Today marks the final day of the Warm Fuzzies blogfest. I’m not quite sure where the last four weeks went, but here we are, over halfway through with November, hurtling our way to the winter holidays.
Our prompt for the week is a bit of a timely one, given that I am easing my way out of a rough writing patch and trying to regain momentum with NaNoWriMo:
This week, post what makes writing worth it for you and most importantly, post one of your Warm Fuzzy moments. It can be a scene from a WIP, short story, poem, anything that strikes your fancy. Visit one another’s posts and enjoy the writing you find there.
Writing involves blood and sweat and tears (the blood is hopefully metaphorical, unless we are discussing paper cuts). It can be stressful, frightening, disheartening. Sometimes I can end my writing time feeling down-in-the-dumps pathetic, like I’m the worst writer to walk the face of the planet, and how in the world am I ever going to turn this piece of tripe into something that people want to read, let alone pay for?
Sometimes, it helps for me to think of writing as a sort of treasure hunt, or some vast archaeological dig. I like to imagine myself the intrepid adventurer on a quest, armed with a map and some tools, along with a folder holding the bits of research and scraps of paper and a clue or two.
No matter how detailed my preparation for the excursion, however, I never fail to wander into unmarked territory. It’s in those unmarked spaces that I find the most unexpected gems, the most valuable pieces of treasure. It’s in those off-the-beaten-path spots where I suddenly find the capacity to listen.
Sometimes the things I hear resonate with the guideposts on my map; sometimes they take me into brand new territory. No matter what, this is where the magic happens. Characters suddenly reveal a handful of new secrets. Mundane settings become more vibrant. Flat, uninteresting plots gain complexity, along with a few twists and turns. Ideas are infused with life, with passion and vibrancy and wants and needs,
This is why I write, aside from the fact that there are characters chirping in my ear, demanding that their stories be told. I write because I can’t get enough of this strange extrasensory perception, this third eye that allows me to see and to hear things that don’t exist. I write because I have the faith that my hard work will be rewarded with those wonderful, incandescent moments of joy, when a scene that’s been hazy and vague suddenly crystallizes in my mind.
Given the furious pace of NaNoWriMo, it’s been difficult to tap into my writerly ESP, to take the time to sit down and just listen to what my characters want and need. It’s one of the things that I’m hoping to do this weekend, because I know the story needs an injection of vitality, a little (or maybe a lot) extra oomph.
All of this is a roundabout way to preface my excerpt, which is not taken from my NaNo novel (sorry, guys, it just doesn’t have that “zing” right now). Instead, I’m posting a flash fiction piece that I wrote for a Halloween-themed challenge last month. You can find the original post here. I love this piece because it’s a little creepy, moody, and dark, which is out-of-the-ordinary for me.
Enjoy, and be sure to swing by and visit the other bloggers taking part in the Warm Fuzzies blogfest!
It was a small thing, really: a single globule of blood, no larger than a dewdrop and just as delicate. If Alaric hadn’t been starving, his veins parched and dry, it would’ve been easy enough to ignore. Restraint and willpower had always been his strengths, even before he was reborn. But then again, he had never been deprived of sustenance for so long. There was no way he could withstand such temptation.
That drop of blood was a siren’s song of lust and desire, flooding his mouth with saliva, sharpening his gleaming fangs. It gleamed in the flickering glow of the streetlamp, adorning the whore’s neck like the most precious ruby.
She’d been bitten already — a sloppy kiss from a drunkard, for her intoxicating bouquet was tainted by the acrid, burnt smell of whiskey. With his preternatural senses, he could hear the beating of her heart, the borborygmic trembling of her stomach; she was hungry as well, her face pinched and pale beneath a heavy coating of rouge. It mattered little. By the time Alaric was through, food — or lack thereof — would be the least of her worries.
The whore turned limpid eyes upon him, lips parted in a drawl of invitation, and Alaric’s hands shook as his slid the coin into her hand. A thrill of delight coursed down his spine as he followed her into the dank alley nearby, even as his conscience uttered one final whimper of protest.