Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 130

15 Minute Tweet TalesWhoa, I completely lost track that today was Tuesday, so I’m just going to slap these bad boys up on the blog before it officially turns into Wednesday. Enjoy my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
7/16 - A tourbillion blasts through the door and snuffs out the candle. The spell worked. The cops would soon call about her husband's 'accident'.
 
7/17 - Yet again, she forgot phone and went inside to get it. At end of street, a fatal car wreck just happened. Wifty behavior saved her life.
 
7/18 - The haunting notes of a calliope drifted from the decrepit house. I knew I shouldn't go any closer. But the music lured me to my doom.
 
7/19 - Folks say her mom's skin glows. To be like her, Sue eats a jar of fireflies. But that's not how luciferin works, so she only barfs up bugs.
 
7/20 - The old lady visits a slew of doctors about non-existent ailments. They don't mind – they know she's lonely. Plus she has great insurance.
 
7/21 - Friends mock her love of horror movies, but all those hours watching slasher flicks fructify when a psycho enters their dorm with a knife.
 
7/22 - His vanward skills with virtual reality were going to revolutionize computing. Then one day he lost himself inside one of his own games.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 129

15 Minute Tweet TalesI always love learning these new words or becoming reacquainted with ones I don’t use very often, but every so often one pops up that I just adore. This week that word is foofaraw. It’s so fun to say! And it looks cool written out. The definition is interesting, too, but for me, this one is all about the word itself. I don’t think it will be easy to use it in casual conversation, but I’ll be looking for ways to work it in where I can. And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
7/9 - Arranging roses from husband, image of him kissing nanny appears in water. Awful way to discover she inherited mom's gift of hydromancy.
 
7/10 - Irritated when Ted joins their field trip group. Then power goes out forever. Now his sciential ability only thing keeping them alive.
 
7/11 - She deponed she saw him kill the man. She hadn't, but in school he bullied her little sister until she killed herself. Justice served.
 
7/12 - She watches her anthophilous son in her colorful garden. Off his meds, he's a happy butterfly. It seems cruel to put an end to such joy.
 
7/13 - Mom adds cheap foofaraw to the dresses thinking it disguises they are 4th time hand-me-downs. Classmates enjoy telling Sue it doesn't.
 
7/14 - He knows better than to get betwixt his wife and mom in an argument, but if she's wrong, he has to intervene. Only: which 'she' is wrong?
 
7/15 - After years of lucubration, he masters Latin and can speak it flawlessly. But since he's not a priest, it doesn't help him find a job.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?
 

City of Bones – Read-n-Feed

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a Read-n-Feed post, but I’ve decided to jump start it again with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Cassandra was the keynote speaker at the 2012 YALLFest, along with Holly Black, and it was very inspiring hearing them talk about their writing friendship, especially as I sat in the audience with so many of my own writing friends. 
 
Category: Young Adult
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 496
Amazon Description: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
 
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...
 
My writing lesson from City of Bones is the way Cassandra used the main hobby of the protagonist to color her writing. And in this case I literally mean color. Clary is an artist, a talent she inherited from her mother. In the beginning, she uses her art as a form of stress relief and to work though her feelings like others might use a journal. Later, her artistic ability comes into play in a way that is important to the narrative. 
 
Most of City of Bones is told in third person from Clary's POV, so Cassandra uses Clary's artistic eye to full effect in her descriptions. Sometimes she actually compares things to famous paintings, like: “There was a queasy sense of something organic about the bikes, like the bio-creatures in a Giger painting.” and “If Bosch's paintings of hell had come with a soundtrack, they would have sounded like this.” Other times, she describes things in a way linked to her hobby like: “When he smiled at Clary, a thousand small lines rayed out from around his eyes, like the cracks in an old painting.” and “Luke's expression went blank, like a canvas wiped clean of paint.”
 
I don't have any talent in the visual arts, so I'm not really keyed into color and light when I take in my surroundings, but it completely makes sense that someone whose passion is art would hone in on hues and shadings, like Clary does when she describes things. And this would apply to other hobbies as well: if the protagonist is a musician, the wind blowing through the trees might remind them of a piece by Bach; if they cook, then the smell in a friend's car might remind them of a certain spice; if someone is into fashion, then the first thing they'll notice about other people is what they're wearing. The viewpoint character's passions and hobbies are a lens through which his/her world is filtered. 
 
And this also applies to secondary characters. Even though the narrative might not be filtered through their point of view, their passions and hobbies will still impact other aspects like their vocabulary and physicality. A love interest who writes poetry might speak in lyrical sentences. An athletic best friend might pepper their speech with motivational phrases like "keep your eye on the ball" and "it ain't over until it's over." But all athletes aren't the same because one who plays football moves differently than one who excels at golf. These types of small details make characters feel real rather than just cardboard cutouts spouting dialog to move the plot along.
 
The way Cassandra utilizes her protagonist's artistic eye to highlight the beauty and creepiness of her New York settings is a great reminder to use our characters' interests and talents to full advantage. Having a number of interests make characters three dimensional, and these interests should affect the way they see and talk about the world around them.
 
If you’ve read City of Bones, what did you think? Do you use your main character’s passions/hobbies as a filter through how s/he sees the world? Do you use passions/hobbies to add dimensions to secondary characters? 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 128

Freya on the 4th of JulyI hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! I did the expected 4th of July pig-out thing with hamburgers, potato salad, corn on the cob, and watermelon. I also tried to get the girls to show off their patriotism, but they were . . . not amused.
Chloe on the 4th of July
After lots of treats, I finally managed to get a picture of each. Don’t believe Chloe’s pathetic expression – there was no torture involved.
 
Actually, the torture started when the sun went down and the fireworks started. Chloe sleeps through anything, so she didn’t care, but poor Freya was freaked out. She’s usually not scared of this type of stuff, but I guess she’s getting more nervous about things as she gets older. She attempted to climb into my lap several times, but since she weighs 90 pounds, it was a challenge for both of us. Fortunately, her fears of an impending apocalypse were unfounded, and we survived for me to be able to share my 15 Minute Tweet Tales today: 
 
7/2 - The coworkers convoke a powwow about Pam's gross brownies. Out of pity Sue told Pam they were yummy, now they have to eat them everyday.
 
7/3 - Jess flinched as a volant form passed her window. Too big to be a bird. It shrieked and her blood froze. The noise was not of this earth.
 
7/4 - Under the shimmering 4th fireworks, Abby leans in for her first kiss, hoping it feels like the pyrotechnics described in romances novels.
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales
7/5 - Each year folks gather at ancient monuments for solstitial festivals, half expecting otherworldly visitors. But they arrived long ago.
 
7/6 - The man selling goobers at the games always gave me an extra scoop; I always showed him some extra leg. We called our first kid Peanut.
 
7/7 – The Professor's love of chocolate was bruited about, so failing Kim made him brownies. She didn't know about his nut allergy. Or did she?
 
7/8 - Dan's charge to preserve life is scuppered when a unicorn trips, poking a hole in the ark. Luckily, the Boss had enlisted Noah as a backup.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 127

15 Minute Tweet TalesNot only did I almost forget today was Tuesday and therefore time for my 15 Minute Tweet Tales postings, I’m also having a really tough time reconciling that today is July 1st. Really? How can that be possible? I swear we were decorating the Christmas tree just last week. Anyway, here are my tales for the past week, so you can read them rather than dwell on the fact that half a year has flown by in the blink of an eye. 
 
6/25 - We frolic in the wildflowers, but when the warning sirens sound, we scramble for the bunker, not knowing when we'll see the sun again.
 
6/26 - He felt the latest Xbox was desideratum. Mom felt the house needed painting and grass had to be cut all summer. They struck a bargain.
 
6/27 - After farding Hollywood stars every day she's learned two things: 1) They'd be unattractive without her. 2) Their souls are even uglier.
 
6/28 - She sobs at 100s of Amazon reviews drubbing her book. Discovers accounts are fakes made by ex. A writer's revenge is painfully creative.
 
6/29 - She thought the fish she bought was fungible with her son's dead pet. But Tim started crying when he saw Mr. Gold was now dark orange.
 
6/30 - Her coworker's grandiose wooing makes her wary. He seems sweet, but his overzealousness makes her fear ending up chained in a basement.
 
7/1 - Cop on bridge tries to talk her down. Then he whispers nocuous words. Pretends to be horrified when she jumps but relishes the power.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 126

15 Minute Tweet TalesI think today’s (6/24) #15tt word might be my favorite one yet: borborygmus. It’s a pretty funny-looking word to start with, so when I saw it, I hoped it would have an epic definition to match its epic appearance, and boy did it ever - intestinal rumbling caused by moving gas. I had no idea there was actually a word to describe that phenomenon. I mean, I know the various terms for when the gas finally escapes, but the fact that there’s a word for the actual rumbling makes my internal twelve-year-old howl with glee. The dictionary entry states borborygmus can be traced to a Greek verb believed to be coined to imitate the digestive noises made by a stomach. That's awesome. 
 
It’s hard to top that, but here are the rest of my 15 Minute Tweet Tales:
 
6/18 - DVD player died early in 12-hr drive to Granny's, so as divertissement, Mom taught kids car games from her childhood. Best trip ever!
 
6/19 - Mom brags about unsavory means she used to facilitate his college acceptance. Now he'll never know he would've gotten in on own merits.
 
6/20 - She found the slimsy dog and with food & love saved his life. A year later he returns the favor, attacking a man who breaks into her house.
 
6/21 - An amative urge convinced him to stand under her window blasting a boom box. Neighbors called the cops. Dad ran out brandishing a shotgun.
 
6/22 - Grandpa's confused look reveals his wetware is uselessly spinning. Wanting to remain in his will, she shows how to send email yet again.
 
6/23 - Her friends asked about spring break plans, but she made nebulous promises. She was waiting for her doctor to call with test results.
 
6/24 - On the third date he says, "I love-" but her borborygmus drowns out last word. She's too embarrassed to respond. He thinks she doesn't care.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 125

15 Minute Tweet TalesYikes, after reading back this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales all at once, they seem even darker than usual. Lots of people doing horrible things to each other, especially people they are supposed to love. Although I did go lighter with the last two with silly animals being silly.
 
6/11 - His benevolent demeanor is a practiced lie. You haven't found any of his victims yet, but you will soon. Why doesn't anyone believe me?
 
6/12 - Scar on her face commemorates the day she learned the difference between love and obsession, but also the day she realized her own strength.
 
6/13 - When word spreads at reunion that he's divorced, a phalanx of aunts descends. He claims he cheated, preferring their anger to their pity.
 
6/14 - The prostitute felt entitled to more, so she stole his wife’s jewelry, but he’s a horrible husband in every way, so it was all pinchbeck.
 
6/15 - Everyone knows she gets roles due to blow jobs; when co-star accuses her of it, her ‘aghast’ expression proves she’s a terrible actress.
 
6/16 - The other stray cats japed at his limp caused by a deformed leg, but after seeing people feeding him, they practiced their own hobbling.
 
6/17 - Rex follows the pungent odor to a decaying animal, then rolls in it, certain his person will be awfully pleased with his new cologne.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 124

15 Minute Tweet TalesI can’t believe another week has flown by. Hope y’all are doing well and getting lots of work done on whatever project has currently captured your mind and heart. Since I need to get back to my current project, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
6/4 - Neighbors know one of us Smith kids torments animals. Due to lookism they think it's Tom. My creepy-looking brother wouldn't hurt a fly.
 
6/5 - Her dog was acting addlepated: licking walls, barking at air. She worried he had doggie dementia. Then things on the shelves started moving.
 
6/6 - She's a perfume cognoscente, always picking perfect scents for friends, making them even more reluctant to tell her she stinks of B.O.
 
6/7 - He thinks his soul will be unfettered once he confesses his love, but her quickly concealed look of disgust encases his heart in lead.
 
6/8 - Disappointment suffuses through crowd as the horse guaranteed to win falls further behind. The man who fixed his food collects his winnings.
 
6/9 - His mom calls him incorrigible with such love in her voice he truly thinks it's a good thing. His first girlfriend cures him of that notion.
 
6/10 - Her fussy boss asked for a martini with extra verjuice. She thought it odd but complied. Accents can be tricky and now she needs a new job.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 123

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’m all wrapped up in trying to finish my short screenplay before a contest deadline, so I almost forgot today is Tuesday. So here they are - my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
5/28 – When she sees the tabloid cover with her kids at school, she sprints to nearest person with paparazzi accoutrements and smashes his camera.
 
5/29 - She probably thinks her vacuous head tilt is adorable, but it makes him want to smack her. His dad really dumped his mom for this bimbo?
 
5/30 - She says she eschews trendy clothes cause the companies destroy the environment;truthfully her mom works two jobs just to put food on table.
 
5/31 - His outbursts are furious but fugacious, so she convinces herself his temper isn't that bad. A trip to the ER helps her see the truth.
 
6/1 - "What a space cadet!" snarks cashier about lady who left her wallet, as he stands there with his zipper down and toilet paper on his shoe.
 
6/2 - Suzy spent days training Rex to leave the chickens alone, but at first sign of recidivism, Dad took him out back. Suzy cried at the gunshot.
 
6/3 - Kicking each other while trying to sleep in the back of the station wagon, it was hard to remember the halcyon days before Dad lost his job.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 122

15 Minute Tweet TalesI hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Mine was tons of fun. There was the meteor shower that was mostly a dud except for a few really spectacular streaks across the sky. There was swimming with the dogs. There was cruising around the lake. There was even harvesting honey and making lip balm out of beeswax. Pretty great weekend! If I have time, I might write a few longer posts about some of the events, but I’m working on short screenplay with a deadline just around the corner, so it’s iffy. Meanwhile, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales from the past week to keep you entertained: 
 
5/21 - He hands the boniface cash, and she nods toward man at the bar. He slips a knife between the senator's ribs and disappears before he falls.
 
5/22 - He's proficient at making fart sounds, entertaining classmates for years, but when it's time for prom, no one wants to go with farty mouth.
 
5/23 - Her sister loves the zoo, so her parents don't get why Sue cries, since they don't believe the souls of the menagerie beg her to free them.
 
5/24 - The damask she picks for the curtains is supposed to brighten the room, but the color reminds them of the tragedy that happened there.
 
5/25 – The troubadour wrote a song that made the depressed princess smile. But her dad was the butt of the joke, so the musician lost his head.
 
5/26 - A chill pervades her body, paralyzing her limbs, so when the shadow reaches for her from the darkness, all she can do is scream.
 
5/27 - During Parade of Nations, folks mocked jerkwater country that had never competed, but thanks to secret native fruit, they won all the golds.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?