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A little while ago I wrote and posted The Reaper, only to realise that it was sloppy and basic writing. I swore to rewrite it and make it better. Aka, I wanted to develop the scene and let it come alive.

Here I am now, with an “improved” version with 332 instead of 157 words. I hope it turned out to the better and I’m sure it would improve a lot with a few more editing rounds. So let me know what you think of this – the 1st – editing round, and your guess, how many more rounds I would need to make it all shiny.

***

Ii see you are dying.”, says a voice from the other side of the little room.

“Yes.”

“Hm.”

The voice is now nearer and stops right opposite the bed. The men look at each other, while the first rays of the upcoming sun find their way through the thick curtains. Dust dances on them, but soon retires on the big wooden bed posts.

“Why don’t you sit and have a tea meanwhile? It won’t take too long.”, asks the dying one, coughs vehemently and adds in a hoarse voice. “The cups are fine porcelain from Chine. You can have them after I’m gone, if you would like to.”

The other man considers the offer shortly, taking a cup from the old nightstand and tuning it from one side to the other. It is a beautiful pattern that covers the thin porcelain, and even though he has lived that long it always amazes him that humans are capable of producing such fine arts. He carefully fills the cup with tea and looks again at the dying man.

“But that would mean I need to come back and collect them. Are you sure, this is what you want? Remember, your wife is still in best health.” He raises an eyebrow at the man in the bed and sips on his tea. It was delicious.

“Maybe not.” The dying one mumbles while looking down onto his bed covers. He hadn’t thought of Erica. It wasn’t her time. He had been reckless.

“I thought so.” The other replies and after a few more sips on his tea, he stands up, thanks the dying man for the invitation, pulls up his black hood and shoulders his scythe. “If you would be so kind and follow me now? It is time.”

The dying man sighs, “Finally.”, and slips away. Deeper into the soft pillows of his bed and into an endless blackness. The dancing dust would now also settle on until Erica come to refill his teapot.

Last night, the cute guy and I had some wine and told each other our family stories. It was a really nice evening and I enjoyed telling him the funny, sad and weird stories about my folks. Eventually, he asked me write it down and after having slept on it for one night and asking around on Twitter and G+ for other people’s opinion on this matter, I decided that I’m going to do it. I’m going to write a family story. My family’s story!

I’m quite excited about it and already spoke with my sister and my parents. They are more than happy to help me getting it all together and are going to provide as much information as possible! In addition I’m going to ask all of my other family members for their input and promise them a copy of the finished work :)

So today’s writing prompt for you is:

Write your family’s story!

Not only from when to when they lived, how many children they had and what their favourite pudding was. Write their stories! Write about what they did and why, what they experienced and eventually formed them into the person you might still remember fondly.

And if you have never met your grandparents, don’t worry, your parents got raised by them and I’m sure they can tell you the most hilarious things about your ancestors. The other thing is, don’t only look into the past … your family tree doesn’t end with you. Do you have brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews? Write about them, too.

In case you’re unsure about publishing it and risk hurting your loved one’s feelings, I got a great tip on G+ for that: Ask them what they think about you writing about them and if they should be unsure, give them an example of what you’d write and they can still tell you yes or no so that you can edit it accordingly.

And last but not least my personal tip: If nothing helps, just get them drunk and tell them you write for yourself and the family’s greater good. They will talk, no worries ;)

A Family Story

Guys, if you haven’t noticed it yet I’m going to tell you: It’s August! Which means, it’s almost November! Which means, NaNoWriMo is at our doorsteps!

Waaaah! Panic, everyone, panic! Now!

OK, OK. Calm down, gosh! ;)

Hehe, what a nice opening for something I first wasn’t thrilled about at all. You might remember that I said I wouldn’t participate in NaNo again, simply because it didn’t work for me and I ended up abandoning stories instead of finishing them. I was determinant, until I saw this year’s logo design.

NaNoWriMo 2014 - Your Boundless Novel by nanowrimo.org

NaNoWriMo 2014 – Your Boundless Novel by nanowrimo.org

Not only does it look gorgeous, it actually makes me want to write and participate in that 30 day madness thingy. What can I say, I’m a sucker for great designs … did you check out this years merchandise articles? I so love the mug, and the poster you can already see on their blog and don’t get me started on the notebook. Check out the poster design and read the full article about Your Boundless Novel here!

Sigh. So, here I am. August 2014 and all my resolutions to not participate in NaNoWriMo again got washed away by a new design and some nice looking merchandise articles. Let’s hope someone buys me that feckin’ mug and the notebook and that the muse will have me surfing on high creativity waves all through November.

How about you? Do you like this year’s NaNo design and does it make you want to write or do you not care?

From Night to Day

Ii couldn’t really decide if I loved watching the sun coming up or if I loathed it. On the one side, it was still dark and that darkness was calling me. On the other side, it was getting day and even though it was repelling me, it also begged me to stay. To see the day with my own eyes again after such a long time.

To be honest, I think I was scared. You might laugh, but I didn’t know what to expect. Would I catch fire and burn to ash, would I explode, would I scream in pain or would I simply just glitter?

I hoped I wouldn’t glitter. Just the thought of it sent shivers down my spine, but I also didn’t want to die. So as the sun finally illuminated the bay, I let first my fingertips and then my whole hand wander through its rays. It didn’t hurt and I didn’t glitter. I took a deep breath and stepped out of the darkness that still surrounded and separated me from the day.

Nothing happened.

I held my breath for ten minutes, but slowly relaxed as the sun started to warm my cold body through my protective layer of black cloths. It still didn’t hurt and all my expectations got crashed around noon, when I was still standing in the bay. Enjoying every sunbeam I could catch. It seamed the blood of the white-haired witch had done the trick.

But maybe I should go back for more, just to make sure.

This flash fiction is part of the story collection The Traveler Map. Click here for more parts.

The Pinterest logo by Pinterest

The Pinterest logo by Pinterest

A while ago someone on G+ said that he would start posting Pinterest pins he finds inspiring for his writing. I thought this is a brilliant idea and had a closer look at Pinterest myself.

Actually, I’m on Pinterest for about one year already, but never used it for more than pinning my own blog posts and once in a while liking other people’s pins. So my knowledge on how amazing that platform is was pretty basic.

As it turned out, I love it and love to develop and deepen my stories with it!

How Pinterest helps me write:

  • Create boards. The basic idea of Pinterest is to create boards and to pin your favourite pins (from other pinners and/or by adding a website) to them. For example, I created a board called Warriors since I know I’ll need warriors sooner or later for the story I’m currently working on. Then I literally search for “warriors” in Pinterest and just start selecting from the wide range of pins that come up by re-pinning them to my earlier created warrior board.
  • Create boards according to your story. The amazing thing about Pinterest is, that you can find pretty much everything. So check what you need for your story and search for it accordingly. Besides location description, I’m not good at all when it comes to describing my characters. Therefore it’s really handy to have boards like People and Locations (e.g. bars, streets, rainy days, planets, space ships, facial expressions, …) and gives me a chance to knowingly practice and improve.
  • Use pins as a reference. If you use Scrivener you might also use the research folder and link sites, pins and co directly there, but if you don’t have Scrivener, just keep Pinterest open. It’s perfect for detailed description, e.g. for cloths or for that one awesome castle you need for your fairytale story or if you – all of a sudden – need a super cute blue-eyed dog but has no idea what he might look it, search for it.
  • Let yourself get inspired. Like everyone, sometimes I don’t know what to write, feel completely uninspired or am just not in the mood to write at all. Pinterest safes your neck by providing inspirational pins for all kind of situations. If it’s with writing quotes, beautiful or cute pictures. You can also follow other people’s boards or set up your preferences accordingly so that Pinterest shows you pins to specific topics already on your start page. If you see a pin you like, take it, re-pin it and write for it. What’s the story behind the picture, etc.?
  • Share your pins. Sometimes sharing lets you discover new things in return. Make your boards publicly available and see who follows you. Maybe they have really amazing pins you just gotta love! Or share pins via Twitter and Facebook to inspire others. But if you don’t want anyone to see your boards and their pins, because everything is top-secret, it’s fine as well. Just create a private board and you’re all set.

Basically, this is how I use Pinterest and I’m still at the beginning of exploring all the possibilities. But so far, I can really say that I love it and will use it even more for my stories.

Do you use Pinterest to support your writing, if so, how do you use it?