water!" He looked to her gravely, knowing what she had seen, the nervousness and grief plain upon his face.

"What is happening?" she cried as the ships hull crashed against a wave, throwing her into the arms of the Captain.

"Do not lose hold whatever you do my dear! You must stay on this ship!"

The fog closed in, salty air choking her lungs as suddenly the arms around her vanished and silence began to suffocate her.  All she could hear was the far off creaking of the deck and yet she realised she was no longer standing upon it; all orientation was lost.  A distance voice cried out and she recognised it as the Captain's.

"Matilda! Matilda! I'm sorry!"

She felt so dazed, as if she were floating, the water cool around her as the tiny currents swept around her limbs like silk against her skin.  Yet she felt so heavy, it didn't make sense.  Kicking fervently she tried to call out, swallowing the tepid water that coursed around her, her hands caught by something that made her cringe beneath its touch, claws digging into her wrists as a garish face came into sight, baring its teeth in malicious laughter it began to drag her down.

keep your life vests on,
from sjp.

Apr 21, 2014

Reflections

A to Z Challenge

The sun set a glowing ambiance as wisps of her hair were stirred against the wind.  There she sat on the rough brick pillar awaiting something and I could tell her mind was lost, coursing through some unreachable self conscious.  Her eyes flitted across the air, as if mapping those rapid thoughts or trying to catch those particles of dust that simmered in the suns gaze.  To others passing through the plaza she was merely background noise.  Just another young person loitering.  Yet I couldn't help but become entranced by her movements and wonder what fantastic possibilities were forming in that whirlwind of contemplation.  The small flash of light at her neck where she repeatedly twirled two silver keys around a simple chain while the other hand drummed a silent rhythm against the concrete. 

Everything about her reflected simplicity and calm, from the plain black tank top and denim shorts to her general manner as she leaned back on her hands, legs crossed, and watched the others streaming past.  I could tell she had no interest in people watching, it was more out of habit as she cast her eyes across the individual before moving to the next.  There was no smirk of disdain or haughty expression of judgement, just the occasional frown as a thought was produced, gradually drawing her gaze back to the air.

And then she would smile, this beautiful grin that barely held back the laughter in her breath, the one that made me desperately curious.  Those eyes still shining with amusement at her minds conversation when she sees me approach, and my heart stumbles as they crinkle with further delight.

"Hello".

From sjp.

Apr 15, 2014

Mischief

A to Z Challenge
a mood lightener for the day,





I am mischief.

Driven by the laughter that electrifies my veins.

They call me trouble.

But really, its an addiction.


a tablespoon of sugar,
from sjp.

Apr 12, 2014

Jacilyn and Kai

#atozchallenge
One of the first scenes I wrote for my WIP,
But was too scared to post it
 for A to Z two years ago.


"Please find whoever holds this Maeus," Lady Jacilyn murmured, placing the parchment shadowed by charcoal in the segeant's hand. "And bring them safely here."

"I will do my best my Lady; given the circumstances you understand." He stated curtly, examining the detailed sketch before leaving with a warm farewell.

"It will never cease to amaze me how you have such powerful figures at your beck and call."  Kai commented dryly, pulling a stray thread from a rustic tapestry absentmindedly.

"He is a respectable man and will do the right thing" she said, ignoring his statement.

"I still do not see why I cannot just fetch this person you're after.  What is it they have?" Kai queried.

"Evelyn's necklace."

Kai released the thread, unable to voice the thoughts clambering for his attention.

"I saw it a few days ago and it took a while to confirm but there it is," she explained. "She is sending us a message."

"Wait, you mean she isn't here? Where did you see it?"  Kai asked desperately, staring into her eyes as if the answer were reflected there.  He needed to know, it had been five years since he last saw his older sister.

"It was being carried through the Dunes but by now it will probably be reaching the border," then, in a quieter voice, she added "You could see it if you tried".

He turned to face the Eastern window pretending he hadn't heard, imagining the desert beyond the mountains, and wondering, not for the first time, what his sister was doing.

"Your 'dreams'," she continued. "Are proof of your ability Kai, why can you not just accept this fate you have been dealt and embrace-"

"They are proof of nothing!" Kai snapped turning to face her. "Merely coincidence".  He was sick of these arguments, of having to constantly set his mother straight on the issue. "I wish you would see this and discontinue this attempt to persuade me otherwise."  Returning to the window he added under his breath, "It is no wonder Evelyn left this place."

It was pointless, Lady Jacilyn missed nothing.

"Your sister was brash and believed she was meant for a higher purpose than serving the royals of this territory," she snapped back. "At least she understood her gift and gladly employed it. You should be honoured to have been born a See-"

"Do not speak to me of Seers, they are just stories, long forgotten ones at that." He retorted.

"Do you doubt my skill?" she asked quietly.

He felt his frustration dissipate. "Of course not."

"Then what am I if not a Seer? What is Evelyn if not a Seer?"

Kai sighed knowing he had lost this argument.  He could easily deny is so called gift but he could not deny theirs. "You are very talented people, talent that I do not share." He said before wishing her a good night and departing.

Now you've met everyone,
From sjp

Apr 10, 2014

Inkling


Credit: myself

The humidity hung in the air like a thick blanketing mist grounding everything.  A singular solar ray breached the darkening sky above resembling a heavenly lighthouse.

She had returned.

The time away had been unbearable.  It had not been possible for Zara to leave this place behind her, abandoned like the vague trails of an evaporating dream.

Yet already it had changed.  The scattered wall of foliage was tensed and still, anticipating the approaching summer storm.  She could feel the static rising from the damp soil, that strong smell of rain infiltrating her senses.  Her lungs inhaled deeply as she lay against a column of rich bark following the trail of its roots with her hands.  That all too human affliction of needing to touch and feel, to claim some form of connectivity, overwhelming her.

At first she glowed with the euphoria of her private discovery, but then had come an endless need to be a part of this world, festering bitterly within until she found her way back.

She sat in stillness as the rain began to fall, hammering the ground around her in a deafening crescendo for hours until repreive.  The forest had withstood, taking no notice of the ravaging elements, as it would take no notice of her when she again disappeared.

Previous - Sit Under a Tree

Wanderings,
From sjp

Apr 9, 2014

Hunger

3.3.13


A pair of scissors.  Thats what saved me the first time.  We had moved to our neighbours home, we felt safer having a second storey, safer with less windows and back doors.  It was usually easy to dodge around the strays, they were fairly mindless back then, their bodies too overcome with shock to fight back, too deteriorated to think of surviving.  But some still struggled, it became awful out on the streets, the ones that floundered in their illness, that had not lost all conscious thought in fever; and they begged.  They stumbled after you, the rot in their breath suffocating as they pulled at you, begging and begging for help.  As if these poor terrified people could offer anything but ignorance.

I was so stupid that night.  The adults were away at one of many meetings to centre the fear and panic.  And I was stupid, and opened the front door.  I stared at his twisted ankle, the soiled suit he was probably unable to take off, and that desolate face that would only ever know hunger.  Slamming the door shut cannot save you, they are like any living thing with a keen sense of awareness.  When the feature glass window shattered I cried out, running through the rooms without thinking until I found it.  Hurrying back his face was pressed against the wire lattice with teeth working against the promise of flesh close by.  So I plunged my mothers antique sowing scissors into his forehead and never looked back.

I have too many zombie dreams,
From sjp

Apr 8, 2014

Grieve

5/3/13


They dont come back; the children. Between the grief of the living and the greed of the dead it was only a matter of time before a rift of distrust and contempt rose between the ranks.  The spite that the dead flouted their second chances, while a poor mother wept at her childs tomb.  The time of optimism was the worst of it, the expectation and hope, that the strange force would once again lift the hand of youth, until the living were sent mad with denial, and the dead realised they would be eternally bereft of innocence.  The stares, the hate, its as though the dead took the children away.

These days with so much terror cast upon the classes by the fog, a new school of belief had arisen; perhaps the children had been saved, because this chaos had become their hell.

With clarity left to come,
From sjp

Apr 7, 2014

Familiar

4.3.13



For Now.


I hate these words.  The deceit those who utter them are plagued with, convincing themselves that a hardship is only temporary, that soon they will act to change themselves or their situation.


It is always a lie.


From sjp

Apr 5, 2014

Emerging

Visual Dare #6
Emerging


She waited in the shadow of her portrait, impatiently twisting the ridiculous skirt that draped down her legs, heart pounding against the patterned bodice as a flickering light approached.

“Ravyn, sir?”

Lifting her dark eyes she couldn’t help but rise at his predatory smile, returning it with triumph as he failed to recognise her.  A slight nod to the steward and she was beckoned forth to follow coyly after his suave tread.

Replacing any trepidation with adrenaline she was determined to unveil any secrets this man might hold.  Or welcome him with a steely caress she smirked, the blade of her stiletto knife cold against her thigh as she closed the door behind them.

Another dare I was in doubt of,
From sjp.

Apr 4, 2014

Dunkeld

Travelling the wilds of Scotland,

Credit: Myself

The boy crawled across the moss ridden rocks, careful as he placed one foot before the other, not wishing to slip down the cliff face to the writhing waters below.  Keeping to the shadows he held his weight beneath the folly outlook, struggling to breathe between the cacophony of the waterfall and the blood pounding in his ears.  Feeling dirt trickle down his neck he strained to catch the voices floating above.

"This will mean war-" he heard the womans voice flare under the restraint of keeping a hushed tone as the partition clasped shut behind them, jewellery chiming as though limbs were being tossed in frustration.   Daring to edge closer Kowl felt his stomach disappear as the sodden moss beneath his cramped footing broke free.  Sinking his teeth into his lip to strangle the yelp that threatened to cry out he lunged for an ornate post circling the outlook, holding his breath as his arm strained to catch his weight.  Tasting bitter salt in his mouth heard nothing but silence from above, praying they had moved inside and he could save himself unnoticed.  Preparing to hoist himself upwards Kowl froze as a heavy boot pressed down on his fingers, a face contorted in venomous rage glaring down at him from the balustrade.  Staring back he could not help the hatred that burned in his own eyes just as deeply.

"Long live-!" His shout was cut short as a searing pain erupted down his arm, the sickening crunch of the boot against his bones forcing his fingers to release, sentencing him to the ravine below.

From sjp.

Apr 3, 2014

Cover

16.02.13



I know what you're thinking.  I can see it in your eyes, and it makes me smile because you don't realise how much your soul opens, how I can practically feel the waves of your heartbeat as you pass over these words.  You're wondering what you have gotten yourself into this time, if it will be worth it, the pain, the joy, the time.  I can see you tensing as you try to calculate it all, even though you know you need to relax and just let yourself take the chance.

But all the while you wonder if I will be worth it.

All I can say is I hope you let me try, and don't stop turning these pages.

Don't leave me in the dark.


Tunes:
Little Green Cars - The John Wayne

 from sjp.

Apr 2, 2014

Burn

11/11/12

Georgia's Tale

The ruin was condemned to fire, its heat beautiful in its hungry release, yet still her eyes locked to where she had last caught sight of him, the room choking in thick plumes of suffocating smoke.  Georgia took a step back, her footing unsure, a strange emptiness churning in her stomach unwilling to believe that it had been done.  It was done.

The smoke flowing past her shifted suddenly, a gloved hand wrenching her from the dusted reminiscent atmosphere into the grey street.  Struggling to lash out the grip around her wrist only tightened, dragging her closer until she faced a mens brown coat dampened by the abating storm.

"Surely this is stalking detective," she spat angrily, trying to push away from his determined hold.

"And I'm certain this is theft," the man growled, eyeing the revolver still in her hand.  "Not to mention arson."

"Better get in there then officer!" Georgia snapped, bringing her elbow down into his gut.  Frantically she searched the street for a quick exit, but found herself knocked to the pavement, her face stinging from the blow.  In a desperate bid she closed her finger around the trigger, flinching as a bullet ricocheted into the nearest wall shooting off a cloud of plaster.

Seething in frustration Georgia kicked out at him, fighting to back away from his advance, hating the imbalance of strength as he pressed down upon her.  Jerking the revolver from her grip and tucking into his waistband, forcing her onto her stomach.  Feeling the coarse concrete scrape her skin, its cold surface coating her in silt, Georgia gritted her teeth against hopelessness as the familiar bite of handcuffs pinned her arms behind her.  


Kill to Feel - Part One
A Reckoning - Part Two
From the Ashes - Part Three
Bad at editing,
from sjp.
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