Wednesday, May 29, 2013

True Story

Ah well, I couldn't resist writing this little ditty based on a true story.

Yesterday's prompt: write a story from a child's perspective.

A Gift for Mother-123 words

The white shoe box rests expectantly on the grass. What to put in it?

Out in a grassy field, nestled in a luscious outdoor world filled with trees, wild flowers, and butterflies, I spy the perfect things to make Mother happy. I pick one up and drop it in my grubby, chubby palm.

I throw open the front door, bound up the stairs heading straight for Mother’s pristine bedroom.
‘Mommy! A gift!’ I thrust the open box at her.

Smiling, Mother turns. But the smile fades, replaced with a screech of horror.
‘Get those out of the house!’

I look at the writing, inter-twined mass of colourful, fuzzy caterpillars.

One day they'll be butterflies.

Mother looks green.

I close the box.

D. Forde (May 2013)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Having a little fun and loving it

Okay, I'm almost embarrassed to post this super-short story because it's totally ridiculous and mindless, but on one hand, that's the point of the exercise (which I'll post below). So read it and laugh, or send me an angry message, whatever. Just know I HAD FUN, lol

The Prompt
Write a story that includes these words:


This is a silly prompt. Feel free to write a silly story.
The chances are, if you’re still here, you’ve started to take your writing quite seriously, in a good way. However, there’s always a danger of ‘serious’ becoming ‘solemn’. Use today as a break from whatever you’ve been writing and write that is purposely silly, off-the-cuff, not to be taken seriously.

So here is:


The carnival official sported a domed hat, denoting his importance. It was a contest after all, and what was more important at such an event than an Official?

Domed Official wrote with furious abandon in his very official notebook. He glanced from the black scrawls to the massive totem pole complete with the painted, corpulent figures of big-breasted women, leering faces, and…an irate beaver at the top?

The scowling creature scared the children. They bounded away in a panic. Others scratched their heads.

Balding Man to Fully Bald Man: ‘What is this monstrosity?’

Blank stares, both.



Supremely pleased at the ‘buzz’ generated by the said monstrosity, I stroll past while sipping a delicious shake. I look at my official name-tag and smile.


D. Forde (May 2013)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Some visuals for Jeru, the main character of The Purple Morrow

If Jeru were Asian and a samurai, this would be him. 

I still can't believe how many similarities there are between The Purple Morrow and this anime, Sword of the Stranger. 

Jeru's...I mean Nanashi's sensitive side. 

Source inspiration for Kelen from my book, The Purple Morrow

This is the inspiration for Kelen's character.

Then I found this guy a little later on...


Looking for Blog Friends!

So feel free to follow my blog! I'll follow you back. :)

For a friend

I wrote this mini-story in support of a friend who's going through a hard time. It's inspired by the following prompt:

The Prompt
Your character wants to find the source of a strange noise they can hear. Tell the story of how they find out what that sound is…


I can hear it running around inside my head. An incessant scratching. Or raking. Like fingernails over a blackboard. Shouting andscreaming don’t drown it out; it just gets louder, swallowing my voice. Beating my head with my hands can’t shake it out; they are sore from trying.

And then I look down. Clumps of hair rain down to the black and white bathroom floor from between my fingers.

The noise is a drone. It squeezes out thought and reason.

I am afraid.

Something shatters. Flecks of reflected silver splash against the wall. I’ve broken the mirror. Half a refracted face looks back at me. My face.


The phone is in my hand. A warm voice pours out of the receiver. ‘Hello?’

‘Mom!’ I’m shouting but I can’t stop. ‘I-I--’ The sound blares, a mushroom-cloud of toxic thought exploding in my head. My fingers spasm but I manage to cling to the phone. ‘It’s happening!’

Again, warmth floods towards me, poking a tiny hole in the darkness. ‘Stay where you are. Don’t move. I’m coming.’

The phone beeps when I shut it off. I see the red-tinted broken pieces of mirror lying beside me on the floor. I close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears and wait.

D. Forde (May 2013)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Portfolio: dyegirl - Writing.Com-This is where my relaunch into the world of short-story writing began. Pity only 9 items are available though...

Portfolio: dyegirl - Writing.Com

New post for a worthy local book selling buisness. :)

Another super-short ditty (repost)

204 Word Story inspired by prompt (a beagle standing over a torn up grey cat toutou, looking up with puppydog eyes). 

I give you,


Up to my elbows in the sink and suds, I saw the crime as it happened. It was not the first time Sparky had broken…

JackJack leapt down from the ledge. He made no sound. Nose and poker-straight tail pointed towards the ceiling, he sauntered into the living room.

He ignored the dog. 
The first mistake. 

Curled into a watchful ball on the floor, Sparky bided his time. He feigned disinterest, innocence. Had the cat been smart, he would have noted the signs. But confident in his cat-reign of terror over the household, he strutted past. Flicked his tail just under Sparky’s nose. Wagged his furry backside as he went…

Screech! Hiss! 

I run in. Cushions and magazines are on the floor. Also broken glass and spilled milk. JackJack’s gone. Sparky’s ears lay flat. He does not look at me.

I bend down. ‘That uppity old cat had it coming, didn’t he, boy?’

Baleful brown eyes look up. Yes. 

‘Did you scare him good?’

Pink tongue hangs out. Panting. Yes!

‘Good boy! Let’s get you a treat!’ A black and brown ball of fur dashes into the kitchen.

I place soapy hands on my hips and smile.

(For Sparky and JackJack, my crazy pets)

Dyane Forde (May 2013)

Back in the super-short story groove...

Okay, feeling inspired! lol So here's a 157 word story, a bit of a departure from the norm for me since the theme seems to be suspence.

The Prompt...
Natalie arrives home from work and is perplexed that her dog is not there to greet her as usual. In fact, he is nowhere to be seen or heard. Even more disturbing is the semi-automatic pistol sitting on her coffee table and the sound of running water from the kitchen.


Running water. The sound gushes from the kitchen. This is what I hear instead of Bart’s excited yips when I open the door. The lights are off, all except the bald kitchen bulb. I always forget to change it.

Cover’s blown. I have to get out. But first, there’s Bart.

I set the groceries down; my eyes and ears strain for signs of movement. I spy my house gun on the table. Whoever it is planned on using it on me. Doesn’t matter. I’ve got a spare. I pull it out and cock it. Walk into the hall, checking the rooms as I go, until I set foot in the kitchen.

He’s there. There’s blood everywhere. Bart’s blood.

The intruder whirls and draws. I fire first, spilling more blood. He crashes to the floor, sliding in the growing pool of red.

Bart’s body is cooling. Tears burn my eyes.

I reload and cock the gun. And go.

D. Forde (May 2013)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Some good advice...

Nemesis conquered

So last night I wrote about staring the Poetry Nemesis in the face and wrestling it to the ground. Well, the result was only so-so. But I did it! Today, I had the chance to rework it after getting some great help and direction (and yes, support) from a fellow writer (Hi, Genius!). Which means I feel a little less awkward in presenting my first poem in roughly 10 years. :) 

The Wanderer

Beyond the Blue Horizon
there is nothing, only the
A landscape bare
where shifting winds
tear at the
Lost and the Lonely.
Swaddled in the
oppressive haze,
these stolen souls
Rendered deaf.
Soon to be pulled

There is where you will find
swallowed whole.
Buried alive and left to rot
in this filthy, acidic
Blue sky, untouchable.
I am brought so low.
So far beneath the surface.
growing old.

I am gone.
I ran away from you.
There is no going back
this, I accept.
I am still going.
Drifting miles apart from the
me I once knew.

D. Forde

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Question: Can you think of something you were good at but suddenly (or gradually) that ability seemed to dry up so that it's now almost impossible to get back into? That's how I feel about poetry. It used to be so easy to whip up a poem. Finding that place inside where all that misunderstood emotion and tension roiled about just waiting for a few simple words to express them used to be so natural, like slipping into a favorite pairs of jeans or comfy shoes. But now...rusty doesn't even come close. In fact, I've avoided even trying because the frustration was too much. Paralysing, in fact.

But today I gave it a whirl. Thanks to a writing prompt that only triggered poetic ideas, I decided to buckle down and try. The result isn't great and I haven't yet worked up the nerve to post it, but at least I can say I did it. I tried. And overcame The Block. :)

So, that's sorta what this blog is about:  trying. Banking on the pebble (ripple) effect. Hopefully, with time, today's progress will result in more tries, more successes and even writing in genres, styles and forms I'm not used to. Who knows what'll come of it? Maybe one day I'll be banging out poems like an old hand.

Go Purple Pebble!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Purple Morrow-Book 1

Author Interview with Tracy Kauffman

Yet another author interview...:)

Next Big Thing Blog Tour

My Pam Funke Author Interview

Writer's Digest article...

The Dragon's Egg-Chapter 1 (YA fantasy)

The Dragon's Egg

Chapter 1

Dragons. Where had they all gone? Of the last five, great-horned beasts believed to cast their winged shadows across the land of Chimera, only three were rumoured to actually haunt its forests and grasslands. At least that’s what Stamos, Slevyn’s uncle had told her. And he never lied, at least not to her. Still, Uncle Stamos had said that, for some reason, only one of the three, the ancient Archteryx, had actually been seen. The lack of dragon sightings was a cause for concern. There had always been dragon protectors in Chimera. They kept the dark things lurking at the outer reaches, out.

Slevyn loved the old tales of the mighty serpents. She loved to hear her uncle tell of how they would swoop down from their dens hidden away in mountain crevices to breathe fire on marauding trolls, or to tear goblins limb from limb with razor-sharp talons. There were tales of dragon warriors and dragon riders. Slevyn smiled. Female dragon riders at that! She imagined herself seated on the back of one of them, her knees tucked into its sides and her hands grasping the spines of its cowl. What would the wind feel like against her skin? How magnificent her red hair would look against the blue backdrop of the sky! What would she wear? She looked down at her threadbare, cotton shift dress. No peasant’s attire for her. Instead, she would don a suit of armour made of dragon scales, and a helmet fashioned from a claw. Yes! Drunk with joy, Slevyn giggled and stretched out on the soft grass. The giggles turned to sighs. The serpents no longer came down into the forests and vales when the people called them, and ever since, evil things began to encroach on the land. Slevin pushed those thoughts away. She did not want to think about dark things, not on such a wonderful, fall day. Heaven knew there were few enough of them to go around at this time of year.

Slevyn closed her eyes and let the early-morning rays fall on her like a feather-filled blanket. She checked herself. She did not have a feather blanket so she did not really know for certain whether or not if it would feel as dreamy as the sun’s rays. But if she did have one, the kiss of sunshine on her freckled, brown skin is exactly what she imagined it would feel like.

No, she did not have a feather blanket, or a real bed or even decent shoes. Rude, sewn pieces of dried cow hide, which resembled socks more than shoes, are what the people in her water-front village wore. Legends told, however, of a wonderful place in the far away mountain peaks of Perth, where people lived in villas that shone like crystal in the sun, where the lakes were as still as mirrors and the streets were paved with gold. Slevyn snorted. She may only be an ignorant twelve year old girl, who always dreamed about lands that did not exist instead of focusing on the one that did—her father’s words--but she had eavesdropped enough on his conversations with the village men to know that was not true, or at least not entirely. Still, what if such a place existed? Slevyn pulled up tufts of grass and let them fly away through her fingers in the wind. It did not matter. Any place, even a made up one, was better than this.

Slevyn lifted a land, curled her fingers into her palm, and with one finger, traced the streaks of white clouds in the sky. Next, she moved on to the birds, mere specks to her eye, bobbing up and down in the pale-blue sky. The hawks soared, rising and dipping on the shifting air currents. When she came to the last dot, she moved her arm to the right side of the sky, where a solitary form shot across the blue expanse. Slevyn frowned and sat up a little, resting on her elbows. This was no hawk. For one, it did not release itself to the wind to soar as the others did, and this thing was far, far bigger. She could tell that much even from this distance.

“What--?” she began.

“Oy, Slevyn! Wha’ch’ya doing out here, girl? Don’cha know your da will skin you alive if ‘e finds you’ve ducked yer chores, again?”

“Girl? Who are you calling girl? You’re not much older than I am, Doret Mayorson,” Slevyn shot back. She sat straight up and glared at the intruder.

Doret was the mayor’s son. He stood tall with his shoulders back to emphasise his full five feet six inches, of which he was very proud. He was the tallest boy his age in the village, but Slevyn cared nothing about that. She cared nothing at all for Doret and never would, even if he grew to six feet! Why he had taken it upon himself to be her keeper she would never know. He was like an efficient hound dog, always sniffing her out no matter where she went, always ruining her precious moments of peace and quiet.

“Old enough ta tell ya to get off yar behind and back ta work. Girl.”

Oh, he had a way of getting under her skin. If she’d had a rock, she would have thrown it at him.

“Wha’cha smiling fer?” he demanded. He jammed the butt end of his walking staff into the grass with a dull thud.

Slevyn grinned, knowing it would annoy him further. “Don’t you know your voice cracks when you talk?”
He gripped the staff in one hand and took a step towards her. While she had been talking, as inconspicuously as possible, Slevyn had reached for the brown blob of soap in the unused wash bucket beside her. She tucked it into the palm of her hand, ready to launch it at Doret, if need be. It wouldn’t hurt as much as a rock, but it would do.

He retaliated the only way he knew how. “I’m going ta tell tha mayor ya was lazing off again instead a helping tha women with tha washing.”

She lifted her chin. “So? And what are you supposed to be doing at this hour? I don’t remember the mayor giving you the job of watching over stray wash girls. Go find your sheep. They’ve probably been eaten by trolls by now.”

Doret’s eyes narrowed. “You’re not allowed to talk to me like that. I’m an elderboy. Since last week.”
Slenyn rolled her eyes. “Maybe when you start leaving me alone I’ll be more pleasant with you.”

Satisfied, Doret stepped back and relaxed his grip on his staff. A moment later, he took it up again and pointed the crooked end at her. “Tha’ doesn’ make any sense!”

Slevyn was laughing now. “You only now just figured that out? Get going, Doret. You’ve already ruined my morning.”

He shook with anger. Brown freckles stood out on his paling face and his dark eyes seemed to darken even further. “I don’t ‘ave ta put up wi’ this! I’m telling yer da.”

That stopped Slevyn cold. Of all the things Doret could have said to hurt her, this was the worst. There was no way, however, she would let him know of the fear his threat stirred in the pit of her stomach.

“It’s just a thrashing,” she said with what she hoped was a nonchalant shrug. “I’ve had my share.”

“More’n yer share. It’s like ya like ta get in trouble.” Doret shook his head. “Silly girl.”

The sun warming her back soothed the tender skin that still smarted from the last thrashing. Silly girl. It irked her that he was right about that particular thing. No matter the number of beatings she suffered, Slevyn could not seem to stop herself from getting into trouble. But women’s work galled her, made her hands sore and her back ache. And when the sweet smell of the wild flowers rolled down from the meadow through the trees  to swathe the village in a blanket of perfume, how could she ignore their call? She remembered the tears glistening on her mother’s cheeks when she lurched through the front door from the wood shed, the back of her dress glistening with red stripes. Somehow, she had crossed the dirt floor and pulled herself up the ladder to her room in the loft. Her mother’s eyes pleaded with her, Why? Slevyn could only look back, her own tear-rimmed eyes answering, I don’t know.

“No one likes to get caught, Doret.”

“So why can‘cha listen? Is it so hard ta do what yer supposed ta?”

“Why do you even care? All you do is tell on me.”

Doret closed his mouth, cutting off whatever he had been preparing to say. He broke off his gaze and dug his toe into the ground. “I…I--”

“You what?”

“Nothin‘. Slevyn, I won’ say anything, this time. If ya promise ta get ta work, like yer supposed ta.”

Slevyn considered answering with a cutting remark, but in the end, grateful he decided to spare her, she nodded. “Alright.”

He did not leave then as she had hoped he would. How could someone go from being so irritating, to decent back to irritating so quickly? Slevyn took her time gathering her things. As she bent to pick up her bucket, she felt the wind rustling the reddish hairs on her arms and tugging at the braids running down her back to her waist. From above, birds called to one another.

When she looked away from the sky to the path leading back to the village, Doret was already headed for it. For the moment, she was alone again, just the way she liked it. For these last precious seconds, she was free.

As Slevyn put on her cotton hat and tugged at the front until it rested properly on her brow, a noise, like the croak of a gigantic frog, blasted through the meadow. Slevyn cast her eyes all about her, looking for its source, while her mind tried to conceive of what kind of a creature could have made such a sound.
There it came again! This time, from above.

Lifting her face into the sunrays, Slevyn’s eyes widened when she saw a black shape swooping and dipping in the sky. Massive wings bent and stretched, lifting the bloated body into the air while a forked whip of a tail sliced through the air behind it. It was too far to see more of it, and though Slevyn had never actually seen one, she knew that what she was seeing was a real, live dragon. With a last croaking whoop, it sliced the air with its wings and in the time it took for her to catch her breath, it shot through the air and disappeared into the distance.

The air left Slevyn’s lungs in a great whoosh. Her knees bent and she dropped to the ground like a stone. And for a reason she could not understand, she began to weep.


100 Word Stories Inspired from Writing Prompts

The Dragon's Egg

Out of the Fire

Yellow Button



Bet you never stopped to consider the consequences, did you? Clicking down the hall in sky-high stilettos, got everyone convinced you’re the cat’s meow. Tall and slender, gorgeous in every way. You smile for them, you have time for them. They always get your best. 
‘Oh, Daniel, I’m sorry I didn’t text you back. Had a late night. Must have slipped my mind.’ 
Of course.
Your eyes shifting with discomfort, finally looking away to grasp at invisible excuses. ‘Daniel! I’m sorry, but…I’m not free tonight. Or any other night.’
You didn’t consider the consequences. 
You didn’t think of me.

But you will.

Starting Out

So a friend recommended this blogging tool. No idea how this works but figured I'd give it a go. If anyone has tips or suggestions on how to make this an interesting read rather than a major snore-fest, I'm all ears! If anyone else is starting out and feels my pain, please don't leave me hanging! Drop me a (life) line!

Deep breath...think I'll do some yoga and then pop a few Ativan. Sounds like a plan. :D
+J. Michael Schmidt Hey Genius! Thanks for putting me on to this Blogger deal!