Writing Exercise: Tailor

via Daily Prompt: Tailor


The pile of work on his table hadn’t moved in weeks. No one had brought anything new. They knew it wouldn’t get done. He couldn’t. Not with her still in there with him. Her fabrics lay stacked on the shelves; the shirt she’d been mending still lay on her work table. He couldn’t bear to look at it.

Writing Outside of Canon

There’s been a story plot floating around in my head for quite some time now–at least a few years–but never did anything with. Not because it wouldn’t be fun or intense to write, or because is was a bad idea. It has survived so long precisely because I find it incredibly intriguing and emotionally intense. Exactly the kind of thing I like writing.

Why put it off so long? Sure, there are lots of Lupa stories I plan to eventually write, but this one has been one I kept wondering if I should entertain at all: it’s not canon. It’s so far from what I’ve established as believable canon the story won’t ever be able to get around it. I write non-canon all the time with my chatbox characters, but this is different.

I don’t know how most writers deal with non-canonical ideas for their characters. Clearly, I sometimes go down that path. Unlike writing different versions of an event, this can get one into more trouble. When you play around with ideas and seriously write pieces that would otherwise be considered canon, they can stick. It can stick so much more easily once they’re solid, on paper, and in your head. The latter is really the most dangerous part. Once it becomes part of the story in your head, your head can treat is as part of canon. You’ve devoted the thought and time to develop it. And I’ve started.

Writing started when I found a musical piece which brought out a particular character’s feelings. I don’t know, now, how things will settle out. The emotional payoff isn’t quite there yet in parts, but it’s the kind of thing you want to drip off the page. That’s interesting, and that was the point–the desperate sadness, the chaos of a character’s inability to reconcile one thing with another, a cosmic prank of timing.

Addressing difficult topics is a fascinating part of being a writer. Going into this, I had no idea how it would play out. Some scenes go in one direction, and the latest went in another. And yet, I wonder if I’ve taken that license because it’s not canon.

Sometimes there’s the idea that it can be more messy, a bit less believable, when something isn’t going to be part of the final product others may someday get to see. At times, pursuing such ideas let allow for the exploration of things canon may not allow. What will they do? Will pushing them in a completely different way reveal new things?

I suppose, ultimately, the question is will it benefit my understanding of the characters for canon? The more value the answer to that question has, the more likely I am to do it. That’s how we got into this mess.



If you do write out of canon, please respond in the comments. I’d really like to know what other writers do, and when/why they go further afield.


Writing Exercise: Trust



Daniel was certainly old enough to have begun talking, but Miara, in her few interactions with him, hadn’t heard him speak a word. But he was hardly the first orphan to be brought here, painfully aware of the broken bond where his mother used to be, and he was still crying every time he felt it. Sometimes so loudly it carried across the field.

She stopped by in the orchard where the group of kids was playing, and saw him sitting in a short distance away, staring up at the trees the older kids were playing in.

“Hi!” she called, and most of them answered back and waved.

“Are you going to play with us today?”

“No, we did training today, I’m beat!” she said, plopping down on a softer-looking spot of ground. It wasn’t long before Daniel crept over to her and crawled in her lap. His face looked red from crying again. “You look exhausted. Maybe we should go take a nap,” she said, cuddling him. “You want to come home with me? It should be quieter there.”

He nodded, and got up, indicating to the other adults that she was taking responsibility for him. She wasn’t more than half way to her rooms when he changed and curled up tightly in her arms, already asleep.

Rocking Chairs

It’s 7:04 Thanksgiving morning, and I’m sitting on my parents’ deck in my pjs, slippers, and coat, about to have a cup of blackcurrant tea. I  haven’t  had it before, but it has this deep cured fruit scent that I already love. The cold I can ignore for a nice moment like this, on a day we got up extra early–earlier than for work. There will be plenty more cooking to do, but the turkey’s in the oven.

There are many more animals here, more birds talking to each other than where we live, another 25 minutes closer to the city. They nestle in the tall lilac bushes, the pine tree my father painstakingly trained straight over many years, the old apple tree at the back of the yard. Beyond is a field and stream, home to many creatures. A family of ground hogs has live across the path under a tree as long as I can remember.

After a few weeks of business and stress, I’ve managed to carve out a few moments to sit and listen. The tea is as deep and fruity as it smells, and I hope there’s time to savor it slowly.

NaNoWriMo 2016

The approach of NaNoWriMo was an event I noted back in August, with the thought that I would probably make a decision on a story by the time it came about. While I am still committed to finding a story based primarily around people of color, I have not found it yet. So the mental search for that will continue.

On October 31, I pondered simply continuing with the Mally & Les story, but even then, the mad rush of words is not something I’m interested in this year. Therefore,  I have decided to carry on as usual, and write as I usually do, at the usual pace.

Other things are happening in life, and at present I don’t feel a great deal of energy to do all the things. So for now, I’m trying to take things a little slower, and not do so much. To care about less off the stuff going on, and more about taking things a little easier. That’s where life is right now, really.

I had been working quite a bit on Cora’s wedding, which was in October, and while I’m still thinking about it, in the last week I’ve only worked on Mally & Les, which is a nice change. But now I have to go back to refresh on what was written before. It seems to be a story of spurts of writing here and there, and probably won’t be finished for quite a long time. I know the beginning and the end, but most of the things in between will likely be exploratory writing when we get there.

So that’s what I’m working on right now.