littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Writing is like Exercise

I was recently rewriting my About Me page, when I started thinking about hobbies I enjoy. One of them, which I didn’t mention, is Boxing.

Recently, within the last two months, I’ve started eating healthily and exercising. I now go to the gym and I have a personal trainer named Jess. I often do boxing exercises when I work out with Jess; I find it motivates me, I enjoy it, and I’ve always carried a store of anger with me that it lets me express.

Exercise also helps me in my writing, if for no other reason than my characters live active, dangerous lives, and working my body helps me put myself in theirs.

But I’ve also begun thinking recently that, although many writers don’t do a whole lot of exercise — indeed, for a while in my own writing, I’ve used the fact that I’m a writer as an excuse why I didn’t have to exercise — the two activities aren’t so different.

Both require discipline of sorts. Both are beneficial; one to the mind, and the other to the body. I’ve even begun to think that the two things together are important to the whole, that a person needs both to be a satisfied or balanced person.

Balance, I’ve thought for a while now, is important in anyone. Not extremes, which makes you biased and closed-minded, but a medium between them.

Of course, I believe that bias is inevitable in any person. No matter who you are, I believe there’s always something to overcome. But the point is, in the case of brain vs. brawn, of athletes versus writers, there need not even be a contest.

If books are soul food, then exercise is just as important for movement. That feeling in your muscles… is life speaking to you. And that’s just as important as the words you use to describe it.


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Soft Like Stone

I put my bookmark in
hard as stone
slipping like shale
back into the pages
of my life.

I can’t deal with it now.

I want to believe it’s tough
it’ll hold
just like I do
But I know
stone is soft; it cracks.

It’s cracking up
like my heart.

Inspired by this.


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Trifecta – Trapped

All she could hear was the dull thud of stone behind her and the dirt as she rolled it under her shoes absently, so faint it could’ve been her heart beating.

She huffed.

The hunger came and went. It was day two down here. It was about time she got rescued, wasn’t it? She looked down at her left foot, the one that wasn’t moving. The one that remained painfully still, the one revealed from her shoe, caked in dry blood.

She couldn’t climb out of here. Hell, she couldn’t even walk out of here. When she heard echoed voices yesterday, she had screamed for help. She was beginning to think she would die down here.

She looked down at her bloodied foot. It would hurt to stand up on it again. It would bleed. Even if she favoured the other foot, it was going to kill. She squeezed her eyes shut, imagining that blood oozing out again, picturing the pain. She didn’t want to, she didn’t want to, she didn’t want to!

She opened them.

That was no good. She could think about it.

She couldn’t do it. No.

Then what? That gentle thud came back to her again. It was starting to irritate her. “Go away!” she shouted to whatever animal was doing it. She was beyond rescue. Which was why she had to rescue herself.

“Okay,” she said, breathing in again. She could do this; she had to.

Dragging herself along to the cave wall, she pushed up to stand with her right leg. Her left soon joined in.

“Aah!” she cried, feeling the burning of her blood. She rested against the wall, squeezing her eyes against the thought, instead following the course of the cave in her mind, following Jonathan in her mind. Where had he gone? Had he found help?

Soon the darkness of her mind closed in on her imagination self, and her eyes popped open. No, that wouldn’t happen… it couldn’t.

There was a crash. “Anna!”

Prompt taken from Trifecta (and inspired by my last flash fiction).


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Trifecta – Hack

His joints strained under the pickaxe hacking at stone. “I’m tired of safety… I have to move… I’ll be dead too.”

Alan stopped him. “I love you because you’re different. Don’t do this.”

Prompt taken from this weekend’s Trifecta.


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Trifecta – All About Me

It was a bull in both directions; in one hand, I had this constant, cureless rage. In the other, I had him, always after my blood.

I huffed, exhausted. I’m tired of running.

Prompt from Trifecta. Simple one this week.


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World Building: Australia’s Forest Mountains

What is the dominant note of Australian Scenery? That which, is the dominant note of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry—Weird Melancholy. … The Australian mountain forests are funereal, secret, stern. Their solitude is desolation. They seem to stifle in their black gorges a story of sullen despair. No tender sentiment is nourished in their shade. In other lands the dying year is mourned, the falling leaves drop lightly on his bier. In the Australian forests no leaves fall. The savage winds’ shout among the rock clefts, from the melancholy gums strips of white bark hang and rustle. The very animal life of these frowning hills is either grotesque or ghostly. Great gray kangaroos hop noiselessly over the coarse grass. Flights of white cockatoos stream out shrieking like evil souls. The sun suddenly sinks, and the mopokes burst out into horrible peals of semi-human laughter. The natives aver that when night comes, from out the bottomless depths of some lagoon the Bunyip rises, and in form like a monstrous sea-calf, drags his loathsome length from out the ooze. … All is fear-inspiring and gloomy. No bright fancies are linked with the memories of the mountains. Hopeless explorers have named them out of their sufferings—Mount Misery, Mount Dreadful, Mount Despair.— Marcus Clarke, “Australian Scenery,” Australian Tales, 1896

Found at The Literary Piano.

I know I haven’t talked much about any of the characters that constantly walk around in my head. The above quote, a reference to the setting of the novels I’ve spent years trying to write, speaks powerfully to their mood.

The story I’ve been working on at the moment is about a girl named Dawn who lives alone with her father and adoptive sister. Her relationship with her father is abusive, and she dreams of running away. When she finally does, her life begins to unravel until she ends up alone, molested and tormented.

And then she discovers she’s a vampire.

The story’s about her quest for revenge, and her search for a better life.

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Image from Serena Lawless’s tumblr

This image evokes Dawn’s home very strongly. It’s a panelled, two-storey home in a remote area of Australia’s forested mountains. Stilts hold up the front of the house, which is painted green. Dawn’s room is on the second storey, overlooking the forest below.

The view looking up through the trees illustrates the downhill path she took away from her house, and the time of day she finally escapes.


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Trifecta – Reading Challenge

My boot was gone. Actually gone.

I clutched its mate to my chest like a baby, though of course it was futile. What is one boot without the other boot? It is nothing.

The prompt this weekend was a reading challenge, so I’ll be putting off the short series I’ve been writing until next week. The weekend’s prompt for Trifecta is taken from Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I finished it recently; it’s quite a good book.


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Trifecta – Mouth

It was a dirty, rundown city. First she’d run from her kidnappers, only to discover she was far from home, in a foreign country, now again facing the mouth of the cellar where they’d kept her bound up.

She ran harsh, coarse fingers through her dirty yellow hair, feeling stress and fear overtake her once again.

They’d find her. She was still lost in this building, and soon they’d find her. They’d beat her again. Oh, why was she here?

It was impossible. She broke down for a moment under the window, crouched down close to the ground, fingers still in her hair.

Maybe they wouldn’t find her if they couldn’t see her through the window. Even she knew that was a lie. How long had she been running? It was inevitable now. She almost wished they’d find her now, so they could complete her torture and be done with it.

But wait. Footsteps.

They clacked down the adjacent hall just to her right. Any moment now, it didn’t even matter how soon she wished for it or not. Any minute…

He emerged, freezing as he spotted her. He looked from her, to the mouth. She followed his gaze to the sign, engraved into black-painted wood: 出口 deguchi… Exit.

She sounded out each syllable in shock, speaking slowly. “De… guchi…”

Suddenly, the stranger spoke. “Hayaku!” Pulling her up, he yanked her startlingly along. Who was this man? Was he trying to save her, or…?

They burst outside. Safe… or maybe not.

“Hayaku!” he cried, and she was yanked again, double shock to her system. She looked ahead of her, beyond the sight of him beside her… a pair of gates. He was helping her escape.

Then everything exploded as the air ripped into a whirlwind around her and dust flew up, dirtying her more.

So close… she was almost there…

Her skin was ripped open, her bones feeling bent and her blood gushing. The man pulled her harder…

And somehow, they escaped.

Prompt inspired by Trifecta and the header of this site.

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Trifecta – Survive

They were all wrong. He had survived his two divorces, job changes, and now… the apocalypse.

“That’s why people don’t like you,” Debra, his first wife, insisted. “You’re always bringing people down.”

But he wasn’t always bringing people. All he wanted to do was lift them up. The world was too full of doomsayers and critics; if humanity had started like this, we wouldn’t have made it this far.

Was it so wrong because he happened to see the world as it was?

The apocalypse hadn’t come; the rumours had passed like they always did. So what was there left survive?

“Dad, I need money to fix my skateboard,” his son told him, hand held out expectantly.

Oh, right. “What happened to the money I just gave you?”

“Had to use it for lunch when I was out with my friends.”

He rolled his eyes. “I’m not giving you another cent until you can prove you can spend it responsibly.”

The usual arguments. Bill sagged against the sofa. Now he understood the doomsayers. If life was this vain, maybe an apocalypse could teach us all to live again.

The least he could do until then was drag himself through and try to find the meaning to it. Together with his family, they had to survive this dreary apocalypse of lethargy, asleep at the wheel of our own destruction.

New Years prompt for Trifecta.


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Forget Doomsday; let’s start over with Chinese New Year!

I was wondering recently… Why are the Mayans and their so-called doomsday prophecy so famous, and Chinese New Year is left on the back burner?

The truth is, the Mayan prophecy is just the end of an era for the Mayans. It doesn’t mean that we’re all going to die, just that now’s the chance to decide where to go from here, with all there is to worry about in this modern world.

If we’re speaking of foreign calendars, then the Chinese New Year can contrast with the Mayan calendar, and act as our redemption.

Let’s celebrate the spring of new beginnings with the start of Chinese New Year next February 10. It’s the Year of the Snake this year, which is my animal, so I guess it’s more significant for being my year as well.

This is my year to get active. Especially since I’ve already begun my new life on the Sunshine Coast, this will be my year of working, writing, surfing, and perhaps even blogging.

Start here and discover the truth. Mayan calendars were often misunderstood. Don’t waste your second chance not understanding the Chinese one.