Writerly Notions: Experts and Imagination

So I was re-reading Histoire d’Aladdin ou la Lampe merveilleuse (as one does), and I was forcibly reminded that writers need to know what they’re writing about. If say, I write about a character baking a cake, I have to know what kind of cake they’re baking and, more importantly, I need to know how that cake would be baked. And that’s where experts and connections and all that is important. Knowing who to ask and getting input from people who know what they’re talking about. Experts.

But what I think is interesting is that I couldn’t write:

She baked a werthor from a bowl of leftover isluuma blossoms, dried up after last winter’s molt and stored by her grandmother. After all adding a dollop of yurna berry juice, with just the right thickness to keep the center stiff, she popped the feathery dough into the fire-orb, watching as it expanded into a firm round werthor.

Because it’s not based on an actually recipe or method of baking.

Sparkling and Fleeting

Day 16: Feb 16

White sparkling snow blew across the lane between the woods. Bare branches were now draped in elegant white fur, fine and fluffy as it fell, sprinkled by the wind. The sky, cloudy blue, hunched over this tiny lane, a private little wonderland of winter. She inhaled the delicate, momentary beauty — for whenever the sun broke, it would melt everything into simple white blankets and the trees would lose their unearthly elegance — as well as the crisp cold wind. It cleared out her headache and her congestion. Inhaling again, she stepped across the lane; the trees sprinkled sparkling fur onto her bare head.


I have renewed these in lieu of the Refugee Ban in the USA. Inspired by the-cassandra-project and their Every Day Challenge, I am writing every day to raise money for the Urban Justice Center. You can donate here or please spread the word. Thank you.

The Winter Ones

Day 11: Feb 11

Snow poured from a white sky. A soft blue-gray tinge had settled over the woods as dawn crept over the world. Nestled in warm dens and cozy leaf-stuffed hollows, bears and squirrels dozed through the cold season. But other creatures, those that only came to life and liveliness during winter, cavorted through the snow. Long silver tails flashed, like distorted light, and cloaks of fine furry icicles looked, to the human eye, like swirls of snowflakes.

But they had their party and their time and that was enough.

[88 words]

I have renewed these in lieu of the Refugee Ban in the USA. Inspired by the-cassandra-project and their Every Day Challenge, I am writing every day to raise money for the Urban Justice Center. You can donate here or please spread the word. Thank you.

Snow Attack

Day 348

Azana laughs. The snowball strikes her husband right on the nose. Alion topples over; a plume of white billows around him. Beneath the crystal clear sky, the white powder sparkles like diamonds. Delighted, she packs another snowball and lobs it at Alion’s back.  

Written: 6 Nov 2016

Words: 43

Inspired: Romance of Three Jewels + plus a short story I’m writing

Living Dreams

Day 346

Dreams of delight and despair wage war in her waking mind.

Pale dawn gleams under the blinds; golden patches of autumn trees peek around them; frost whitens the garden outside. Autumn is in its death throes, as the chill of winter tightens its grip. She inhales the crisp air and cuddles back into her plush, cozy bed. Cashmere and wool and wonderful feather-filled coverlets help trap warmth.

She closes her eyes instead, letting the remnants of her dreams seep over her. Rather than try to decipher them, she breathes in the good and gently acknowledges the bad. She’s not sure this will do any good, but the images – the scenes and sensations – still ring vividly. A second life, a second memory. And so, she thinks, it it best to keep them alive, at least in her heart, for they seemed to speak to a deep part of her, and she could not want to lose that.

Written: 5 Nov 2016

Words: 156

Inspired: life/environment this morning/me/my dreams/my night

Sad Lost Soul

Day 229

Sadness clung like dregs of seaweed and water. It dragged her down, clammy fingers drowning the forlorn body into the drowned reflection of the moon. The fiery shades of autumn faded, grey gloom and cold mist replacing them with a forest of lost souls. Winter clung to its heels, as snowflakes spun wildly through the barren branches.

Written: 30 May 2016

Words: 57

Inspired: Over the Garden Wall


Ice and Sea and Fire [Day 170]

A RESTLESS COLD sinks into her limbs. The shining promise of progress crumbles into dust as the sun mounts into the clear, icy breath of morning. Towers of icicles gleam, twisted spindles of frozen water; a thousand shades of the sea have died here. 

She drops into the snow. The light covering of ice cracks beneath her weight and a damp chill seeps through the double cotton layer of her pants. 

The towers – and the passage between them – is still only a glint of trapped sea-water in the distance. Why keep struggling forward to somewhere she will never reach?

Listlessly, she gropes in her bag where the snow has not yet gnawed the expensive leather and pulls out a tiny glistening jewel. Its crimson radiance warms her fingers; its hot pulsating breath makes her blink rapidly. Deep violet burns at its center like a furnace mined from the depths of space.

A tiny sob clogs her throat and her memories strike her sharply in the chest. She remembers why she is here. Whimpering, she staggers to her feet. She keeps the jewel clutched tightly in her fist as she moves toward the ever-distant icy pass.

Written: 8 March 2016

Words: 197 

Inspired: life + metaphorical Romance of Three Jewels and/or Nights of Heroes

Day 144: Snowy Solitude 

SNOW DRIFTS DOWN like dainty lace. It covers the rocky hill and adorns the limbs of trees. Wrapping herself in a shawl, Azana wanders in the ivory landscape. Patches of moss and grass peek through the white, reminders of summer. She breathes in the cool air, letting its frostiness freeze her breath. She holds the sensation: clear, cleansing, and crisp. There are no thoughts in her head. She only has this moment. Feelings swirl underneath like windy currents, but she lets them flow around her, not judging or criticizing. She merely lets them be, as she is in this quiet solitude.

Written: 31 Jan 2016 

Words: 101

 Inspired: just to write something 

Fairy Tale Friday: Snedronningen: et eventyr i syv historier

The Snow Queen: a fairy tale in seven stories

by H. C. Andersen

Sjette historie: Lappekonen og finnekonen

“Sixth Story: The Lapland Woman and the Finnish Woman”

This was a rather short story, but it gave me some unique questions I’m still choosing on (feel free to share your opinions or thoughts):

  • Gerda’s innocence is her strength, hm…is she deserving? Has she done anything to deserve this accolade? Or is her general innocence enough? I guess what I’m questioning is how it doesn’t feel like she’s done anything except tell everyone how she’s looking for Kai. But maybe that’s enough. Or it’s unnecessary to prove anything beyond her loving devotion 
  • Snowflake monsters
  • Wind knots!
  • SQ has power over Kai (did she choose to take him? Because he saw her, she felt an affinity to him?)
  •  Why should Gerda save Kai? How is he less of a human being? Because he can’t feel and see life as it /the beauty in life?