8/30/11

River Junkie

2009-07-26_19-42-37

Where adjectives cling like thorned vines
along weed-choked banks
Where adverbs form rock gardens,
sinking prose in their hollows
Where commas gather in the bends,
claw-like strainers snaring the untrained
Where stretches of boiling pontification,
or fancy turns of phrase, swamp minds
Where plump poetic pillows,
or thoughtless critique, splinter fine craft
Where I fell in love with tones resonating
underneath the surface
Where the play of light
around recursive lines seduced me
Where the flow of words is my addiction,
a bad-boy lover I can't give up

This post was written in response to this week's Carry On Tuesday prompt and in response to dVerse Poets Open Mic Night. Click the links to see what others have written or to join the fun yourself.


***I'm holding a contest on the blog, sort of a blog warming party for my new digs. Over the next six weeks visitors here will have the opportunity to win various gift cards or the grand prize of a NookColor. Keep checking that contest page tab. I'll be adding more info daily. We've got a serial story, clues to find, and a mystery to solve. All are welcome to play along. Contest launches September 1st.

8/29/11

Getting Ready for the big Nara's Nook Contest



I was out in Nara's Nook (the first virtual world we'll visit in the contest) today hiding the objects you'll be looking for. I had a great time and learned a ton about building and scripting and at the end of it all I flew over to the cabin, sat down on a old crate at the end of the boat dock and watched the sun set. What you see here is the movie clip I recorded sitting there. That's just what the world looks like. The sun rises in the morning and sets at night. You hear birds singing and water lapping at the shore. I like watching the horses graze. Sometimes I go out there and sit while I write. It's the perfect place to unwind and catch up with yourself at the end of a busy day. You'll see for yourself on Thursday.

If you're not signed up for the contest, click here and sign on. We're going to have so much fun.

8/28/11

Missing Muse

From August 28, 2011

I don't sleep much. Lately, I don't sleep. Have you ever felt like something was creeping up on you? I don't mean a physical thing, but a change, something that will turn your life inside out.

That's how I feel now. I wish I had a magic mirror or crystal ball that would give me a glimpse of what's coming. I feel like I have this countdown clock ticking away in the background of my life and I don't know if it's counting down to something bright and beautiful or if it will blow this rickety built little world of mine into so much straw.

The ticking drives me. For some reason I can't explain, it drives me to build digital worlds in the cloud. I guess I do it because it feels like progress even if it isn't.

I haven't been able to write a thing worth keeping. Sometimes I manage to bang out a few lines of a flash story or a poem. They puddle on the page, formless globs refusing to take a shape that will make them shine.

The muse I need is out there. I feel it. It's as if there is a wall I just have to get past to reach it. I know there is a way. There's some rope or ladder or magic beanstalk growing seed to get me there. I think that's the change that is stalking me. I hope it is.

When I try to lay down, I hear it scurrying and scratching, just at the edge of my awareness. Just out of reach.

*************
This post was written in response to this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt. Click here to see what others have written or to join the fun yourself.

***I'm holding a contest on the blog, sort of a blog warming party. Over the next six weeks visitors here will have the opportunity to win various gift cards or the grand prize of a ColorNook. Keep checking that contest page tab. I'll be adding more info daily. We've got a serial story, clues to find, and a mystery to solve. All are welcome to play along. Contest launches September 1st.

S.S. Petunia, listing hard to port!

8/27/11

The Rulz: Nara's Nook Contest

OnTopOfTheWorld_001

Above is another preview of where you'll be going in my Nara's Nook contest. The grand prize is a NookColor and the first place we'll be playing to win prizes is at my Nara's Nook world at Kitely. More on how to get there later. First we have to get the game details out of the way.

Rules

I hate rules. As an author I'm either bending them or breaking them.  Now, I find myself in the unusual circumstance of having to make a few. I'm going to be asking all of you to try stepping outside your comfort zones, so I guess it's only fair that I should have to step outside mine.

What we have here is an interactive story/game. Since this is both a story and a game, I'll explain each separately. 

Story
On the launch date (September 1, 2011) you'll be shown the first chapter of a six part mini-mystery. To unlock the next chapter you'll have to search for objects containing clues hidden in a virtual world. There are six worlds and six chapters--one for each week of the game.

Game
The game aspect allows you to earn points to be entered in the drawing for the weekly prizes. Week one--all you have to do is sign up to participate in the contest to be entered in the drawing. For each succeeding week you'll have to have earned enough points to reach the next level of the game, roughly 200 points a week, to be entered in the drawing for that week's prize. 

Earning Points
Now how do you earn points? Some points are very easy to earn. If you look at the bottom of my blog you'll see a BigDoor toolbar. That will be the easiest way to earn points. You log in there with your Facebook account (this is one of the reasons you need a Facebook account to play). The more times you log in there during a day, the more points you get. Interacting with my author page on Facebook gets you points, sharing through Twitter or Facebook earns points. If you share a link to my blog on Facebook or Twitter and someone clicks it to visit, you get influence points.

It may be possible to get to the next level with the toolbar alone, but you'll get big points if you log into the virtual world and find clues. Forty points for each clue and another fifty when unlock a chapter. It's more challenging to acquire points in the virtual worlds, but more rewarding, so hopefully you'll give that a try. You need a Facebook ID to log in to the  world too. 

Sorry about tying this to Facebook. That condition was set by the makers of the tools we'll be using to play. I have tested all of these tools and plugins. Nothing bad has happened to me, my account info, or my computers as I tried out the tools. I've tested on three versions of Windows and two versions of MAC OS.

How To Get Started:


Do not log into the BigDoor toolbar yet!!

Save that for launch day. I can't reset the point count and I don't want to have to do the math to figure out what points were accumulated before launch day and have to be disqualified. 

All you need to do to be part of the contest is to read the legal stuff on the contest page and if you decide you're eligible and want to play, leave a comment at the bottom of that page telling me the Facebook name you'll be playing under.

Prizes

Week One
Drawing for a $10 gift card*

Week Two
Drawing for a $15 gift card*

Week Three
Drawing for a $20 gift card*

Week Four
Drawing for a $25 gift card*

Week Five
Drawing for a $10 gift card*

Week Six
Drawing for the Grand Prize -- NookColor

As my special thank you for participation the highest point scorer will be awarded a special surprise gift.

*Gift card will be winners choice of either an Amazon or Barnes and Noble 
e-gift card.

If you have any questions post them in the comments for this post.

8/26/11

Nook Contest: Preview of First World



Here's a preview of the first world we be exploring in the contest. I made this with Frapps (a program I never used before) and edited it in Openshot Video Editor for Linux (first time for this too) so you're not getting blow your brains out video art here, but you'll get an idea.

Check back tomorrow for more on how we'll play the game.


Credits: A preview of my world at Kitely. This world has a minimum of trees and buildings. Rooms are lightly furnished. This provides new virtual world explorers a simple environment where they can learn to navigate in an avatar body. Credits: Music-- Free to Fly by David Flavin and Roland Rudzitis. This simulation is a modified world based on the Maya Pyramid Oar by Dave Pentecost and populated with items from Open Sim Creations and KatiJack Studios.



Housewarming

hobo_001_use

All moved in.
Used to be I forwarded mail.
Remember mail?
Now I forward domain names.

The curtains are hung, fresh paint on the walls.
Had an earthquake while I was hanging pictures.
I think one's still crooked.

Stay awhile. Put your feet up.
Be it ever so humble,
This blog is my cyber home.

Home_use

This post was written as part of G-man's Friday Flash 55. Click here to join the fun or see what others wrote.

***I'm holding a contest on the blog, sort of a blog warming party. Over the next six weeks visitors here will have the opportunity to win various gift cards or the grand prize of a ColorNook. Keep checking that contest page tab. I'll be adding more info daily. We've got a serial story, clues to find, and a mystery to solve. All are welcome to play along. Contest launches September 1st.

8/23/11

The Never-ending Story

Witch's brew made with dry ice



Was there a beginning--
a time when that scratching,
papery scurrying wasn't?
A time before ideas
feeding in the shadows
were lured in with scattered crumbs
and incantations,
spun onto a page,
then shredded.

Ceramic clinking--
mortar and pestle
grinding frail symbols to dust.
Blended with sweat and tears,
forming the paste,
binding the thousand bones
that frame a tale.

Bubbling black broth
consumes:
one eye of critic,
six toads and a frog.
A pair of princes
and a rogue plot bunny
tossed in for spice.

Watching the plot thicken.
Chanting.
Stirring.
A mist rises,
glittering metaphors
clinging to bones like dew.

Alchemy
adds flesh,
breathes life into form.

Dragons are slain.
Damsels rescue princes.
Princes find the magic amulet.
Spells broken.
Kingdoms  freed.
People rejoice.
The fire goes out.
The gate clangs shut.
The drawbridge drawn.
Tale Told.

Time to say goodbye.

No!
It needs a touch more something...
Hair of dragon?
Rose petals plucked by the light of a moonbow?

Was there a time when this tale wasn't?
Will there be an end?

This post was written in response to this week's Carry On Tuesday Prompt. Click here to see what others have written or to join the fun yourself.

8/19/11

What He Wants

CHAIN CHAIN CHAIN

What he wants is the first whisper in my ear
before my eyes have opened
What he wants peels back the covers
pries me from the bed
chains me to my desk

Time to serve
I count out my sentence
I need three more
I need five less
his want owns me for 55 words

This post was written as part of G-Man's Friday Flash 55. Click here to see what others have written or to join the fun yourself.

8/18/11

What You Should Know About Shadows

Black white

Shadow Facts:
A shadow is a void, an impenetrable absence.
There are the dark puddles cast by forms light can't penetrate.
Mountains cast the rain shadows we call desserts.
Vacuums cast sound shadows, pure pockets of silence.
Death is a shadow the living can't penetrate.

Shadow Being Aliases:
Old Hag
Crushing Demon
Umbra (darkest part of any kind of shadow)
Pressing Ghost
Depression
Orgun Oru (nocturnal warfare)
Common theme here--malevolence

Shadow Being Facts:
They slink into the world from the earth's umbra,
from the umbra of the night (that still, silent time before dawn),
from the umbra of the room where their intended sleeps.
The source, or void, that casts a shadow being remains a mystery.

Shadow Attack Facts:
By the time the intended is aware,
it's too late.
Fang-like cold pierces bones,
immobilizing the body,
sucking warmth,
sucking light,
sucking sound,
muting screams.
Weight, like a mountain on the chest,
crushes breath.

Shadow Survival Guide:
Focus.
Petrification turns wood to stone;
Shadows do the same to victims.
Movement equals survival.
Moving mountains would be easier.
Start small.
Move a pinky. Bat an eye. Win you.
Movement fractures the ice-lock,
sends the beast scurrying
back to the pit that spawned it.

Shadow Defense Strategies:
Keep watch.
Keep a light on.
Sleep in the day.
Know how to tell good shadows from bad--
bad ones have an eye.

8/16/11

Good Girls Will

Nov 30 - women drive in Saudi!

Everyone knows good girls will

 go blind
*looking at that
*reading that
*touching that

 go insane
*learning too much
*thinking too hard
*touching that

 get a reputation by
*befriending too many boys
*testing traditions
*letting him touch that

So if I'm
*not blind
*not insane
*don't have a reputation
I must be a very bad girl

This post was written in response to this week's Carry On Tuesday prompt. Click here to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself. 
This poem is also part of Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub

8/7/11

A Writer's Dream: Getting to Pleasure

Dragon and moon / Dragon y Luna

Once I found a secret story hidden behind a rabbit's picture on a web page. Clicking the link revealed a journal kept by a writer. It's been a while now, but the part I remember most was that she found a magic mirror. I don't recall why she was drawn to put it on her desk and stare into it before she started writing. She said it was as if all her internal resistance to getting down to work vanished when she did that. Writing wasn't hard when she looked in that mirror. Telling stories turned from struggle to pleasure. She could write for hours, forgetting who she was, where she was. She became a part of her story. I don't recall what happened to the writer, or even where I found her story. I do remember she raved about that mirror and how hard writing was before she found it.

I want a mirror like that. I want a pill. I want a magic purple crayon. I want a way out of the war that rages every day around this story I'm trying to finish. Too often I feel like I am locked outside my story. I have to slay dragons, cross a moat, scale castle walls, and search a dark dungeon to find the words I'm after. I want a magic spell to chant, or a mystical ritual to perform. I need a tool to make words flow. I want writing to be a pleasure. And it would be, if I could only find the key that will fit the lock that would set my words free to have their adventure and bring home a happy ending.

It's not that I can't ever get lost in a story. It's not that I don't know the pure pleasure of forgetting who and where I am so completely that it feels like I traveled to another world. It's just that it takes an awful long time to slay the dragons that stand between me and what I want to say. With this particular story there's a legion of dragons between me and the end. There has to be an easier way. There has to be some way to make writing pure pleasure.


~Nara

S.S. Petunia, listing hard to port!
 What's with the rabbit?.

This post was written in response to the Sunday Scribblings prompt: pleasure. Click here to see what others have contributed here.

8/5/11

The Plot Bunny's Tale


Before Nara ever heard the term plot bunny,
bunnies showed up in her stories.
One taught a tiger how to teleport -- The Tiger's Tale.
One taught  the hero how to use Google -- The Mesmerist's Tale.
Now they've turned up on her blog -- Plot Bunny's Tale:
An internet adventure to feed your head.
Watch for rabbits.

~~This Is Not Nara
***

Apparently this post is a contribution to the Friday 55. I just want to say, Nara (me)is not responsible for what stray rabbits post on her blog. Apparently this adventure can't start until I follow that plot bunny down the rabbit hole. Not gonna happen. No way that's happening. I've never heard of The Plot Bunny's Tale! I've got enough stories to write and I'm already stuck in a plot hole. I'm headed over to G-Man's Friday 55 to get my head fed on some great flash fiction.

***
Pssst...If you don't get this (technique stolen from G-man) click What's with the rabbit?.
S.S. Petunia, listing hard to port!