Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Writing Challenge - Rendition of a fairy tale

For writer's group next week, we will be sharing together renditions of fairy tales, or fairy tales of our own creations. I decided, with Christmas on the horizon, to write a strange tale about the runaway Gingerbread Man.


It was the third week of Advent, and Christmas was nigh
When dear, sweet old granny with a glint in her eye
Formed a soft ginger dough, and rolled it out flat
And cut out small men, each donning a top hat

With such tender care, and slight arthritic ache
Granny placed each cookie sheet into the oven to bake
I was a small, spritely child, and could not wait to see
The delicate cookie man Granny would make just for me

Ten long minutes had passed when the egg timer rang
And Granny up from her wooden rocker sprang
She took out the cookies; I could feel myself drool
"Don't touch these," she scolded, "They still have to cool"

I thought about waiting, but my feet were so sore
I knew I could not stand even one minute more
There in the corner of the den was a seat
A place to watch TV while I rested my feet

Granny busied herself and washed all the dishes
And I could hear her sing sweetly about holiday wishes
The strangest song, by far, that Granny did sing
Was about how children these days never do anything

Just as she sang, "That's why kids have grown stout"
I heard a commotion and cookie from the kitchen dashed out
"Hey! You're for me!" I called with genuine surprise
And that cookie yelled back with a voice twice his size

"Your dear Granny's right," he said, giving his hat a flick.
"Kids like you sit so much, it just makes me sick."
And with that he was gone, he rushed out the front door
I stood up and followed. I just had to see more.

The man raced up the street, yelling cruelly and lispy
"I'm a delicious cookie, delicate and crispy.
I'll let someone eat me, but first you must prove
That you won't get winded by how fast you must move!"

One by one, eager children from their houses did peer
Hoping the ginger man would be perfectly near
So they wouldn't have need to break into a run
Because for young children, running just isn't fun

I peered through the window of a boy on my street
I noticed the sofa was formed to his seat
His mother was screeching, "Sonny, get that rude treat!"
But he just responded, "That treat isn't so neat."

"I've got other things that are calling my name.
And I don't have to move to keep playing my game."

The ginger man hopped gleefully, and taunted our block
"Will no one come get me? Are you slowed by your stock?"
And he let forth a cackle, and his sprinkles did dances
While he contorted his face into awful, mean glances

After nearly an hour, and all kinds of ruckus
Mrs. Jackson couldn't take it and got off of her tuckus
She sent her dog Furball to catch the rogue snack
Furball's belly was dragging, his pace rather slack

The dog walked a few feet toward the cookie, then stopped
And Furball flopped down with an enormous kerplop
"Oho!" yelled the cookie with vigor and glee
"Looks like Furball's too chubby to come after me!"

An older boy, Sam, had heard quite enough
Of the ginger man's taunting. It was time to get tough
Sam thought his skateboard would give him great speed
He could zoom at the cookie and catch him indeed

So Sam mounted his board and showed us his best
Tricks and smooth moves. All of us were impressed
But the cookie had plenty of moves of his own
It didn't take long before Sam headed home

Young and old all alike soon became tired of the show
But the gingerbread man's heckling only did grow
My neighbors and friends all went back to their resting
We'd all had enough of the cookie man's jesting

I wanted to leave, I wanted to quit
I wanted to lie down, or at least stop and sit
But something seemed wrong with just going back home
It seemed far too risky to leave the cookie alone

Suddenly it hit me - one glorious muse!
And I remembered the things I once used to do
Afternoons spent at play; parks, slides and trees
I once took great pleasure in things such as these

And so I spoke up and yelled to the treat
I had to make clear I would not be beat
"Mr. Ginger," I yelled as politely as I could
"I think you have me misunderstood."

"You think I'll give up; you're sure I'll give in,
If I got back home now, you'll certainly win."
And so I stood tall, then broke into a sprint
I followed that cookie wherever he went

Though it took a long time, the spry treat did grow weary
He smiled right at me, his candy eyes looking teary
"I knew you could do it, your energy was reserved
Take a bite, dear child, for this treat is deserved."

The End!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nearly 40,000 Words and a Gluten-Free Spread

I hope never to repeat such a lengthy blogging absence! We had a whirlwind beginning to November, and the raging winds are just starting to settle -- only to be replaced by ice! That's right, Thanksgiving plans around my area are being rescheduled or canceled due to freezing rain and icy roads. I suppose that is the one upside to spending the holidays at home. I am glad I was not planning to travel this weekend.

By the end of today I should have over 40,000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel. I finally hit my stride around 30,000 words and discovered that the climax of my story is a gem. Unfortunately everything that leads up to it is rather shoddy. But, it is a starting point, even if it is a starting point that I will have to work backwards from. In the off-chance that something actually becomes of this novel, it is probably best for me not to give away the best part. Trust me when I say that it is intense and emotionally thought-provoking. How's that for a teaser? :)

All of this writing has made me miss the Older Series. I miss Jakobis and Amara and I can't wait to get back to their story. I think it has been good for me to walk away from it for a time, but I am starting to ache for the characters I know and love. I hope this will propel me to great editing come December 1! Feel free to harrass me (daily, if necessary) to stay on task and finish what I've started.

I've also been spending my time learning how to cook gluten free food. I will spare the gory details of my wonderful digestive system, but will tell you that after every possible acid-reducer could not curb my heartburn, I decided it would be worth taking my health into my own hands. So far things are going quite well, but cooking has become far more of an adventure than it ever has been! I've got homemade gluten free bread crumbs ready for a baked stuffing, and I just pulled a dozen dinner rolls out of the oven. They smell delicious! Even though tomorrow will be my first gluten free Thanksgiving, it is something I am very much looking forward to. I hope your holiday is filled with food, family, friends and memories you can treasure for the years to come. I'd love to hear what your plans are, what you are writing, or anything else you might like to share. Comment away!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tomorrow's the Day...and Other Novel Thoughts

I apologize for such a lengthy absence from blogging. As usual for me, fall weather approached and my body rejoiced by getting sick. Everyone in my house has a lousy cold, but I think I am finally on the mend. Just in time too! Book signing at Merry Bee's in Hampton is tomorrow from 1-3. Stop by to get a signed copy of Seeking Solace, and be sure to check out Delbert Beard's book Daddy, as well. Merry Bee's is a wonderful place to sit and relax with family or friends over a cup of coffee, or a bowl of their delicious soup. My favorite is the Cheesy Potato, but you can't go wrong with any selections you make there. No one asked me to make a plug for them. I just can't help it! :)

In addition to making a stop in Hampton for a book signing, I am busy writing a novel during National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo , as it is called, is a thirty-day scramble to write the rough draft of a fiction novel. Aspiring writers agree to check their internal editors at the door in order to allow creativity to roam freely. This year I am taking a break from the Older Series to write a piece of realistic fiction. I am hoping that a break will reinvigorate me so that I can leap back into editing book 2 of the Older Series - tentatively titled Walking in Darkness. The only thing I can tell you about book 2 is what my husband said after reading an early draft: "It is definitely book 2...I am waiting for book 3 to help me see what is going to happen!" But for now, I will content myself with a steaming cup of chai, a book-signing event tomorrow, and roughly hewn words of a piece of realistic fiction.

What does this November day hold for you?