Category Archives: CreativeCopy

NaNoWriMo Outtake Jae and Aedan Update

I cruised past the 36000 line this morning. This week will be tough with the holidays, a trip out of town, and family coming home. I plan to do some solid pushing ahead this evening to see if I can’t get ahead.  I have changes and rearranged, plot, point of view, tense and now have a mishmash to wade through after November. I tried to keep it in labeled sections and if they are rewrites, I marked the version. I think I might need to invest in software designed for novel writing. After November I will be researching what is available and see what would be a good fit for me. Something that lets me keep track of characters, places, versions, and lets me reorder pieces that I write out of sequence.If anyone has experience and is comfortable with a particular piece of software (preferable one that doesn’t have a huge complicated learning curve) I would love to hear about it.

Creative copy Challenge 195: fail, trivia, master, dirt, swerve, memory, drive, bed, touch, right

We had been at it for hours. I was exhausted and more than a little pissed right now.  Aedan had my mother’s spell book in his lap. I had tried and tried to commit the words to memory, the actions as habit, and I just couldn’t seem to meld the two. I never had been able to do two things at one time. “You don’t have to drive me so hard. I’m tired. I want to take a shower and go to bed.” I sounded petulant even to myself. That just managed to irritate me more.

“This isn’t some kind of trivia game, Jae. If you don’t learn to control your power you will not be ready when Lucia comes back. You can master a few moves for defense, you have the touch. If you fail, you die. I will be with you all I can, but what if we get separated?” Aedan stood and placed the book on the chair. “Try it on me. Maybe that is the problem. You have no clear vision of where to aim the magic.”

“What? No! What if I hurt you? I have little control.” Now he was just being stupid. I was mad at him but it wasn’t his fault. He was just trying to help. I didn’t want to hurt him.

Aedan snorted. “You haven’t been able to cast enough to give me a pimple! You fade in and out as you shift and as a wolf, you try to swerve and run into a tree. It takes you forever just to shake it off and pick yourself up out of the dirt. From what I read in her book, your mother would be embarrassed. I am not worried. “

“Oh you did not go there!” I felt cold anger take me over.  My mother would be embarrassed? My hands were a blur of motion in the air and words I didn’t know were in my head poured out of me. I saw nothing, not Aedan, not the cabin, just red like blood. I felt it all, pouring through me, out my fingers and then a bright flash and I crumpled. My heart was pounding and my head throbbed. The cold receded and something whispered in my head. Aedan was lying on the floor a few feet from where he had been standing. I tried to make my limbs work and managed to drag myself to him.
“Aedan? Oh my god, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please wake up!” I knew this was a bad idea. Aedan moaned and turned over. Holy shit Jae. You trying to kill me? His words sounded funny, as though he had a bad case of laryngitis.

I started to cry. “You idiot! I thought you were dead! Why did you do that?”  I fell back on the floor next to him, shaking uncontrollably. “Guess I am stronger than I thought.”

Aedan reached for my hand.  “Looks like we found the key to your magic. Remind me never to really piss you off.”

I hate it when he is right.

Wolf Encounter

Creative Copy Challenge 194

1.    Put
2.    Point
3.    Bizarre
4.    Weave
5.    Spiral
6.    Weird
7.    Goofy
8.    Pop
9.    Cult
10.    Fan

Start pleasepleaseplease! Stupid truck. The key rattled in the ignition and finally the motor made a sound that was deafening. They would hear. I put the truck in drive and I stomped the gas pedal hoping this was just some cult. Maybe my coffee was drugged. I couldn’t get the weird vision out of my head. The truck was weaving and rocking on the bumpy road. I rubbed my eyes with my fist thinking the pain might wake me up from whatever this was. I needed to pay attention or I would spiral off a cliff.

There wasn’t much point in getting away from them if I died in a goofy driving accident. Where to? Home? Aedan could show up and…and what? Was I afraid of him now? What was that pop? The truck started limping and rocking on the ridges of the track now. It wasn’t really a road any more. Tires were not meant to go so fast over these rocks. I said a quick prayer that it would make it to Simon’s house. I was not a fan of walking in the dark, especially when I was hallucinating wolves. Simon would know what to do. He was the only friend anywhere near here. I would tell him about this bizarre night and he would have some simple explanation and we would laugh about it.

I pulled the truck up to the edge of the trees. You couldn’t drive all the way to his cabin. I cut the engine off and listened for a moment hearing nothing but the ticking of the engine cooling. The sudden silence was eerie. How many steps up the hill to his porch. I gathered my courage and reached for the door lock when the truck rocked and I felt something heavy land in the bed. The rear view mirror showed glowing eyes getting closer as claws clicked on the metal. So much for hallucinations.

nanowrimo outtake

Wolf Moon Outtake

I crossed the 25000 word line tonight. Half. way. there.

Creative Copy Challenge 193

1.    Gentle
2.    Sweat
3.    Guide
4.    Design
5.    Simple
6.    Full
7.    Borrow
8.    Trace
9.    Technique
10.    Flip

Aedan stopped at the door.

“Go after her. You will have to guide her until she learns.” Simon smiled. “Don’t worry about me. I will clean up here and get some rest.”

Simon had worked magic and skill with herbs and Jae had survived the attack but she had shifted and was a new wolf. It would take a gentle touch to show her simple things that Aedan took for granted. She would need to master the technique of holding her humanity deep inside when in wolf form, while changing her perspective to fit with her new body. The brain could adjust but it was meant to deal with one form, by design.

Aedan took off, running full out, until he caught up with the wolf. He came at her from behind and flipped her onto her back. He stepped back and stood in front of her waiting.

“What did you do that for?” Jae jumped up, shaking herself. A trace of leaves and grass clung to sweat dampened fur. She was angry and confused but her wolf instinctively reacted to the alpha. That seemed to anger her more.

“You have to take it slow until you get used to this body. Your height is different. Your coordination is different. I’m sorry, but I don’t want you to kill yourself by running off a cliff or into a tree.” Aedan watched as she hesitated.

“Wait. How can I hear you?” Jae knew they were not speaking, and yet, she understood Aedan as if he said the words.

“I can hear you too. You will be able to communicate with the entire pack. In fact, you will need to learn to shield your thoughts or they will know everything you think. Not always convenient.”


Aedan had been waiting for her to ask. “Simon would not let her in. She tried to talk him into it and then she tried to force her way in. She wants to kill you. I’m not sure if there is anything human left in her.”

Jae bowed her head. “I don’t know if I have the strength to handle this.”

Aedan felt the panic rising in her. “Then you can borrow mine.”

Danger At The River

Creative Copy Challenge 190

  1. Suck 
  2. Will
  3. Love
  4. Great
  5. Surround
  6. Fluid
  7. Big
  8. Me
  9. Enough
  10. Move

The rock still held some warmth from the sun and I loved to come here to sit and watch the sunset. I couldn’t get enough of it. Even with the noise from the river, I felt a peace like nowhere else. I thought for the thousandth time, how grateful I was to Aunt Kathryn for leaving the cabin to me in her will. The more I learned about her from her journals and from tiny touches around the little house, the more I was sure I would have loved her.

My thoughts were interrupted by motion at the edge of my vision. I turned my head and there stood a wolf on my side of the river. I sucked in my breath and jumped off the rock and the wolf growled, front legs planted apart. It was beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.

Her movements were fluid. Why did I assume the wolf was a female? I was suddenly acutely aware of my surroundings. Nothing but trees, and the roar of the rapids would be loud enough to drown out my voice if I tried to shout for help. I took a slow step back. Her fur was standing up and I was close enough to see the delicate pink of her gums. Her lips were peeled back and the large canines glinted in the remaining light. Remaining would be dark soon. No one would know I was gone until morning when the shop remained closed. Great.

“Look. I don’t mean you any harm.  Nice doggie?”

The wolf growled, deep and menacing. I could swear she was angry.  What a crazy thing to think. She was closer and she was big.  I took another step and she growled again, tracking my movement. I was sweating in the cool air. I felt ridiculously clumsy and slow. Her eyes seemed intelligent and I knew I was in danger.

The almost ebony wolf suddenly jerked her head up. Something was behind me. I slowly turned my head and saw a huge brown wolf. I would be dinner for two.

Instead of both of them attacking me, the brown wolf leaped around me and stood between me and the female. This was the wolf I had seen watching me from the other side of the river. He growled and stepped forward until he was just a few feet from the black wolf, a rumbling sound coming from his throat the whole time. The female held her ground for a moment and then lowered her head. The brown wolf continued to growl until she laid down and exposed her throat. I could do nothing but stare in fascination. He nipped at her and she rolled and rose to her feet and with a look back at me, turned and loped off. My rescuer turned and sat down in front of me. I was frozen in place.

When my heart stopped pounding so hard that I was sure he could hear it, I sunk to the ground. This was crazy. Why wasn’t I running?

I tried to speak and nothing came. I swallowed and tried again.

“Thank you.”

The wolf just stared at me. I lowered my head just like the female wolf did.  He seemed almost to nod, stood and walked away.

I managed to stand and turned toward home, my legs shaking. I made it home with no more trouble, let myself in the door and threw the deadbolt.

I turned on every light in the house. It was going to be a while before I could sleep.


Creative Copy challenge 189

1.    Shy
2.    Ground
3.    Luck
4.    Treat
5.    Touch
6.    Face
7.    Desire
8.    Need
9.    Urgent
10.    Done

I was angry.  I wanted them out of my head.  I didn’t ask for this and I was damned if I was going to just roll over and do what they wanted.  I ran across the frozen ground, down through the ravine to Simons’ house.  He had the touch. He could help me.  He would know what needed to be done, how to treat this thing.
I slipped on the icy rocks. This urgent desire for answers was making me careless. Even a wolf can run out of luck up here.
“Jae, wait!” I could hear him in my mind but I ignor him.  He thought I was just shy.  Shy!  After what the rogue did to me!  I would face them down. Every last one of them. I wanted my family back.  I wanted my life back!  I could see a glow.  Simon would have a fire going on this cold night and I needed to be behind closed doors in front of that fire before Aedan caught up with me.

What To Do With a Sick Collie

Creative copy Challenge 188


If he has the collywobbles
and he hobbles after rabbits
chasing silly pretty baubles
you should never feed him holly
tea from kat is a bad habit

if he slowly coughs up furballs
like a silly willy kitty cat
and tries to wear a turtle
for a winter doggie hat
then the cure will just be slower
you can bet the hat on that

  1. Collywobbles
  2. Collie
  3. Wobbles
  4. Holly
  5. Slow
  6. Slower
  7. Turtle
  8. Rabbit 
  9. Cat
  10. Kat

riffing off Vivien Shipley with a little Dr. Seuss thrown in.

Wolf Moon Cave

Written for Creative Copy Challenge 187

  1. Erroneous
  2. Advent – a coming into place, view, or being; arrival: the advent of the holiday season.
  3. Innocuous – not harmful or injurious; harmless
  4. Decisions 
  5. Virility
  6. Catacombs – an underground cemetery, especially one consisting of tunnels and rooms with recesses dug out for coffins and tombs.
  7. Weathering
  8. Placate – to appease or pacify, especially by concessions or conciliatory gestures
  9. Catatonic – a syndrome characterized by muscular rigidity and mental stupor
  10. Gelatinous

Jae ran through the catacombs making decisions on twists and turns based on memories.  She had lived here in human form before she met Aedan.  Weathering the change from the forest to this place had made them both nearly catatonic. She missed the woods and the smell of snow on mountains. With the advent of Lucia’s reign, they were no longer safe.

Jae heard Aedan in her head. “Hmmmph, I could have kept up just fine in human form!”

Jae sped into a tunnel on the left. “Relax, your virility was never in question.  I knew you would follow my scent and we would make better time.”

“Are we getting close?” Aedan made one erroneous step and slid through something gelatinous. “What the??”

“These are tombs, Aedan.”  The stench assaulted her delicate nose.

She could hear faint growls ahead. “Almost there.” She hoped that would placate him.  She heard a crunching noise behind her and turned to look. Aedan had disappeared.  Jae skidded to a stop and carefully retraced her steps. She heard Aedan whine. She looked over the edge of a jagged hole. Rotten dirt covered boards had given way as Aedan crossed.

“Aedan!”  The wolf moaned.

“Aedan don’t change.  Hold on, I’ll get help!”  Jae took off down the tunnel toward the barking sounds.  After a series of barks the pack followed her back to where Aedan lay, now very still.

“Aedan, I’m coming!”  All around the tunnel sounds echoed as the fur disappeared and flesh and bone remolded itself.  Jae had always been able to change quickly and she was the first to assume human form.  She looked around and one of the pack ran up with rope in his mouth.  She tied it around her waist as the last wolf changed.  The walls were not smooth. She could see dark places that looked like side caverns.  Ryall took hold of the rope and nodded at her as he passed the rest of the rope behind him.  Anchored by the rest of the pack, Jae started the climb down to Aedan.  He was whining again and Jae hoped that meant his wolf form was helping to heal.

Safely at the bottom of the passage, Jae knelt next to the wolf.  She felt for breaks and was relieved to find none. She stroked his fur.  “Aedan, come on. We made it!”  Aedan opened his eyes and nosed her hand.

“Can you stand?”  Jae moved away a little.  Aedan struggled to his feet, whining.

“Is he okay?” Ryall and the rest of the pack looked down at them. Jae nodded her head and then realized it was probably too dark for them to see her.

“I think so but I’m not sure I can get him back up.  We’ll try one of the side passages down here and find you.”

Ryall tossed a sack down to her.

“Thanks Ryall!  Thanks all of you!  Wait in the hall and we’ll meet you later! ” Jae found a torch in the sack along with an apple and a freshly killed rabbit.  Ryall knew Aedan would need to eat. Healing took a lot of energy. The apple was for her. She put the rabbit down in front of Aedan and sat down by the wall to eat her apple.  Glancing around, she wondered why they had never found this place when she was here with her family.  Remembering her family made her sad.  Aedan made quick work of the rabbit and Jae brushed herself off.

“Ready?”  Jae nodded her head at the side cavern and Aedan started walking. Jae took a last thoughtful look. It seemed innocuous but she shivered anyway. She knew from experience that death lurked in more than the ancient coffins. She wished she could see the moon.


Creative Copy Challenge 186

  1. Happy 
  2. High
  3. Sunny
  4. Blue
  5. Feathers
  6. Horns
  7. Diamonds
  8. Grass 
  9. Fire
  10. Stars


Happiness is as light

and fleeting as feathers

in the wind

beautiful and hard to hold

as bright stars

too high to reach

but we try anyway…
We are on fire

strive for diamonds

find them perched

on sharp horns

that cut us leaving us

skewered and bleeding

in the grass

staring at the blue sky
watching hope float by

The Soucouyant

Written for Creative Copy Challenge 185 Loquacious, Sedentary,  Artistic, Voracious, Fluorescent, Rad, Delicious, Rotund, Decapitate, Slimy

and thanks to Wordnik – Word of the day – Soucouyant!


Henry thought the party tiresome. Being stuck in a corner with a loquacious youth who seemed to think “rad” was an actual word, was not his idea of a good time.

“These little crackers are rad!”

“Isn’t the Dean’s home rad?”

I should have wacked her with my cane.

He only accepted the invitation because he had heard that the Dean of the university had quite an artistic flare and stories of the beautifully decorated home and delicious fare had been spoken of in awed tones at his gentleman’s club. Henry had lived a sedentary life and was a bit on the rotund side. He walked with mincing steps, skirting the slimy puddles.  The fluorescent street light shone on his balding pate.  He poked at a piece of paper with his cane and glanced around uneasily.

The night was warm and humid and Henry was sweating as he turned away from the lights, down his quiet street. The house mother had left him was in need of a few repairs but it wasn’t his fault that his investments hadn’t paid off the way he had expected. Henry had an astute mind and a flair for finance.  How could he foresee the market going soft?

He shivered slightly, even in the heat. It must have been the tale told by the Dean’s sister. A disturbing woman with wild hair and clothing that was far too bright. Her eyes glittered and made Henry’s heart pound in the most disconcerting way. She spoke with an accent and claimed to have traveled from the West Indies. Even her name was exotic…Valencia. Henry didn’t much care for exotic people or places. He preferred his own home, his daily newspaper, and his morning tea at he same time every day.  He pulled his handkerchief from his jacket pocket and mopped his forehead.  He walked quickly now. The shadows were deeper and the usually comforting lane seemed menacing. He heard an echo of footsteps somewhere behind him. He thought again about the story of the soucouyant – an old woman who could turn to a fireball and slip through your keyhole and suck your blood, either turning you into her kind or killing you so she could wear your skin and pursue more victims. What a lot of rot. Henry chuckled at his nervousness.  Too much rich food made for crazy thoughts.

He could see his home just a few doors down and he nearly stumbled in his haste. He remembered the strange woman extending her hand to him as he made his goodbyes.  She smiled at Henry.

“You are not superstitious?”

Henry frowned and pulled his hand from her grasping fingers.

“No I am not. Nothing but a bunch of silly tales made up by uneducated people trying to explain the world.”

She smiled again and the glare from the lamps glinted off her teeth. Henry felt the room spin and drew back. Surely a trick of the lights…She licked her lips.

“There are many things in the world – terrifying things with voracious appetites that cannot be explained.”  She patted his cheek. Henry had been backing up slowly and jumped when his back touched the door.

“Ggggood evening madam!” Henry stammered and turned to escape into the night.

Now as the conversation came back to him he kept seeing those shiny teeth.  He nearly stumbled as he hurried up the front steps and let himself in, throwing the deadbolt behind him.
He shook himself and sighed in relief.

I am being ridiculous!  A glass of brandy and then bed!

Henry took off his shoes and set them next to the door, putting on his slippers. He poured a glass of brandy and sat in his leather chair with the lamp spilling cheerful light around him.  A combination of nerves and the brandy (and a very full stomach) made him sleepy and he soon dozed off.  Henry was snoring when the front door lock began to glow.  A bright ball of fire flowed through the keyhole and Henry jerked awake in time to see the flames shimmer and fade until the form of Valencia stood before him.  His lamp dimmed and just before the room was plunged into darkness, Henry screamed at the sight of those bright white teeth.  Henry stopped screaming as the vampire jaws nearly decapitated him.

The soucouyant would have to wear her own skin another day.

Magic Chicken

Rowan examined the pages of the codex for the third time. The words blurred and rambled over the page.  She pushed her hair off her face and wished for a breeze. The fire burned hot enough to make satan uncomfortable but a shiver ran through her, chilling her blood til it felt gelid and swollen in her heart.

“If I don’t do this, Aidan will die.  If I don’t do this right, I will die.” she thought.  Neither choice was acceptable. She had walked all day after visiting the old woman in the cave.  Most of her advice was nothing but headology and that might work on the poor folk in the valley who were ignorant of the true path.  Rowan needed real magic tonight and real magic demanded blood.  She had a catheter ready to insert into her own vein and prayed for the resilience to follow through.  She sighed and read the page one more time.

“Defenestrate?  Why didn’t it just say throw it out the window?” She sighed half from frustration and half from exhaustion.

When she had drained the required amount of blood from her own arm, she applied herbs and a clean cloth to close the wound. She was ready for the incantation.

gizzards and feathers
shall be mixed with the blood
for reincarnation
needs more than mud
twice to the left
thrice to the right
at gibbous moon
in pale dead light

Aidan moaned on the cot and opened his eyes.

“Shazam” He smiled weakly at her.

“Shut up fool”  Rowan’s knees gave out and she sank down beside him.
“You owe me seven chickens!”


phew, that was a tough one…

Disappearing Ink

Albie wrapped the rags around his neck and mouth and shivered.  The smoke from the fire smelled of something dead and gave off little heat.  He got more warmth from the people gathered around. He longed for quiet as the noise pounded into his head.  A group on the corner was beating on cans and rusted sheets of metal, shards of glass rained down from the vacant building above and someone in the corner was moaning. Albie kept his eyes lowered and shoved his hands deep into his pockets.

Just yesterday, the sun was shining as he kissed his wife goodbye and left for the office.  Everything had been one long night since. His office was an empty lot like the whole east side of town. At least that was what he heard. It was forbidden to go to that sector so there was no way to know for sure.  Albie wondered about Jeff who used to be in the office next to his. Did he survive? He used to keep a picture of his family on his desk. Pretty wife and two tow-headed daughters grinned in front of a brick house in the burbs. He would rather think about times at his old job than Sarah.  That opened up a desolate pit of pain that was best avoided.  People whispered about an apocalypse. Albie figured he was in hell.

An old man shuffled forward, breaking all the rules. He looked each person straight in the eye until they returned his stare for a second.  He patted this one and that one on the shoulder as he wandered around the alley.  Fool! He will be dead before morning, Albie thought! Sure enough, the old man wandered into a dark corner and after a scuffle, he was just gone.  Crazy Mary cackled and rocked, pulling her cardboard up around her.  Albie wondered once why no one bothered her, Then one night he saw a fat man reach down for a piece of her makeshift house and screamed when a flash of silver drew a dark line across his hand.  Albie stayed well away from Mary’s wall after that. Her cackle ran shivery fingers up his spine.

Albie’s fingers closed around the crumbling piece of paper in his pocket. He had rubbed it for so long the ink was gone. It didn’t matter. He knew the words by heart.

Ten words from Creative Copy Challenge


Maid for Better

Creative Copy Challenge #68

Use the following words and then highlight them.

1.    Bellybutton
2.    Digital
3.    Ding-a-ling
4.    Guacamole
5.    Iceburg
6.    Kangaroo
7.    Nail
8.    Percent
9.    Speed
10.    Vacuum

Roz heard the irritating little ding-a-ling from upstairs.  She sighed and glanced at her digital watch. It had to be the twentieth time today and it wasn’t noon yet.  She still needed to vacuum and that old iceberg upstairs would want her lunch at exactly twelve-thirty, not one minute after or she would be ringing that blasted bell.  She smoothed her pink nylon uniform and straightened the prissy little lace cap. It seemed to represent this entire house.  Silly little useless things covered every surface and served no purpose other than to catch dust.

“Coming” Roz called as she trudged up the stairs.  She started to chew on a nail and then remembered how Miss Alice lectured her the last time she noticed her nail polish was chipped.  She could still hear that whiny high pitched voice. “If you are going to wear that atrocious color at least refrain from chewing your nails.  Show some self control!”  Every line punctuated by her little kangaroo arms waving bird like claws.  Wouldn’t she have a fit if she knew about the bellybutton ring.  The thought made Roz smile for a minute.  She took a deep breath and opened the door. “Yes, Miss Alice?”

“Have you started lunch yet?  You know I like my meals on time, and could you fluff my pillows please? Her little wrinkled nostrils flared and contracted as she tried to suck in enough air.

“Yes ma’am.  I made some guacamole and salad. It is chilling and I will bring your tray at the regular time.”  Roz held her bony shoulders up and fluffed the pillows though the skinny little thing barely made a dent.  Ros smoothed the lace bed jacket and straightened the bow.

“Well see that you are one hundred percent on time on time!  Did you finish the downstairs yet?”  Her baby bird neck vibrated as she spoke.

“No ma’am.  I was just getting ready to vacuum.” Roz pushed her hair back.

“You are lazy.  I won’t tolerate incompetence.  You know there are other girls out there who need employment, and fix these pillows!”

“Certainly Miss Alice.” Roz reached for the pillow and with speed she didn’t know she possessed, crammed the pillow down over the old woman’s face.  It didn’t take much strength or time before everything was silent and peaceful. Roz went downstairs and plugged in the vacuum cleaner.  She hummed as she worked.