The Sky and the Roses

The Little Watson Girl's Dreams on Paper

How the dragon got his flame December 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lilwatsongirl @ 9:58 pm
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There once was an enormous, ancient, scaly, dreadful flying lizard, named Dragon who lived up in an old cave at the top of a mountain. He was a lonely old chap, for everyone in the whole town thought he was creepy for his immense size.
One very cold, wet day, Dragon was sitting in his cave, moaning to himself about his lonely his life was, and about how very hungry he was, when he spied an eagle, flying about above him. He flapped his gigantic wings to go catch his dinner, flying as stealthily as possible. It was a few moments before the eagle noticed him, but when it did, it took a great screaming dive from the sky, attempting to outpace the lizards massive wings, but the feeble feathers were no match for the beast.
The lizard seized the eagle right out of the sky, not killing, but merely capturing it. After a moment, he began to wonder how he would cook it. The sky was dripping with faint rain and the air was icy cold, not good weather for a gigantic-flying-lizard-sized bar-B-Q.
“Hey eagle, any preference on how you want to be cooked?” The dragon asked sarcastically.
“Well sir, I’ve always wanted to be dropped into the mouth of the massive volcano a ways south of here.” The eagle replied, coolly, as though the lizard’s question were nothing out of the ordinary.
“To the volcano it is then.” Dragon chuckled a little, and took off towards the south.
Half an hour later
“Eagle, how far away is this volcano exactly, my wings are tired.”
“Not much farther, don’t worry.” Eagle replied, smirking. Dragon sighed with relief as just then the volcano appeared through the mist, belching steam and smoke and chunks of ash.
“Now you overgrown lizard, there is a very specific way in which I want to be dropped. Land on the edge and hold me way out over the lava.”
Dragon obeyed, holding eagle out as far as his arm would reach and feeling the heat from the molten lava hitting his face.
“Now on the count of three, soar out over the volcano’s mouth and drop me.”
“Fine, yeah, whatever you like.” Dragon was getting a little nervous and wanted to get this business over with. He didn’t like the look of the lava way below him, it seemed to be awfully hot and sinister, bubbling down below him, and the eagle seemed far too… chill about this whole business.
“One… Two… Three!”
Dragon jumped, and as he did so, an enormous jet of lava shot up from the volcano and hit him in the face. He dropped eagle, who spread his wings and rode the upsurge of hot air away from the volcano. Dragon, on the other hand, got a mouthful of hot brimstone, and he accidentally swallowed some of it. Choking, he flew away, coughing up spouts of flame.
Since that day, Dragon has breathed fire, and has stayed, for the most part, away from other animals to prevent any other mishaps.

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Perfect again December 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lilwatsongirl @ 5:46 pm
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“Alora, what are you doing here? Go away.”
“No Tommy. I’m not that dumb. I know what’s going on. I know why you’re here.”
“No one really knows. Everyone thinks they understand what goes on inside my head, but they don’t. Everyone pretends to care, but really they think… they want me to go away. You’re exactly the same.”
“That’s not true! You know I care!.”
“Get out of here Alora!”
“No.”
“You can’t stop me. No one can, and no one wants to. I should have done this a long time ago.”
“I could call the police and they could stop you.”
“Go ahead.”
“I won’t Tommy. I came to tell you something.”
“Hurry up then!”
“I came to remind you of all the good times we’ve had, all the times we’ve laughed so hard that tears rolled down our cheeks, the times when we watched the stars and tried to count them, going tie shopping, when we went out driving, everything. I haven’t forgotten them. Have you?”
“No. But what does it matter?”
“Remember how we used to go out for ice cream every Saturday and then we’ve sit on the roof of your car and tell stories?”
“Yes.”
“Remember that Halloween when I was Cinderella and you were prince charming, and you were riding a broom with a paper horse head on it, and I only had one shoe on?”
“Yes.”
“Remember how I got such bad blisters that you had to carry me home?”
“Yes. You weren’t heavy though. You only weighed what, 90 pounds?”
“87. I felt so dumb, having you carry me.”
“I didn’t mind.”
“Remember the expression on my moms face when she saw you carrying me? Priceless!”
“I couldn’t stop laughing.” A tiny smile crossed his face.
“Remember when you fell in the lake, I had to pull you out again, and we were both soaked to the skin when we’d been specifically told not to get wet?”
“Wasn’t that in April and the water was freezing?”
“Yep.”
“Do you remember when I pushed you in the pool when we were really little and you cried and I felt so bad that I brought you a daisy?”
“Yep.”
“But remember how it turned out that it was infested with ants? I’d never heard you scream that loud.”
“See?”
“What?”
“Life is amazing!”
“No it’s not.”
“But think of all those things we just talked about!”
… “I feel like it’s a lie. Like you hate me.”
“Would I be here if I hated you?”
“Would you?”
“Nope.” Alora held out something. It was the key to Tommy’s car. “Were going out for ice cream. You’re driving. I’m paying.” She smiled and took his hand. He did not resist as she pulled him away from the tracks, and away from the place where he would have ended his life. She felt the cuts on his wrist beneath her hand. But they would heal, and Tommy would too. Then everything would be perfect again.

 

Dialogue writing

Filed under: Uncategorized — lilwatsongirl @ 5:43 pm
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There is a big difference between ‘Mandy was really mad.’ and ‘Mandy’s face was scarlet as she stomped from the room snarling at anyone who looked at her.’ This is a case of showing, not telling. Telling the reader that Mandy is mad is a bland and colorless way of writing. Showing the reader that Mandy is mad can tell them just how mad Mandy is, plus it gives the reader a picture in their heads and is a much better, fuller way of writing. Dr. Kristi Siegel tells about this in her article “Using Dialogue Effectively”. Showing instead of telling helps to highlight the main points in your writing.
Another thing discussed in this article is the best way to make conversations realistic. The best way to do this is to write conversations the way people actually talk. People don’t usually use long, complete, well structured sentences. Things like “For real?” are not full sentences, but adding them into modern day dialogue makes it more realistic, because people actually say things like that. Readers want to be able to relate to characters, and they relate to using half-formed sentences.
When two people are talking back and forth with each other, you separate their dialogue by putting it into paragraphs, like this:
“Are you coming on Saturday?”
“Oh yes! Derek is going to let me borrow his car!.”
“I didn’t know Derek had a car!”
You can keep track of the people without putting in things like “April said, and Kelsey replied. You can do something like this though, without cluttering up your writing too much: “Are you coming on Saturday?” April twisted the end of her blonde ponytail as she spoke. You can even do something like “Oh yes!” Kelsey bounced excitedly on the spot, “Derek is going to let me borrow his car!” Both these examples tell you who is speaking without saying things like ‘said’ and ‘answered’.
Writing good dialogue is a skill, something that takes practice, but once you have it down, it’s one of the most useful writing skills.

 

The Blacksmith’s daughter December 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lilwatsongirl @ 6:53 pm
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It was early morning, and the pale light illuminated a street full of sleepy vendors, setting up their stalls and stands. The cloth vendor was un-wrapping her shimmering wares, removing the ox-hide coverings that had protected the fabrics. I watched the spice vendor lay out tiny glass bottles of saffron, as the foreign scent of rosemary, pale arrowroot, dark bay leaves, curry, and some other spices I could not name wafted to my nose.
I walked past stall after half-set-up stall in search of a spot. I set up my own wares next to the butcher’s son’s stall. He was selling sides of sizzling bacon and ham. The delicious smell made my mouth water.
I myself was selling slender hunting knives, the kind that boys and men used for killing and skinning animals. My father was a blacksmith, and he often asked me to run the stall for him on market days.
I was arranging the silver blades in front of me when a deep, slow voice spoke above my head.
“A bit odd isn’t it, for a girl to sell hunting knives?”
The speaker was a tall man with a dark beard. He looked oddly familiar. He had eyes that looked alive and as full of energy as the young boys who threw snowballs in the winter.
“I’m the blacksmith’s daughter.” I explained. “My father is busy today, so he asked me to help him.” I brushed a beetle from my skirt.
“Beg pardon.” The man smiled at me.
“Oh it’s all right sir. It’s only normal that you should wonder.”
Suddenly I knew how where I knew him from. “Oh! You’re the actor! Your William, the one who does all those amazing plays!” I stuttered, not sure how to go on after my sudden outburst.
Shakespeare, for that was who the man was, laughed. “Yes, I am.”
I felt a bit shy, standing there in the presence of the man who had written such masterpieces. “Your—your plays are very good, sir.” I was embarrassed that I had been as disrespectful as to use his first name.
“Please, call me Will.” He seemed to never run out of smiles.
“Alright, um, Will.” Why was I turning so red? “Where did you learn to act like that?” I could not keep the awe out of my voice. The stage was my dream, and Will Shakespeare my roll model.
“It came naturally I suppose. Do you fancy the life of an actor?”
“Oh yes, more than anything!”
“Have you a good head for memorizing, and a brave heart that won’t falter at the stage door?” he was scrutinizing me, taking in my long hair, my fair skin, and my large green eyes.
“Yes!” I stood up straight and tall. “I want to write plays, and be in them like you do.”
He smiled shrewdly. “How would you like to be in a play? Be more than just an actor, how would you like to be written in as a character?”
My eyes widened and my pulse quickened. “I would love that more than anything else in the world!”
“Well that is just what I shall do. I shall probably put you in at a different place, with a different story, but it will be you none the less. What is your name?”
My reply was no more than an excited whisper: “Juliet.”