Excerpts: ‘Hidden Wings’

Find the Hidden Wings storyboard on Pinterest

The sky was still, a solid gray canvas that leant itself well to the dismal castle atmosphere. Her eyes searched eagerly above for movement, some sign of change, and today she would not be disappointed. There, in the distance, was the all too recognizable movement of wings. Before she knew it and before her guard had realized it, she was running down the dirt roads, skirts in hand, following the only bird she had seen in months. And she wouldn’t stop for anyone, not even the trees of Umbragh, as she dove headlong into their dark shadows.

What a bird! So small and fragile, and yet it had come so very far. It hopped about her palm, finally settling on clutching to her fingers. It sang a short melody, making her smile, but then the melody was answered by another and another. Birds singing so close she hardly argued with her curiosity; she followed the song. Ducking under a low-lying branch, she was greeted by an enormous flurry of wings. Dozens upon dozens of birds fluttered about, but they all seemed focused on the center of the clearing. There stood a young woman with flaming red hair and dark clothes; she turned to look at her. “Welcome to our haven.” The woman curtsied, but only slightly.
“The birds,” the princess replied. “It’s impossible.”

She sat on the edge of the torn tower, watching as the golden bird, a present from her new friends, flitted back and forth between her and the open air. A shot rang out, striking the outer wall. The bird ducked back into the princess’s hand and she made sure to slip down the stairs without being seen.

The hummingbird whizzed around the room, evading several large hats and wigs, making its way up the stairs to the second floor. It made instant conversation, some of which she understood and most she didn’t. The door swung open and the bird nestled into her hair.
“What a lovely little bird, darling,” her stepmother exclaimed, adjusting it slightly in her hair.


Excerpt: ‘She Was Left As a Warning’

She was left as a warning. The bridge was not to be crossed again. She lay at the center of the long cracked stone, a still-lit lantern flickering beside her, her white dress as pristine as it was when she left home the day before. If anyone else had passed her, they might have thought her asleep, the pale pink glow of life still hung about her cheeks. If anyone else had passed… But they didn’t. Another three days passed before she was discovered, lantern still fiercely burning. Another three days before the bridge was even approached closely enough for her angelic form to be noticed. The traders, carrying furs and fabrics, raised the alarm.

Her death, the daughter of the mayor, was a striking blow to the community. She was brought home on top of the furs and fabrics in the traders’ cart, lantern left behind. The trees across the bridge shook with the sudden force of wind and the traders looked back, convinced someone was watching. They left the scene quickly, cart clattering over the dirt road back toward the village. The gate was opened once again for them, and they were greeted with grief and alarm as they reached the steps of the city’s community hall. She was carried up the steps on a blanket of grey rabbit fur and laid down at the mayor’s feet. The crowd that had gathered upon the spreading of such news watched in quiet and expectant shock.

The mayor demanded an explanation, frozen on the spot as he stared down at his lost daughter. The traders glanced at one another, each waiting for the other to speak. The younger, a soul of merely twenty-four years, stepped forward.

“We found her on the bridge,” the trader said and gestured back down the dirt path from which they came. A woman, with the harshness of the world and the love of a full life etched on her face, pushed her way through the whispering crowd, but stopped when she reached the steps. Her hands covered her first sob as she fell to her knees, shaking her head and practically collapsing onto the steps before her. This sudden outpouring of grief from the mayor’s wife, a woman known for her strength and composure, woke the hitherto quieted emotions of the crowd surrounding her. Their anger, confusion, grief, and fear pressed forward onto the traders, the shoulders of the sobbing mother, and the mayor, consumed by disbelief.


Notebook Shopping: Online Window Shopping

There are many, many, many, notebooks I would love to buy in one massive splurge; I get emails from Knock Knock, Paper Source, Barnes & Noble, all of which show off such pretty and inspirational notebooks. Doomed to never-ending lists of beautiful notebooks, I’ve given in and started online window shopping. Here are my top notebooks suppliers:

Knock Knock

Knock Knock is sarcasm and inner frustrations printed prominently on notebooks, notepads, and other helpful office supplies. In addition to relatable notepads like My Portable Pessimist or Paper Tantrum, there are notebooks featuring fun designs and even notebooks to achieve inner peace, like I’m So Freaking Freaked Out or I’m Kind of Awesome or The F*ck It List.

Paper Source

Paper Source is all about the aesthetics. Even offering customizable options, Paper Source has a lot of well-designed, high-quality choices. Spanning nearly every aesthetic, even visiting the site makes me wish I had a whole separate budget just for stationery stores. Watercolor Notes, Cavallini Vintage Clocks, and the Gold Star Journal are only the beginning of a great varied collection.

Anne Taintor

Anne Taintor might not have notebooks, but there are notepads. And they make my day at least ten times better with their clever, bitter, sarcastic humor. We Go Together Like Drunk and Disorderly is a personal favorite, along with Success is 1% Inspiration 99% Caffeine. The entire brand crushes expectations of pretty 1940s/1950s housewife images, and it all started with phrases like “Born to Be Wild,” and “Intellectuals Gone Bad.”

Notebooks make up a large part of a writer’s expenses, and understandably so; they are creative and inspirational. When in doubt, buy a notebook. Or, use one of the many you probably already have.

April 21: Thursday is Friday

Procrastination plagues even the best of us. Sometimes everything that needs to be done in a day looks overwhelming and the urge to just not can win the day instead. But, hark! There is a solution: lists.

Aside from obvious reasons for owning notebooks as a writer, one of the main reasons I own so many notepads is to make lists, breaking down Mount Overwhelming into tiny rocks of I-Can-Do-That ore.

For example – Today:

  • Feed self
  • Clean room
  • Reading Challenge
  • Schoolwork
  • Upcoming blog posts
  • Daily writing stretch
  • Early to bed

That’s a basic example, but it reduces the pressure of a busy day, especially when you also have writing bouncing around the back of your mind as well. The process works just as well for any writing project, from an overall outline kind of list to a list of character likes and dislikes.

Still a university student, I usually don’t have classes on Fridays, making them available for household tasks and for creative influx. Keeping all my tasks listed out means less time being stressed and more time being creative.

Whether you make your lists on notepaper, sticky notes, an app, or Excel spreadsheets, lists are a highly recommended part of organizing writing, work, and a busy mind.

Pinterest: A Writer’s Toolbox

Many writers feel that sense of shyness around their writing, hesitant to share their work with the outside world. Pinterest forced my words into the open and helped to establish a disconnect; my writing isn’t my baby to shield from the world, it’s a form of art that should be shared. Whether or not my writing is high or low art is a subject for debate, but letting it be free turned out to be much more satisfying than I expected.

I started posting blurbs and prompts on Pinterest over a year ago, and the collection has grown consistently. The prompts will double-post on here; the site will start at #1, while the Pinterest continues from the most recent number. When a blurb or prompt grows into a story idea, likely to keep developing, the idea gets its own storyboard. These storyboards do not encompass all my work, but are a visual addendum.

Daily Writing Blurb: Prompt #1

Linked above is the very first prompt written and featured on my Pinterest, inspired by the photograph used. Most of the prompts written are inspired by or based on images that I did not create myself. Instead, I start from that visual inspiration and develop it into a written blurb, something anyone can use to further create their own story. Like a virtual plot bunny jar, you can pick a random number between #1 and the most recent number (currently #658) to find a workable prompt, for nearly any possible genre.

Check out Bits & Baubles; Bits & Baubles, Part 2; and Writer, for writing tips and motivation!

Disney Revival Rundown: ‘The Princess and the Frog’

This article was originally published on Rotoscopers.com

Welcome to the Disney Revival Rundown! This week, we at Rotoscopers are analyzing some of the most recent Disney animated films and looking at what makes each one so great. At the end of the series we will have a fan vote to determine which film is the best of them all!

With the Disney Revival brought about by CG films Meet the Robinsons and Bolt, Disney returned to its traditional 2D animation with The Princess and the Frog in 2009. This was Disney’s first fully 2D animated film since Home on the Range (2004). This film brought to Disney the first African-American princess, who became one of the four non-Caucasian Disney princesses and the second American princess…

Read more on Rotoscopers.com