Story Saturday#6: Forlorn (a poem)

Forlorn is my name.
Abandonment is the one to blame
for my creation
in your situation.
I mean no harm!
Please don’t be alarmed.
New feelings are scary, I know
and I have no record to show
that I’ve made hearts better
by being a settler
in the various cardiac tissues.

If anything, most say I misuse
the chambers I am given,
an invitation that always goes unforgiven.

Yet here I am
a wolf in the midst of the proverbial lambs
and here you are
to carry us both so far.
It’s odd, isn’t it, that people think that they only
feel both hated and lonely
when us, the feelings, are full of all of it, too.

We need someone to share them with.
And we choose you.

Poetry happened instead of prose this week. I was surprised yet pleased with the results. I hope you’re having a good weekend so far!


Story Saturday#5: A new storm

There’s nothing here but a blank page between me and the words I feel brewing in my heart. It’s a storm I’m not sure my hands will survive. But the words must rain down. Board up the windows and fill the sandbags. The story will go both high and low, into every crack, crevice, and gap there might be in my wake.

You might ignore the warnings. But you’ve been warned all the same.

Story Saturday#4: Careful creation

It looks almost like a flower or like a pinwheel with some petals missing. Or at least it will, in enough time. It’ll be a while, but it will be beautiful. 

First, the light has to be defined. Then the tools have to be made that will allow such a beautiful sight to be seen. And the eyes of the creatures that will make the tools that will capture the light in such a fantastic fashion. The rest of the creatures need to be made, too, not just their eyes.

It’s time to get back to work. Creation requires careful planning, but even more careful execution. 

This story was inspired by me seeing this photo for the first time. How lucky are we that we have technology that can show us views like this? The act of creating things and the planning behind it has been on my mind a lot these days. Regardless of whether or not there is a cosmological creator, the view is stunning. Photo credited to NASA.

Story Saturday#3: All out there

The shingles were warm under my bare feet, though that didn’t help me find my balance. The roof was tilted far steeper than it looked from below but the danger was minimal since for such a richly dressed man, his home was only one story. I crouch low by the chimney, certain someone has spotted me. It’s twilight and those who are out on that steamy summer night are not looking up enough to see me. But soon they will.

My guitar clangs hollowly as I shift it from across my back to in front of my belly. I’d tuned it carefully before I’d climbed up, but I did a quick test of the strings as quietly as I could to make sure the increase in altitude didn’t mess with the sound. This needed to sound perfect now. It hadn’t sounded perfect earlier, which is why I’m up on the roof of this richly dressed man. I pick my way over to the other side of the roof, directly above the window of the room I know he’s in. I plant my feet as firmly as I can, take a deep breath, and begin to play.

At first no one pays that much attention but they glance around, trying to find the source of who’s strumming the lone guitar in their suburban paradise. I take a deep breath and start to sing.

“He said he’d give me a chance
but he said no after one look
because he said I can’t dance
which is not the chance I took
when I went to see him
all he saw was my size
and thought this was my whim.
He believed his own lies.
But what matters when you sing
is just your voice
that’s the only thing.
Good luck, sir, with your wrong choice!”

The lyrics are pure emotional venting, but I belt it out as if I were the opening act of the Grammys. People hold their phones up, recording my second performance for him. I hear sirens in the distance, getting louder. I hurry across the roof and carefully retrace my trail down his trellis. I run as soon as my feet hit the grass, too scared and exhilarated to see if he’s chasing me. If he wants to track me down that badly, he has my contact info. Whether or not that would be with a record deal or with a cop to arrest me for trespassing remains to be seen. It’s all out there: what he did and how I felt about it. And for now, that’s worth everything. The danger. The freedom. The uncertainty. All of it.

Story Saturday #2: First Time

“How was your first time?”
I hadn’t seen her since it had happened.
“It was really…wet.” She answered. “And noisy!”
“That’s how it should be.”
“It would have been much easier if he hadn’t squirmed so much.”
“It’ll get easier.”
“Oh, I know it will.” She inspected the knife she’d been sharpening, deemed it good, and slid it into the sheath at her hip. “An assassin’s first kill is always the hardest, right?”

Story Saturday #1: Mind the Gap

There’s a sign that says “Mind the Gap” beside the door, even though there is no gap to be found. At least not one that he can see. He kneels and presses his face to the floor, squinting. The floor appears to be level on the other side of the threshold. No gap to be found. He gets up, brushes off his pants. That was a foolish thing to do. It wouldn’t do to cross that threshold looking like a child picked up from the floor. What if someone had seen him acting so unprofessionally? He isn’t a child anymore, though he feels like one at the moment. A small child at the foot of an incredibly long, towering staircase. He is strong enough to climb. He has to be.

He opens the door, heads to the desk, and stretches out a hand, remembering to make and keep eye contact.

“Hi, I’m Jacob. I’m the new temp.”

The receptionist barely looks up before lugging himself out of his chair. “You’re the new fresh meat. I’ll show you where you’ll need to go, for however long you’ll last here.”

“I hope I’ll last a good long while.”

He wheezes as he starts laughing. “That’s what they all say.”

Changing it up/Check-in #7

It may not seem like it but I’ve often bemoaned my inability to blog daily or weekly for you guys. I’ve also been upset that I’ve not been able to share more of my fiction with you other than what I’ve been lucky enough to have had published. But, while doing some research into building an author platform, an (obvious) answer popped into my head that immediately made me want to pick up a pencil and start scribbling. I’m going to start a weekly micro/flash fiction series for you! I’ve decided to tentatively call this series “Story Saturday”, but I may switch the date throughout the week depending on my schedule. I’m not limiting myself with a word or sentence count or to follow some sort of prompt. I’ll use different prompts or photos as inspiration, I’m sure, but regardless of how the story comes to me, you will get a new piece of micro/flash fiction every week. I might post a poem instead of a piece of prose, it depends on what I feel the need to share. I’m so excited to write fiction for you all!

As I mentioned, I’ve been doing research into how to build an author platform. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, but have consistently put off. Last week, I finally bit the bullet. I now have my own writing pages on Facebook and Twitter. I’m going to attempt to link them, but in case I do it wrong, my username for both is @ERHoyle (here’s Twitter. I couldn’t get Facebook to work, but the title of the page is Elizabeth Hoyle, Writer). Feel free to give me a like or follow me if you feel so inclined. It’s been a weird time of learning both of those platforms. While I’ve used them both for other purposes, using them to market myself as a writer has been both scary, challenging, impostor syndrome-inducing, and yet extremely fun and validating. I’m gonna see about adding feed widgets soon and possibly getting an official domain name soon, too.

The first draft of my first book was 275 pages. The first draft of my second book was 142 pages. This one is the biggest so far.

I finally finished the first draft of my third book! Yay! This one, in theory, should have been the easiest since I’ve come close to finishing a draft of it twice before and the idea’s been cooking in my head for over ten years. That was not the case. I think the added time and the ideas from previous drafts made things more difficult. Writing this one was so different from my previous two books, not only because of the difference in genre, but also in how the writing actually went. When I’ve revived some of my brain cells, I’m planning on writing about how difficult working on an older idea can be. I realize that might not be interesting as far as writing posts can go, but I’ve never heard it talked about before and I definitely think it’s something that needs to be addressed.

If you’re curious about a resource to help you build a platform, check out Jane Friedman’s “The Business of Being a Writer”, which has been helpful and reassuring while I’ve been trying to get comfortable enough to branch out on other social platforms as well as presenting other practical wisdom about a side of writing I’ve been happy to mostly ignore until now.

It wasn’t until I thought about writing fiction specifically for the blog that I remembered how much I loved reading Erin Morgenstern’s flax-golden tales. I would read them during my computer classes if I had already finished with my work or was bored. You should read them, too. Also, her new book is coming out in November. That seems so far away, but I’m so excited!

I’ve been searching for some new music lately and there two tunes that I’ve been replaying quite a bit lately. If you have any music suggestions, please leave them in the comments. Here are the videos.

I haven’t found such a good fan video in a long time. I feel this truly shows Sansa’s growth and her strength.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the original song, but I love this instrumental version of it.

I think that’s enough for now, don’t you? I hope you like the first story that I post on Saturday! Bye!

Four sentence book reviews #5

I hadn’t realized it has been such a long time since I reviewed some books. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

Photo credited to Goodreads. This is also a Netflix series. Click here to see the trailer.

1.You by Caroline Kepnes.
Joe Goldberg is a bookseller and Guinevere Beck is an aspiring writer. She drops into the bookstore where Joe works one day and they hit it off, but little does she realize that she’s dropped into a much deeper relationship than a casual encounter at a bookstore. That’s not a good summary, but if you like stories about stalkers, unreliable narrators, and the perils of dating in the social media age, then this book is for you. It’s written in a stream of consciousness style and will scare you, make you laugh, and have you concerned because you relate to the narrator so much, all within the space of a few pages.

2. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones helped a rock band called The Six become one of the most popular bands of the late sixties and early seventies and no one knows why they broke up at the height of their fame…until now. Told in an oral history format, Daisy Jones & the Six is a story about music, life, love and how fame can challenge and change all three. I’m not normally into fiction about the sixties or seventies, but I really enjoyed this one. I liked how it was formatted through a series of interviews and what it had to say about living a creative life.

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Conor’s been having strange dreams, ever since his mother’s cancer treatments haven’t been working as they should. He dreams of a monster who tells him stories and somehow, the monster and the stories merge into his waking life. This was such a sad yet beautiful read that struck me deeply. This is definitely a good book for anyone who’s ever dealt with the slow death of a loved one.

Isn’t this cover great? There’s an adaptation in the works for this and I’m so excited!

4. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Isabelle has cut off her toes in the hopes of marrying the handsome prince; just when it seems the throne is about to be hers, her deception is exposed and her stepsister, Ella, is whisked away to become queen of France instead. Left to heal and deal with the wreckage of such a difficult decision, Isabelle must learn to pull together the shattered pieces of her heart, not only for her good, but for the good of her family and her country. I love Jennifer Donnelly’s writing and I love fairy tale reimaginings, so to have the two together was absolutely fantastic. This was such a wonderful new take on the Cinderella story and I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone!

Those are my thoughts on some of the books I’ve read so far this year.It’s been a wonderful year of reading so far, so that’s why these are nothing but glowing reviews. I’ve mostly been reading series or finishing series that I’d previously started. I’ve been thinking about reviewing whole series. Let me know if that’s something you’re interested in or if you have any ideas for series you’d like me to review.

I forgot to post that I had a second poem published! I’ll insert the link both here and on my writing page. I hope everything’s going well! Bye for now.

A photo update on book three

Book three is the biggest and has been the most difficult of my little literary family so far. I don’t have a picture for it, but draft four of book one is quickly nearing completion. I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this far with both projects but I’m starting to burn out. Here’s hoping I can finish them both up before I crash completely.

I hope all your creative projects are going swimmingly. May your muses never forsake you. Bye for now.

A rhyme about comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy
and comparison can turn you into a toy.
Make sure you learn to play
and do not to listen to what others say
otherwise every word that’s hurled
will break down your world.
Keep yourself awake
learn what to keep, what to take.
You’re beautiful and rare and tough.
You’re you, and that’s enough.

I wrote this for me, but I hope it helps you too. It might be a little trite and sentimental and a bit of an homage to Mother Teresa and Dear Evan Hansen, but at least it’s honest. I hope you’re all doing well ❤