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Asha needed to explain to someone the art of making tea. It didn’t even require much expertise, she didn’t think, but the toilet water that she forcibly threw down her throat suggested that some people needed assistance with even the simplest things in life. No one should be offered such a horrible drink, especially not in a place like this where everything was already depressing.

Placing the empty cup back on its coaster, Asha sat back in the soft loveseat whose arms were weathered with age and constant rubbing of anxious hands.

“Shay?”

At the sound of the voice, she answered because it had been a while since anyone addressed her by that name.

“Tell Tash I’m still waiting for her to get that law degree.”

Asha looked at her dad. At the smooth wrinkle less skin and the luscious hair only slightly sprinkled with gray, then at his auburn eyes that she used to peer into hoping to glean some of the knowledge they held, but that she now peered into only wishing that they recognized her. She nodded placing on a smile that she knew didn’t reach her moistened eyes.

Asha was the lawyer.

And she had been out of law school for five years.

Camp Nanowrimo: Week Four

Word Count: 10,928

Well, there goes it. Camp Nanowrimo has come to an end and I finished 3k words shy of my 15k goal.

I admit this update is a tad bit late but life gets in the way you know. Depression hit and I barely had enough energy to get out of bed much less pick up my laptop and generate ideas out of nothing. So I wasn’t able to write much but I gotta say, 10k words is more than I had two months ago so I’d still say I’m winning.

Since I have no real updates about Project Amber, I figured I’d share a small snippet from this WIP:


The wooden doors of the map room gave way under the weight of the prince’s hands and he sidled on inside where his father, the King, stood waiting behind the long table. His knuckles were temporarily void of blood as he pressed down against the mahogany. A glance at the wrinkled pieces of parchment thrown haphazardly around the room and the tautness of his father’s eyebrows confirmed the prince’s assumptions that this was not to be a pleasant meeting.

“You called for me?” He asked from the doorway.

The King looked up, his features softening but only slightly at the sight of his son, and beckoned him over. He paused to wash his eyes over the prince’s appearance and raised a brow. “Have you been sparring in the courtyard again?”

The prince looked down at his sleeve where the scuff from the granite rubbed off on his frock and rubbed it off sheepishly. “Errik wanted–”

“Yes, I know, I know. The game is in a few months,” He shook his head and sighed. “I should’ve never agreed to let him enter. He has much more pressing matters to worry about.”

Much more princely matters, the prince added. Aloud he asked, “Has something happened?”

An air of concern shifted around his father as his already pale countenance grew paler.

He shifted a little higher on his toes and walked over to his son. “Come with me.” He said after sending the guards who always stood outside his door away. The prince grew more uneasy as they ambled down the hallway for the King rarely moved two inches without his personal guards.

Their footsteps echoed on the gray stoned floor. Through the King’s Wing, out to the courtyard and through to the Servant’s Quarters where the moss covering the granite structure glinted in the sunlight.

The prince was perplexed. “What are we doing here?” He asked as they stopped at the door. His father answered his inquiry with a swift knock on the door handle which was answered quickly by the Head Maid. Blond curls circled her head like the coils of a rattlesnake framing a face that had the countenance to match. The prince thought it crude that she wouldn’t think to better her appearance in the face of her King especially since by the swiftness of which she answered the door, this was not a chance meeting.

“My Lord, do come in. We’ve been waiting for your word about what to do with the body?”

Body?

The King raised his hand to his mouth. “Let’s discuss business from inside shall we?”


Thanks for reading! If you participated in Camp Nano this July, be sure to let me know how it went in the comments.

xx

Where Your Heart Is

I can’t write happy stories anymore.

Just recently, I’ve been thinking about my progress as a writer, looking back through all my older works and I’ve realized…there’s a stark difference between my mentality back then and my mentality now.

Flash fiction pieces and short stories written in high school all carry a certain element in them that many of works today lack. The voices of my characters have changed their tone and they’ve begun to sing a different song that my old characters can no longer resonate with. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the root of such differences but I can at least trace them back to one feeling. Hope.

My stories are always chock full of conflict. But in high school and my first year of college, they all ended with the idea that the character was going to succeed. They were going to finally get the girl or overcome that internal battle they’d been plagued with for years. Fast forward to today and the only thing you will be left with from reading my stories is dread. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everybody dies at the end or the world collapses into the sun. It’s more like…a character reaches an obstacle that they can only surpass if an impossible miracle suddenly drops out of the sky.

Possible…but, not likely.

And though they be beautiful pieces of heart-wrenching content, I’d maybe not suggest it to someone looking for reasons to live.

But why the change? Where did the hope go? My guess is that it’s hard to write hope when everywhere you look, you see none. Every thought I seem to have these days is consumed with longing but no way to satisfy it. These past couple of years, I have dealt with so many challenges and it is easy to see those feelings reflected in my art. More and more I’m realizing how art actually works. How it comes from a place inside the soul that knows what you feel before the mind does. And I’m realizing more and more that art really is a reflection of a person’s heart if you know where to look.

At this time in my life, my heart seems to be looking for hope. And so too are my stories and characters. Someday we’ll both find it…hopefully.

xx

Camp Nanowrimo: Week Three

So it’s been three weeks and I can’t believe that Camp Nano is almost over! I had a slow beginning so I decided to back track and change my word count goal to 15k instead of 20k. Since this is Camp Nano and not actual Nano, I can do that. This feels much more doable and I’m really going to try and meet this goal. If all goes well, by the end of July, I’ll be about a quarter of the way into Project Amber.

As mentioned in my last update, I will be completing the second half of the #AuthorWouldYou tag. Read on and learn more about my writing process!


Author Would You? (Part TWO)

16. Would you rather work on multiple WIPs…or stick to one at a time?

Stick to one at a time. I need to wholeheartedly throw myself into a project so that I can spend enough time brainstorming and daydreaming good ideas.

17. Would you rather research needed topics for your WIP before…or after writing your book?

Uhhh…during? I can’t possibly know everything I need to research before I write the book and if I need to know some important fact for the world I’m building or the characters I’m creating then I mustn’t wait until I finish writing the book lest I throw the whole thing off balance! So definitely during.

18. Would you rather write a few sentences from a SC’s POV…or the antagonist’s POV?

The antagonist’s POV is always interesting because I like exploring the motivations–albeit sometimes backwards ones–of antagonists.

19. Would you rather allow yourself breaks from writing…or dedicate to writing everyday?

I allow myself breaks. I find that if I’m writing when I’m not feeling it, the result is an excellent pile of horse dung and then my future self hates me for leaving so many scenes to revise.

20. Would you rather write all day…or edit all day today?

Write. This word count needs to go UP.

21. Would you rather share your word count progress…or drink some more coffee?

Is tea an option?

22. Would you do a 15 minute sprint write and post your word count?

But of course. . .

Word Count: 322

23. Would you rather read your WIP out loud to friends/family…or have one stranger read your WIP?

Stranger. I’d probably receive more authentic reactions. Plus, I do not wish to read my writing out loud…like ever.

24. Would you rather write a happy scene…or a sad scene today?

Literally 95% of my writing is sad so I think you have your answer.

25. Would you rather sprint write for 10 minutes…or edit for an hour?

Sprint write!

26. Would you rather add a plot twist…or have a full resolution in your WIP?

I’d love a full resolution. Can’t leave plot holes and loose ends hanging about.

27. Would you rather write with a cup of coffee…or a glass of wine?

Wonderful! Two beverage options that I absolutely detest! Seriously…why doesn’t anyone like tea?

Or rum…Rum is also preferable.

28. Would you rather finish your WIP for Camp Nanowrimo…or set your own goal to keep?

I set my own goal because I dislike pressure.

29. Would you do a 20 minute sprint write and post your word count?

Wowsies…I’m really upping my game today.

…….

Word Count: 420

30. Would you rather rewrite your entire camp project…or start with a fresh and new idea?

Oh my word I think I’d combust if I had to rewrite the entirety of Project Amber. I might as well just start with a fresh and new idea.

31. Would you rather share your word count for the month…or share a GIF of your current mood?

MOOD:

mood.gif


Thanks for reading! See you in my next post and whatever you do, keep on writing!

xx

Camp Nanowrimo: Week Two

I’m trying something new with this update. Instead of documenting my progress in an angst filled rant, I’ll use this tag that I found on twitter: #AuthorWouldYou started by @rebeccarcahill and @hayley_rings. Since there are 31 questions, I’ll post it in two parts. Here’s part one. Enjoy!

Author Would You? (Part ONE)

  1. Author, would you introduce yourself and your WIP?

Hi, I’m C.A. Browne, a full time student and I write whenever I manage to get a break. I’ve introduced my WIP in my first Camp Nano update which you can find here!

2. Would you rather tell us the genre of your WIP…or the name of one of your characters?

The genre is much safer in my opinion. My WIP is currently listed as a high fantasy young adult novel.

3. Would you rather outline first…or just go for it?

A little bit of both actually. I get too stressed if I don’t have an outline, even if it’s as vague as a ten sentence paragraph. But once I have a general idea of my characters and the overall plot, I just go for it.

4. Would you rather create character profiles first…or a setting profile?

Ooooh. See, now this depends. For my current WIP, I’m writing a high fantasy and creating a whole new world is one of the most entertaining activities I could ever undertake. BUT I am a complete sucker for complex characters and I largely write my stories based on their character arcs. Hmmm… okay, I’ll go with setting.

5. Would you rather create your characters first…or the plot?

Okay, now I’ll say characters.

6. Would you rather write in first person…or third person?

Third person all the way.

7. Would you rather tell us the word count of your WIP…or tell us the title?

HA. This presumes I actually have a title. For my word count, I’m currently at 5,858 words. Not exactly where I’d like to be, but c’est la vie.

8. Would you tell us about your MC?

Double HA. Absolutely not….Just kidding, I can tell you some. My MC is a young prince of color who has much (read: much) to learn about the world he lives in.

9. Would you rather monitor your progress…or wait until the end of the month to see your word count?

Well if I wanted to wait until the month then I’ve already failed so I suppose I choose to monitor my progress.

10. Would you rather write action today…or dialogue?

Actioooooooon.

11. Would you rather share a quote from your WIP…or a picture of your setting?

I don’t have a picture of my setting because it’s not real. I do have a terribly drawn map though! For this question, I’ll just share a quote:

“With all due respect Your Highness, you have your way of defending yourself and I have mine.”

There! A nondescript piece of dialogue that tells you absolutely nothing! 😀

12. Would you rather create a new character in your WIP…or a new challenge your MC must face?

Definitely a new challenge. This WIP needs more challenges and I’ll take all the tasty conflicts I can find.

13. Would you rather have someone to brainstorm and edit with…or keep your WIP private?

If my previous remarks weren’t enough, I definitely am prone to keeping my WIP(s) a secret. I’m a super private writer and it took everything within me to even convince myself to start this blog. Plus, I write because I like to tell stories and if I work with someone else, it feels like the story is no longer mine to tell…at least in the beginning stages. During revisions, I need all the help.

14. Would you rather read tips on world and character development…or let your own imagination run free?

Let my imagination run free and frolic through the overgrown forests of my mind.

15. Would you do a ten minute sprint write and post your word count?

Why yes I can.

……….

Word Count: 410 words. I honestly have no idea where all that speed came from. Usually when I try sprints, I sit in front of my computer trying to remember how fingers work. Needless to say, I am impressed.

Okay! That’s all for part one. I had fun, did you have fun? I had fun. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about my writing process or Camp Nanowrimo, let me know. Otherwise, take care and I’ll see you in my next post.

xx.