Category Archives: emotions

Writing Prompt Wednesday


poetrywordblock

Write a poem about your favorite things.

This is mine these things bring me joy.

An embrace

Rosy light of a sunset

Aroma of mown grass

Waves upon my feet

Feeling a smooth pebble

Beethoven’s sonata

Cradling a baby

Snow glistening

Clasping hands

Planting a flower bed

Words

A walk in nature

Slumber in a hammock

A kiss

Reading a good book

Summer warmth

Light of a full moon

Friendship

Have fun and share your favorite things in the comments.

 

 

 

Author Interview M.J. Preston


Author-Interview-Button

 

MJ Preston

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

That depends. In the beginning of a project I am most definitely energized and that is because the story is yet to be told. By the end of a project, after the editing multiple drafts, the process is mentally exhausting. Luckily, I have a very short memory and repeat this process again and again. 

2. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Distraction. When I write, all social media and the internet are shut down, except for bringing up a browser to reference something pertaining to the piece I am working on.

Acadia

3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

MJ Preston is as close to a pseudonym as I ever got.

4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Too many authors to name really. A short list would be Gregory L. Norris, B.E. Scully, F. Paul Wilson, Kevin M. Sullivan, Joseph Boyden. Reading their work certainly helps. I am often in awe at their creativity.

Equinox

5. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My latest novel, which is in pre-publication has no connection to my other works, but often I will revisit characters and link them to other works.

6. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

That’s a tough one. Let me get back to you.

7. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I believe it was around 1983. I wrote my first letter to the editor of my home town paper. The subject was regarding employers who pay their employees poorly. At that time, I was working for $4.00 per hour in a local carwash. The response to that letter blew me away. There was no email or internet back then, so people put pen to paper and mailed in their responses. That impressed me. Even those who disagreed with my opinion impressed on me that words were a way of invoking discussion and sometimes debate.

8. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I’d have to say, Robert R. McCammon’s vampire novel, THEY THIRST. A great book, set in the 70’s and fun read.

9. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Easy answer. The raven. I have always had love for these dark creatures. I’ve taken hundreds of photographs of them. Written stories and a novel that included them and I am always taken back by their intelligence.

10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I don’t discuss unpublished work.

11. What does literary success look like to you?

Readers. Plenty of readers. I don’t care much about awards or being the darling of critics. I just want more readers.

 

 

12. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Research is certainly part of the process. It varies by project. In most cases, the research begins and continues during the project.

13. How many hours a day/week do you write?

I don’t know really. Again, it varies. Could be 20 hours, could be 30, depending on my schedule. Let’s just say I write as much as I can and as long as my muse is available.

14. How do you select the names of your characters?

Usually, it’s random thought, but once that’s exhausted the internet provides a well of opportunity.

Highwayman

15. What was your hardest scene to write?

I have written about the murder of children. Not an easy task. You have to know where your line is and whether or not you’ve crossed it.

16. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I guess I would be categorized as a horror/thriller writer, but I often ponder writing a book that is completely away from that genre. I sometimes write small pieces or opinion pieces that are of a more serious nature. Balance doesn’t really come in to. If somebody asked about me it would probably be, “That M.J. Preston is a horror writer.” ―but I consider myself a writer.

17. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing fiction since the 70’s, with a hiatus from about 1986 to 1998. During that period, I wrote articles for newspapers while serving in the Canadian military. So, technically, I’ve always wrote, but my love of fiction took a short vacation.

18. What inspires you?

Reading the work of others inspires me.  

19. How do you find or make time to write?

If you want to be a writer you just make time. That’s what I do, anyway.

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20. What projects are you working on at the present?

I said I don’t discuss unfinished work, so I’ll avoid specifics. I will say that there is a new book on the horizon pre-publication as well as another in the works.

21.    22. What do your plans for future projects include?

Warmer climates? 😊

Share a link to your author website.

Folks can visit my author website: http://mjpreston.net

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


Write about a deformity in either a poem or short story. Here is mine.

Looks Aren’t Everything

The deformity shocked me and I could not stop my reaction quickly enough. I shook my head trying to think what to say to this neighbor, who seemed so familiar a moment ago but now a completely different person. My hand covered my mouth, the words bubbled up inside me. With an effort I changed my look of horror and pity to a smile.

He lowered his head and shrugged then took a step away.

“Please don’t go, I’m sorry for being so shocked, I had no idea. Can we start over?”

The man stopped and his dog’s leash stretched as the little animal walked away, until the leash pulled tight. The dog gave a little bark of frustration.

“Quiet Timmy.”

The man raised his face to me.

“I’m used to the reaction it’s nothing new to me. I understand it is awful to look at.”

I struggled with my pity for the man; there must be something I could do.

“Look, how can I make it up to you – how about a cup of coffee?”

His expression turned from defeat to puzzlement.

“You are asking me in for coffee?”

“Yes, of course, come along, I can find a treat for little Timmy too.”

The man followed me up my driveway and wiped his boots before placing them on the step.

“Do sit here, I wont be long.”

He looked around my lounge and held Timmy on his lap.

With coffee made and Timmy chewing happily on a treat, I said,

“I’m Andrea, thank you for forgiving me my horrid reaction.”

“Hello, Andrea, my name is Forsyth, actually my full title is Sergeant Forsyth Baxter. And again it is something I have become accustomed to.”

Not wanting to appear too nosy, I poured the coffee and smiled – curiosity burned in my chest as to the accident that took away half his lower jaw. Maybe it was an old war wound?

“You can ask you know, about my face.”

“Well I didn’t want to pry, Forsyth.”

“You are the first person in this street, I call home, to invite me in, Andrea. All my neighbors usually avoid me. It must be too difficult for others to accept my face the way it is, it is for me most of the time.”

“I have to admit I was shocked at first, I have only seen you with a hood and your face down as you pass my house.”

“Maybe if I ell you the story it will diminish my look. It is obvious I was in the military and I did receive this disfigurement by way of an explosion, however not on the battlefield but in the relevant safety of the barracks.”

I sat back surprised at his words but did not interrupt.

“I was on night patrol and an alarm sounded in the vehicle hanger. I went to investigate. As I opened a side door into a storage area, a flash of flame shot through the opening. That was the last I remember, however I learned later in hospital, that an oxyacetylene canister had been leaking with a faulty valve. The gas built up in the storage locker so when I opened the door the rush of fresh air and the spark from the light switch ignited the gas. A panel from the storage locker flew through the air and sliced my face.”

He laid a hand on mine, as my eyes grew wide with horror once again.

“How awful – it must have been so painful.”

“Luckily, the force of the explosion threw me backwards and I banged my head. I was unconscious so have no memory of the event. But the good news is I am going in for reconstructive surgery next week and that will stop the majority of scares, I hope.”

“Well that is good news. I hope you will feel more comfortable in public but know I will always be happy for you to pop in whenever you like.”

Forsyth’s lopsided smile showed his gratefulness.

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


prompt

Your prompt today is to describe a walk, whether in nature or a city, you recently took.

This is mine.

Lunchtime Repose 

Buffed by the breeze
Dancing above the rippling water
Wings flutter and glide
Darting back and forth
Juicy morsels to eat on the wing
I sit enjoying the show with ease
 
Sunshine on my face
New leaves jiggle and flash
Branches bend
Pollen releases for some that’s sneezes
Tiny blooms appear above the grass
Bathing in the warm embrace
 
Opportunist waterfowl spy my bread
Stand with pleading eyes
Grateful for the crumbs given with pleasure
Brown, green and white feathered friends
For this delightful repose

 

ducks

Wednesday Writing Prompt


Apologies – I forgot to schedule this post.

The prompt today is ‘ a glimpse out of a window’. What do you see?

window

Here’s my effort.

It started with a glimpse out of the corner of her eye. A movement passing the opened window but when she turned there was nothing there. Dismissing it as possibly a bird or a butterfly floating in the warmth of summer sunshine, she turned back to her work.
Just one more chapter and then she would treat herself to a walk to ease and stretch her aching muscles. Janice had woken bursting with inspiration at five o’clock, now six hours later a major part of the novel was complete. With a flourish she hit the keypad and straightens up. There in front of her was a beautiful face peering through the window. Instinct makes her jump and involuntary utter a gasp.
“Hello, who are you?”
The lady smiles but does not answer just reaches out her hand to beckon Janice outside. Her dark shape and long ebony locks float as if in water, it is surreal. Fascinated Janice opens the patio door and enters the warmth of the day time sun.
“Come follow – you will find.”
“Find what, where are we going?”
Without waiting the lady turns toward the rose garden, the oldest part of the cottage garden. The floral scent permanents the air as they approach the blooms. The dark lady stops in the centre of the path and points. Janice’s eyes follow her fingers direction – there blooms an ebony rose so dark it gleams.
“Write its story, Janice and release me.”
“Release you – I don’t understand?”
“My spirit resides within the bloom I am relying on your gift of words to free me forever.”
“What shall I write? Tell me what to write.”
“You know my story it is deep within you.”
Janice’s mouth opens to ask another question but the dark lady has disappeared. Was she dreaming? Everything seemed so real, so tangible – the warmth on her skin, the grass beneath her feet. Janice returns to her desk, puzzling thoughts race through her mind. There she finds a dark rose petal lying upon the laptop keys. It was real?
A blank page faces her and her fingers begin to type – a story unfolds.
Esmeralda’s roses were well renowned even as far away as London. Each bloom was perfection itself due wholly to her unwavering commitment to their care. After years of trial and error with combinations of manure, egg shells and herbs, Esmeralda had found her ‘secret’ formula. Each season demanded another ritual before the first buds appeared in April. With careful attendance each bud was nurtured to its full potential. Every flower show saw Esmeralda take first place much to the dismay of her rival, Vanity. The competition between the two women was fierce.
During the sixth annual London show Esmeralda was summoned by the Duke of Suffolk. He commissioned her to produce a truly black rose – something never achieved before. With a deep bow Esmeralda had thanked him for his obvious confidence in her abilities but felt she would not succeed. The Duke took her hands and solemnly stated that if anyone could succeed it was indeed the Rose Queen herself.
Upon her return home Esmeralda began researching the deepest and darkest strains of rose. Using grafting techniques and cross pollination she grew several young plants. As they grew and flourished she waited patiently for the first blooms. She achieved deep burgundy and the darkest crimson but never ebony. Three long years past each new bloom took her a step closer to her goal but never close enough. Then in the fourth year a tiny shoot grafted to the main plant produced a bud unlike any Esmeralda had ever seen. It was the darkest green she had ever seen. She tended to this special bud as with all her charges and waited in anticipation for it to blossom.
Sunday 14th April would be a date Esmeralda would never forget – for that morning she witnessed the darkest most beautiful ebony bloom gleaming in the sunlight. She would send word to the Duke that she has succeeded in making his wish come true. However, Esmeralda died that day at the hands of her arch rival, Vanity. It was a dagger to her heart as she breathed sweet words to her special bloom. Vanity took the plant and professed it was her own creation. She became famous over night and reveled in the adulation.
As for Esmeralda her body was buried beneath her rose garden- a place she had loved above all others. Her spirit lived on in the multitude of blooms until one day it rose up and made its presence known. She was the Rose Queen and the ebony bloom her creation.
The words flowed so quickly Janice could not read them quickly enough. At last her fingers ceased their frantic tapping and she realized who her visitor had been. Janice would make sure the real creator was acknowledged for her Black Rose.

Why not share yours in the comments?