Eve and Adam, A Project Nearly Complete

My newest short story, Eve and Adam, is something that I have been writing for just over one year. I promise you that it will not be a romance, as that would betray my usual writing style. ;)

The short story began on my third day in the rocky mountains while working at the Delta Lodge in Kananaskis. The new scenery, the travel, and the song called “Miracle Cure” by Seawolf helped the story line flow. I actually published the first draft of it on this blog, but have since edited and added more to it. My sister is already designing the book cover, which makes me very excited and it feels like it is really coming together!

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It is a story about two young misfits. Eve is from a cult village while Adam is from a small town with Southern Baptist roots. While innocent, Eve has a strange mind frame that is just as dangerous as Adam’s suicidal ideations. Their paths cross just a moment before Adam slits his wrists deep enough to kill himself.

Eve and Adam’s opening paragraphs:

Floating circles of red, yellow, and green rose above the long grass and I dropped the knife. Blinking, I sat up on my knees, wondering whether I was dreaming or already dead. The colourful spheres had an owner. A slender girl skipped toward me, holding a cluster of helium balloons with one hand. Her giddy gait, flowing brown skirt, and wide smile mocked my fatal intentions.
Blood smeared the sharp blade in the dewy grass. I stood and slid my reddened hands into my pockets, cringing at how she would react at the sight of a random man sprouting out of nowhere. The girl waved at me. Apparently seeing a weirdo on the top of the rise was normal to her.

I am in the phase of seeking out beta readers before hiring an editor. If anyone is interested in giving this short story a read (It is at 26 pages right now) then I would be very grateful to you. I really want to get it right and this story is so important to me. I want every reader to feel the heart, emotion, and pain that I felt as I wrote these characters and their circumstances into being.

Please let me know if you are interested in giving me a critique – it can be as simple as “Great book, but work on this…” to a very detailed analysis. I want as much honesty and candor as possible before I show it to an editor.

Thank you, my amazing blogger friends!

Writing In Banff And Soon, In The Wilderness of B.C.

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(Source: Me)

My last few days in this thriving little mountain city have been very productive for my writing. I finished editing/adding to one of my short stories I started just over one year ago. I finally went to that little café and the large windows, quaint atmosphere, and mellow customers turned out to be the perfect setting. If only I had discovered it months ago, but alas, there’s a time and place for nearly everything.

Tonight, I am leaving the place I have called home for nearly one year, and some good people, to take a long bus ride to northern B.C. It will be my first time ever in the province, and though I have longed to see the Pacific Ocean for quite some time, I do look forward to some natural solitude and a change of pace at the wilderness lodge I will be working at for two and a half months. I plan to do a lot of writing on my off time, along with some hiking and exploring of course. I think it will be great, and hopefully it will feel like a retreat.

Banff, Alberta has been an excellent place for inspiration as well, but I suppose it’s correct to say that I have outgrown it. I’ll never forget how much I loved it when I first started living here, though, the mountains surrounding a fun little town where I have met so many interesting people. It’s hard to move on in some ways, I’ll be honest.

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(Source: Me)

I am going to miss Banff, but the change of location will be good for me and my writing, I think. More travel is always exciting, and I’m looking forward to the scenic view and chance to write a lot on the day-long bus ride.

Time & Life

On opposite couches they sat. Talking about everything as the movie droned on in the background. It was her last evening living at the house. Tomorrow she would be staying in a hostel and working at a new job.
“You are not alone,” he said.
After a while, he went to her sofa to show her a picture. The time passed so quickly as they lost track of time, entranced by one another.
Early in the morning, they held one another as the rain fell. The dimness and the soft pattering created a calming mood that matched their own and a wonderful setting for the moment in time where two people become closer. Maybe he was right. Maybe she wouldn’t feel so alone, after all.

Flash Fiction Withdrawal & My Novel

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There is something about writing in the style of flash fiction that awakens my creativity and aids my writing process. I was doing so well on my novel, the story line and characters were flowing so well, but then I reached a stand still around page 130. This seems to be the case with almost all of my longer works – which are not even considered full length novels by any means. I have always wondered if I am better suited to write novellas and short stories. I think it is probably true. But I am still going to finish my novel. It will be challenging, and a lot of work, but the story and characters mean so much to me that I couldn’t leave it hanging. I will see it through to the end, and I will start scheduling time in my days to work on it exclusively.

As a reward for finishing at least 1,000 words for my novel each day, I will write some flash fiction. As an extra source of motivation, I will blog about my progress with the novel. I really am excited to dive into it again.


What writing projects and goals are you working on this month?

Happy writing!

Z Is For Zoetic

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He took a deep breath while scrubbing his bloody hands. His clothes were caked in blood, and flies encircled the barrels full of severed arms and legs. After wrestling terrified men to the operating table and slicing through flesh and bone for ten hours, he needed water.

“You there!” he shouted at one of his assistants. “Dump those fucking limbs into the water.”

The screams had turned into groans, but he could tolerate the latter far better. The rest of their wounded still lay on the battlefield, waiting for the wagons to bring them back to the camp.

Waiting to be subject to weary surgeon hands.

Among the filthy, agonized faces, he had not seen the young foot soldier that had spoken to him days before the battle. The lad, who was named Jonathan Greene, asked him so many questions about advances in medicine and surgery. The world’s new, bright individuals were being hacked apart as the weeks dragged on.

He found one of the lieutenants and asked for Greene.

“I have not seen him,” the older man answered grimly.

Doctor Hill signalled for the driver of the next empty horse-drawn cart to stop.

“I will help you collect the wounded.” He had wanted to say “mutilated”, but he hadn’t had the energy.

Away from the camp of horrors, cool wind kissed his face. It felt almost unnatural for him to be sitting down. He winced when the farm horse carried them over the hill toward the sea of helpless soldiers. Fog seeped over the bodies whose uniforms were damp and bloody, as though nature were embarrassed by the human cruelty and felt the need to cover the casualties.

The cart halted and the surgeon jumped off. He stared into the pale faces of the dead. A pained whisper came from his left. “Help…”

He stopped to pick up a man and then carried him over to the cart. Yet another one in need of an amputation. Somewhere, Greene laid alone, likely dead and cold. Gone forever, without the honour a good-bye. Or he would be alive and wishing for death.

“Doctor…”

A soldier appearing to be around Greene’s age attempted to sit up, only to cry out from the exertion and fall back. The doctor went to him. The boy’s torso had been ripped open so badly that some of his intestines poked through the wound. No chance of him surviving.

Doctor Hill took the soldier’s icy hand. “God be with you, son.”

He stood and walked away in search of someone that he could help and became overwhelmed by the thickness of the mists and by death’s stench.

Y Is For Young

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Staring out at the flaming sunset, hopelessness crept through Padme. She had always imagined that she would grow stronger as she became older. Being Queen at the age of fourteen, no one, especially not herself, would have expected that she would fall in love so easily nor that she could become so weak.

She touched the glass, thinking of the times when all that she could think about was negotiating with tyrants or forming treaties with other planets.

Had all of her work had been in vain? The inevitable dawn of the Empire had wiped away everything that she and the other leaders on her side fought for. Love for him had taken her strength away, and she had an eerie feeling that she would never get it back. Deep down, she had known the cost and still chose to marry him.

What if his dreams were right? Would she die in childbirth?

Her thoughts wandered back to Tatooine. The moment she befriended the inquisitive boy had sealed her destiny. She remembered watching the binary sunset, torn with the choice between trusting the pod racer or forming another strategy. Years later, the two of them returned in search of his mother and watched the beautiful evening display together. She wondered if her unborn child would see it one day.

Macabre thoughts intruded on her hopeful musings of the future. As much as she longed to continue fighting for democracy and freedom, she felt as though she were on the cusp of death. Perhaps she had accomplished everything that she needed to do in her life. Her twenty-eighth birthday was still months away, but her will to live seemed in sync with someone who had lived three times as long.

She closed her eyes and repeated the statement that she had uttered three years ago. “I am not afraid to die.”

- Sara Kjeldsen

**I know… since when do I write fan fiction? ;)

X Is For Xenophile

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His life as a car salesman living in the suburbs seemed to be part of a strange dream he longed to forget, but he had indeed been that person once. Night had fallen upon Paris, but tourists and locals remained outside to savour the warm evening.

He stared up at the Eiffel Tower and took a photograph of it. It would be his last night in the grand city, and then he would soon be on his way to Spain. He walked further until he reached the Seine River. The magical reflections of the lights reminded him of his outlook on the future – bright. In his old life, he felt so empty and robotic. But here he was, newly divorced and still young. Ready to travel the world. To reach out and discover another part of life that was waiting to be lived. Something that carried more purpose to him than working in an office all day just to come home to a large house that he did not have the time to enjoy.

“Hey.”

Her familiar Scandinavian accent made him smile. He did not think that she would bother meeting him, but she had kept her word.

“Hey yourself. So, where’s this place you were talking about?”

He had met her while browsing though old books at a second hand shop. She commented on the fact that they both had silly yellow backpacks and then suggested that he come with her to buy a loaf of the best fresh bread in the area.

“Come on!” she laughed, taking him by the hand.

They reached a busier street and he took in the sights and sounds of a world so different from the one that he came from. He admired the girl that had taken on the role of his tour guide, and he adored France, but he had a feeling that no place would feel like home for quite some time. He felt euphoric at that uncertainty, at the knowledge that he would meet so many strange, interesting people in the weeks to come.

He craved the exotic and the unusual. Everything that the people in his old New York neighbourhood would tell him he should despise, including this blonde girl who shared his passion for exploring other countries.

Somewhere back home, his older brother and his parents still went through the motions of trying to reach the American Dream. But he had found his dream – to travel and experience as many things as he could before he returned back home. If he ever did.

- Sara Kjeldsen

W Is For Wolf

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“Alina!”
She rolled her eyes at her father’s angry voice saturating the once quiet atmosphere. She looked over her shoulder at her white wolf.
“Winter, run ahead of me to the house so that he knows I will soon follow.”
Winter bounded through the woods for home. Alina took a deep breath. She already knew that a terrible fight was on the horizon.
When she emerged from the protection of the thick trees, her father was already stepping toward her. His scowl and angry oceanic eyes made her freeze in place.
“Viggo!” called her mother. “Remember that she is your daughter.”
Alina’s mother placed a hand over her heart and, with a fishing spear in her other hand, she strode away in the direction of the river.
Alina met her father’s eyes.
“Your refusal to wed the earl is not only a stab in my heart, but it is also a detriment to you.”
“Father, forgive me, but I will never marry the earl.”
“You disrespect me!”
“Why must you link respect for you with marrying that terrible character of a man? If he can call himself that.”
“Men often listen to their wives. You can influence him. Think of your future children and the life you will be providing for them as the wife of an earl.”
“The wife of an earl? Have you not listened to me and my friends speak of our plans to take part in your voyage? I am a shield maiden! Why can’t that exclude me from the barriers set for the regular women?”
He threw his hands up in the air. “Just like your mother.”
“Apparently not,” she muttered.
Both of them glared at one another with crossed arms. Winter sat close by, observing them as she often did.
“I am going to kill your wolf if you refuse to cooperate.”
Alina slammed both of her fists into his chest. “You are not going to lay a hand on her! If you do, you will have to kill me first!”
“What is wrong with you?” he shouted.
She took a deep breath to help calm her raging emotions.
“I have a better proposal for you. Since you and the earl obviously share a love for needless bloodshed, I wish to challenge him to a fight. If I win, I will go free. If he wins, he will kill me. I am never going to marry him.”
“Alina…”
“This is my offer.”
Her father’s blue eyes misted over.
“Father, you would fight to the death for your freedom, wouldn’t you? No one has ever challenged your desire to plan voyages, to wander the lands at will, and to challenge other men to duels.”
He shook his head. “You know that the earl would never accept your challenge.”
“Then I will leave this place. Father, you told me that I have a right to the life that I want. Remember this?”
“Yes, but-“
“I want to carve my own destiny. Like you.”
He touched her cheek with his hand. “You have eight brothers, yet none of them have shown as much determination as you have today. I am proud of you, Alina, but I can’t have my daughter exiled because of her defiance. I love my sons, but you are my light. Please, don’t leave your mother and I.”
Alina swallowed hard. She wrapped her arms around him. Though she was tall and strong now, he still dwarfed her.
“If I fight the earl, I can win. You and mother taught me well,” she smiled.
“He is an old man now, but do not underestimate his strength and skill. If he fights you, he will win.”
“Then I would die with honour! I will be a warrior maiden for all eternity.”
“Child of madness, why have the gods not blessed me with a daughter that will heed my word?”
“Perhaps they thought that it was fair to give you a daughter who matches your own resolve.”
His gaze darkened. “You should leave now. Take your wolf and stay with Lya’s family. I will meet you tomorrow and tell you the earl’s answer.”
Her heart raced. “You mean, you will request the challenge for me?”
“Yes. But I do not want you to be here, in case the early sends someone to capture you. Can you obey me in this?”
“Of course. Thank you, father. Tell mother that I…”
“I will,” he smiled sadly. “Now, go.”
She returned to the woods where she felt the most at home, but the thought that she would likely never live with her parents again sent a painful dose of reality that she did not expect.
Winter walked just ahead of her, always keeping watch of potential dangers. Alina thought of her courageous wolf as a soul mate. One day when she would join her father in the invasion of the west, Winter would fight at her side. They would always protect one another.
Alina reached Lya’s home and continued to walk. She would sleep by the river and go to Lya in the morning. The earl and his men would likely go searching for her in the night.

How she hoped that he would fight her. Nothing would make her life more meaningful than seeing the unjust tyrant’s blood soak the drought-ridden earth.

-Sara Kjeldsen

V Is For Vixen

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Orange flashed in the corner of his eye. He dug his heels into his chestnut mare and she took him up the hill in pursuit of the she-fox. It was his first hunt and he would make the first kill. Yelping and barking signalled that the hounds caught her scent. Her ladyship would be exceedingly impressed with him for contributing to her new winter coat. It was a chance to redeem himself for his father’s indiscretion and his little sister’s insufferable flirtations that happened to occur on a daily basis.

A long, haunting howl filled the air. He pulled on his horse’s reins at the sight of dogs forming a circle, snarling and snapping. It was then that he realized how much smaller she was. Her eyes darted back and forth, her rounded ears drew back against her head.

“Back!” he shouted at the dogs.

Only one of the hounds heeded his voice. This was not what he imagined. It was one thing to kill, it was another to torment and terrorize.

He swallowed, shaking hands holding his rifle. All he could think about was the fear in the vixen’s eyes. She was like a princess surrounded by raging infidels. Heart racing, he looked around to see if any of the other hunters were in sight.

No one.

He fired a bullet into the air. Shocked by the random sound, a few of the dogs jumped back. The fox saw her chance to flee, but the dogs in their superior strength caught up to her. One picked her up and held her in his powerful jaws.

“No!” he shouted. “Stop!”

Before his echoing voice vanished, they had already mauled her. In blood thirsty madness, the ravenous canines fled in search of their next prey. Still in the fallen leaves she laid. How had he been foolish enough to think that it could have gone any other way?

The vixen’s life brutally stolen to satisfy a fat, privileged lady. He jumped down from his mount, removed his jacket and knelt next to her.

“Curse your damn coat!” he cried.

Had her fur been a drab grey, no one would have bothered her. He wrapped her up in his coat. Her body was still warm. Moments ago, she had been wandering about the forest in bliss. His worst failure was this. He had behaved as nothing more than a savage, at her expense.

He remounted, and rode for the meadow of white wild flowers where he would leave her to rest in peace.

-Sara Kjeldsen

U Is For University

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Taken From: Ermilia Blog

“So, you finished that essay?”
“Yes. I decided to support the theory of dark matter in my writing.”
“Nice. I guess that’s why we didn’t see you last night at the Moon Festival.”
“Right.”
I sniffed and brought my attention to the grey doors of the Science and Mathematics Building. There were so many reasons why I could not go to the festival last evening. Violet being the main one.
“See you later, buddy. I should hand this in and start working on my project.”
“You physics guys are so boring.”
I exhaled loudly. “Then, why do you keep insisting that I hang out with you?”
“Just chill, man. I was being sarcastic.”
“Oh. Well then, I’ll meet you artsy people in an hour or so if you’ll be here for the noon day meal.”
“Wait. I just wanted to mention… Violet’s really into you. In a weird way.”
I almost laughed. “That’s putting it tritely.”
“She thinks that the blood moon last night was some kind of sign that you’re destined to be together.”
“Why?” I asked angrily. It was getting out of hand. I hadn’t asked for this. Why was this girl who believed in magic and other strange ideas so interested in a logical, aloof guy?
“She’s always been fascinated by the red glow your pupils give off when it grows dark.”
“She knows it is a genetic mutation.”
“Violet’s a romantic, but she also has a dark side. Be careful.”
“Uh, thanks. I think I’ll take your advice and just avoid her.”
I stepped briskly toward the building. I had a strange feeling, which rarely happened, about the university with its requirement for suit jackets and ties, in addition to the gothic culture. But the physics program was worth putting up with the other quirks. Or so I thought.
“Hi, Andrew.”
Her voice sent chills down my arms. Her black-rimmed hazel eyes seemed to glow.
“Hi, Violet.” Did she know that I knew how into me she is?
“I enrolled in a physics course.”
“Why?”
“For an arts project I am working on. I would like to use physics to enhance a principle I am trying to support.”
“Wow. Well, that’s good for you.”
Her expression grew dark. I was waiting for that.
“Will you help me with some of the math problems I need to do?”
“I don’t know. I already have a lot on my plate with my own work. You should probably ask someone else.”
I took a step back when she stepped forward. I had to look twice. Her eyes transformed from hazel to bloody. They were more red than mine had ever turned.
She grinned. “Something happened last night when the blood moon appeared, Andrew. And you’re going to regret not attending just because you did not wish to see me there.”

-Sara Kjeldsen