Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

It was getting harder to breathe, the air felt thick like breathing soup. There was no energy left in her body to try and fight for deeper breaths. The white of the walls seemed to glare.

Across from her on the floor her college lay stretched out. His eyes were still, Evan could see there was no life left there. Hot tears began to roll down her face as she summoned one last effort for breath. Forcing her arm to obey her command she reached for the keypad by the door.

The tips of her fingers could only reach the bottom few. Pressing until she heard the horrible honking alarm signaling an invalid entry to the lab. Her hand falling to her lap Evan waited. Breaths shallow, coming slower and slower.

Outside the lab they had given up hope. The chemical content in the air of the now sealed room was too much for any survivors. Then the alarm.

One of the security ran over to the door peering into the small glass window set in it. “It’s Dr. Lane. I think she’s still alive.”

Renewed efforts to open the contaminated lab began with zeal. Problem was they couldn’t just open the doors with out contaminating the building. They had to find a way to vent the toxins faster than the present plan.

From inside the lab Evan heard her name shouted. Someone was banging on the door trying to get her attention. They had it, she just didn’t have anything left with which to acknowledge it.

Pain began in the center of her chest and worked its way outward. There wasn’t enough air left in her lungs to groan. Evan knew the end was getting close, she was seeing things. In the corner of the white room stood a man surrounded by mist.

When their eyes met he started to move forward. The pain has spread though her body taking over all her other senses. Lungs burning as if she’d run a hundred miles. Evan’s mind struggled to hang on even though her body was spent.

She wanted to cry and scream but nothing would come out. One last time she tried to take a breath only there was nothing to breathe.

The man from the corner knelt beside her. His eyes were green and ever changing like the sea. He reached out a hand gently caressing her cheek. “Take a breath Evan.”

The stranger knew her name, but he didn’t know she couldn’t …. Air filled her lungs slowly. It wasn’t the poison air from the room there was a touch of something in it. Something sweet like honeysuckle. The next breath came easier, then another. It was impossible wasn’t it? The room was still filled with poison.

Even began to come back to herself as the strange man caressed her face. Her eyes focused and she realized, he was there but not. As if he were made of air himself.

She could hear calls from outside the lab saying the venting was working the particles were clearing. Soon they could open the door.

The man of air caressed her softly, brushing her hair from her face. Evan was sure she knew him. But this was impossible he was a figment of her dying mind.

Cool air brushed the side of her face, it was his breath. It smelled like honeysuckle. There was a gentle smile on his face as she took a deeper breath. Evan lay her cheek against his palm taking comfort.

The palm was soft, warm, there was a pulse that beat from his wrist against her cheek. He looked up at the door. There were more sounds and activity coming from out there now. The strange man cupped her face softly. “They are coming. Do not be afraid, you will be well.”

Evan wanted to ask his name, how he got into the lab. But he pressed a soft kiss to her lips distracting her thoughts.

The stranger began to fade changing into fog then less…then nothing but air. His touch gone her lungs began to burn again. Aching for a breath of the honeysuckle sweet air. She gasped and struggled as the door slowly slid open.

She tried to scream hurry but there was no voice. Only squeaks as Evan took in a little of the fresh air coming from the open door.

Paramedics, scientists, security all rushed into the lab. A paramedic wearing oxygen masks lifted her up from the floor to a gurney. Shouts began all around her as a mask was fitted over her own face.

None of them were the strange man. She turned her head as much as they would allow to look into the corner where he had appeared. Nothing but air stood there now. Evan grabbed the EMT’s arm and forced out the words. “The man… that was… with me…”

With a somber face he gave her hand a pat thinking she meant the dead scientist they were wheeling past them in the hall. “Don’t worry about that right now. Just concentrate on taking slow deep breaths. Let’s get you oxygenated. You’re a real miracle surviving that long in that toxic soup.”

Evan shook her head. “No… someone else.”

The paramedic walked beside her as they wheeled the gurney to the ambulance. “There was no one else in the room, Dr. Lane.”

As a published author and homeschooling mom I understand that writing for an assignment is one of the hardest things to do for many homeschoolers and their parent/teachers. Every age in your class can benefit from these activities and resources and help them find enjoyment in writing.

Just Write No Rules
As an author I know that my finished product has to be as perfect as possible. My spelling, grammar and punctuation are all properly done and so on. But in the very beginning of writing a book or story that is far from the case.

This is a first draft, think of it as a lump of coal in the earth. That lump is slowly changed into a diamond. Then that raw diamond is cut and hewn into a fine gem. Writing story, book report or essay is the same process.

When I begin to write without the worry of having to follow rules there is a sense of freedom. Children feel the same way. Unbound they can enjoy using their imagination to create. There is always time to go back and fix things later. For a few assignments overlook the errors. Yes, that means turn of the editor completely. Just have fun putting words to paper.

Cliffhanger
Our house has a notebook in the dinning room, on the cover is the word Cliffhanger. During the day we each take turns writing in the story. There’s one catch you have to leave your entry with a cliffhanger for the next person.

For example, Timmy ran though the house looking for the lost key to Davey Jones chest. When suddenly there was a loud boom behind him, turning Timmy saw….

The next person would tell about what Timmy saw and add something for the next person to write out of. Anything and everything will end up in these stories. Making them fun to read and even more fun to write.

Journaling.
Kids love stories about them. Rose Wade mom of two says, “During vacations or special days out I get my kids to write down a few memorable lines, a memento of their experience.”

Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to remember special times in our lives. It gives kids a chance to write about the world though their eyes. Journals should be one of those no rules places. The freedom to write how they feel or what they see.

Word List Challenge
Ana Maria Seaton, artist, author and homeschooling mom uses this to challenge her eight year old daughter. “I started challenging her to come up with five words each month for my writers group that we would all have to use in a story. Simple words weren’t enough so she started to look for bigger words that she could find by reading.”

Get the whole family involved. Ask each person to give you three to five words. Once you have your list of words give everyone a copy and write a story including that list.

To make it more challenging for older students you can put a letter limit on the length of the words. All the words on their list must be at least five letters long. You’re also building on vocabulary with this exercise.

The Muse
As a writer there are moments I’ll see a photograph, magazine ad or pass by an object that inspires a story. Teaching a creative writing class at a private school I asked my students to bring in a muse. A young man named Joey brought in a Lego soldier, with no head.

That headless toy inspired a three page tale about what caused the loss. And where the toy hoped to find his little plastic head. On the first day of class I was told by this boy that, “writing stories is stupid.” A week later he writes one of the best toy tales I’ve ever read and was excited about it. All because of a little headless Lego.

Paula Smiley, homeschooling mom to five, plans to inspire one of her sons with his love for sharks and the ocean. A muse can be found almost anywhere. In your pockets, your cabinet, looking out the window, a museum the possibilities are truly endless.

Fan Fiction
Writing with a known character is fan fiction. There are writers of all ages that write about their favorite characters. Even the most stubborn writer will perk at a new story about their favorite television, book, or movie character.

My son has a terrible time trying to decide on a subject, but he loves Indiana Jones. He enjoys writing a new adventure for Indy and even adds himself in the story. It’s great fun and gives an uncertain writer more confidence because they know the subject so well.

Get Involved
There are many writing groups that welcome young writers. Get on the internet and search for local writing groups. Seeing how much someone else likes to write outside your home/classroom can be inspiring. Groups often provide mentors and materials to add to your curriculum as well.

Online
A favorite event of my family is National Novel Writing Month also known as NaNoWriMo. Taking place the month of November the goal of the event is to write an entire novel in thirty days.
Adult participants are required to pound out at least 50,000 words. The Young Writers Program allows kids 17 and younger to make their own challenging but reasonable goals. There are usually local events to provide motivation and encouragement.

There are dozens of websites that are geared for writers. The ones I’ve found students enjoy most are OneWord.com and Write or Die.com

One Word is a great way to warm up. Once you get to the homepage at http://oneword.com you simply click on the big purple go button. This goes to a screen with a text box and a word in purple at the top.

You have sixty seconds to write something about that word. Anything thoughts, a beginning of a story, describe the word. Whatever that word fills your mind with. After your minute is up you type in your name and hit submit to see other peoples responses listed with your own.

This is great for students not only does it give them that boost to write. They get to see their name and what they’ve written displayed. They can use this as their writing prompt.

Write or Die is my favorite writing tool. Not only do I use it in my son’s studies I use it to prod myself. You choose a word and time goal, mode and grace period. Once you click write you are taken to a text screen where you begin. If you stop typing for too long something happens to prod you back to work.

In normal mode an annoying sound that will only stop when your fingers start tapping keys is the prod. If you choose Kamikaze mode and idle too long your words begin to disappear.

Basically get out of that box, get out and have some fun writing in the park, at Burger King, in a museum. After all rules are made to be broken…or at least bent for the sake of making writing fun.

The Write View blog has a shiny new theme to inspire the writer in us all. (especially me 🙂 I’m a firm believer in when the going gets tough the tough go shopping. (Sorry Sis I said the S word)

There’s something about getting something new. It does something to the mind that makes you want to show it off. You get a new pair of walking shoes your inspired to get out and walk every day. Buy a new dress and you want to put it on and go out to show it off. A new hair cut keeps you fluffing your hair or shaking your head to enjoy the feel.

The very same thing is true for writing. You start a new story and it begins to pour out of your mind onto screen or paper. If you’re in a slump and that story is starting to slow and push when you pull…try something new.

Like this blog it has a shiny new theme. I want to write something and post it just to see it on this new format. Noveling is like that too. Maybe you can buy a new notebook or pen that begs for you to write on your story. How about something that is inspired by your story. A new mousepad with a cityscape like your story setting.

You will be taken by surprised how a little desk ornament will suddenly help you drive your story forward. Taking a break to post a new blog or a quick google search to look for new images to inspire. Today this new theme gave my muse the boost she needed to make our word count goal.

Try something new and see what it sparks.

On June 16th I posted a blog “Creative Writer Blogger Award Winner.” In order to prove myself worthy of the award I had to tell six truths and one lie about myself. Now it’s time to reveal the lie and see if you guessed correctly.

1. I am a native Floridian. TRUE I was born in Miami, Florida.

2. I was awarded the Distinguished Service award as a volunteer fire fighter. TRUE In 2000 I received The Distinguished Service Award from then Florida Governor Jeb Bush for service during the Wildfires of 2000. It was a scary year, the whole state seemed to be a blaze. But we were able to get them under control with the help of other agencies around our nation.

3. I have been nose to nose with a real wild black bear. TRUE Around 11pm we received a page calling our fire department to a car accident. I started out my front door and down the ramp with my gear in hand when I felt a puff of hot air on the side of my face and arm. Stopping I turned and was face to face with a very large Florida black bear.

He sat down and sort of looked at me like, “Whatcha doin?”

Slowly I walked on down the ramp, “Good boy. Stay right there.”

The big fuzzy wuzzy just sort of sniffed and watched me very quickly haul my tush to the fire truck. I’ve not been that close since but we see bears often in our yard. Well I do live in the forest.

4. I am a huge Russell Crowe fan. TRUE anyone that knows me knows I follow 3 fandoms. Russell Crowe, Adrian Paul, and David Caruso. I just have to adore a man who isn’t afraid to be who he is with no excuses to the world. A wonderful father and husband a real role model for my own son to look up too.

5. I won a radio show contest once. LIE There it is the lie revealed I’ve never one a radio contest.

6. I have met Don Johnson. TRUE Yuppers, I have. Growing up in Miramar, Florida there was a small air port a few blocks from my house. My friends and I would hop on our bikes and ride down there whenever they filmed scenes for Miami Vice. I was a teen with a crush and he was very sweet to all of us. The other cast members as well would come over to the fence and chat with us fans. Still love the show, I’ve got many fond memories of watching it with my Dad.

7. I have a green belt in Tae Kwan Do TRUE Yes I do my son and I both are green belts. And yes I have broken boards. Hiyah!

Well those are the facts as they are did you guess which one was the lie?

Thank you Pamela Turner for passing to me the dubious honor of the Creative Writer Blogger Award. I would like to thank… oh it’s not that kind of award.

 

Well here’s how it works in honor of this award I must prove my creativity by telling six truths and one lie about me. You dear reader, get the chance to figure out which one is the lie.

 

I’ll even sweeten the pot just read the statements below then comment telling which one you think is the lie. I’ll send every one who picks the lie an autographed short story and bookmark.

 

Here we go… About me

 

1. I am a native Floridian  

2. I was awarded the Distinguished Service award as a volunteer fire fighter

3. I have been nose to nose with a real wild black bear

4. I am a huge Russell Crowe fan

5. I won a radio show contest once  

6. I have met Don Johnson

7. I have a green belt in Tae Kwan Do

 

Can you tell which one is a fib?

 

Now I’m passing along this great honor of creative delight. My nominees are:

 

Rose Wade, The Robin Hood Lego Champaign http://therobinhoodlegocampaign.posterous.com/

Amy Leigh, Maverick Endevors http://anotherwaytodie-amyleigh07.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a short story and bookmark. On Friday I will expose the evil lie and post the winners.

 

 

Elise VanCise
Writer/Photographer
http://elisevancise.webs.com 
http://www.examiner.com/x-25742-Orlando-Destinations-Examiner  
http://randomadventures.typepad.com/blog/

 sigban-1.jpg picture by flsandcastle

Posted via email from Random Adventures


Have you ever stood before a work of art that stunned you with its beauty? Ever heard a piece of music that made you cry? What about hearing a story and being so pulled in by it that you forget everything else going on around you?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these then you have been inspired. What is inspiration and why does it drive us? One definition for inspiration is the arousal of the mind to special unusual activity or creativity. An arousal of the mind…..

Arousal doesn’t have to be sexual. When you are aroused you are awakened. Once you’re senses have been waked this is where the magic happens. The mind is spurred to that special level of activity.

Ideas begin to form in thoughts, words, maybe even pictures in your mind. Inspiration, this mental arousal, isn’t just a passing thing. If you are truly inspired something happens. You become driven. There is an aching need to see this idea come to life.

For a writer inspiration is what drives us to weave stories. We are given the chance to create people and worlds that just might inspire someone else. Where do you get such deep inspirations you ask?

It can come from almost anywhere and sneak up on us. Our minds are aroused though music and art but also the ordinary things in life. Sometimes even the things we like the least will be of great inspiration.

Men, women and even children are inspired to great heights every day. Stephine Meyer wrote the Twilight series inspired by a dream she’d had. Stephine even has said she started with writing her dream which was the middle of the story. Then went back and added the beginning and the end.

Picasso was inspired by a circus poster, Salvador Dali once said the very air he breathed was inspiring.

Hanna at seven years old was diagnosed with stage four Burkitt’s lymphoma. After intense chemo and a Make-A-Wish trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom this little girl was inspired. She made a necklace out of melted crayon and a black walnut shell for a mold. If you’ve ever seen a black walnut inside you know the wax came out in the shape of a heart.

Hanna made more heart necklaces and sold them with all the money going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. In 2009 they presented Hanna with the Lori Shulz-Betancourt Indomitable Spirit Award. This little seven year old girl as raised over $20,000 for the Foundation.

Are you inspired yet? If not go to a museum, take a walk though the park, listen to your favorite music open your heart to it and the inspiration will find you when you least expect it too. Maybe even in the grocery store or a blog post.

Question is once you find that great awakening what are you going to do with it?

Fortune cookies tell all

I have been pondering a post that would be deep in thought. Maybe even enlightening. Well after two days of thought…. I got nuttin. Sorry. If you’re seeking wisdom it might be better to open a fortune cookie.

Hey don’t knock it. There’s some pretty good stuff in those crunchy treats. You can find out about your love life, if you’ll be successful, maybe even get the winning lottery numbers. One thing about those fortunes, they all say these things will happen for you soon.

Soon as in this afternoon, tomorrow morning, next week maybe? I’m impatient I want my true love now. (David Caruso, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce… any of those will do nicely) Success would be great too. Slice me off a big piece of that pie. But guess what… that old saying, “good things come to those that wait”, it’s true.

We have to wait and be patient for all these good things the all knowing cookies promise. But we can’t just be sit by the window and watch for our true love. (Adrian Paul would be a lovely sight indeed coming up my walk way.) If we just expect success to knock on our door we’ll be filing bankruptcy and living in our cars.

No we wait actively. Yeah I just made that up but it sounds good huh? Think about it. I’m a writer, if I want success with my novel I’ve got to do something about it. The manuscript isn’t going to get off my desk and run to the shelves of the nearest bookstore.

I have to get those pages to the agent or publisher who wants them. I have to wait and find the right one… see how that waiting actively works now? It applies to everything in life. If we want to find happiness, love and success we have to do something about it.

Fortune cookies aren’t necessary lying to us. We really can have all those things we just have to do something about it to get them. So I’m going to look at this shiny new year as a giant fortune cookie.

2010 holds success, happiness, travel, and even love. (If someone slips David Caruso my number it might speed things along.) I’m going to find each of my fortunes as they come along this year. Then I’m going to hold tight and build on those dreams.

So keep watch and I’ll keep you posted on what those cookies bring this year.