Category Archives: Jess Jarman

Wednesday Randomness – I Spend Too Much Time…

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I Spend Too Much Time…Raiding Windmills. We go side by side, laugh until its right. Take the darkest hour, break it open.

If you can tell me what song that’s from, I’ll give you chocolate. And no Googling!

But seriously folks, this week’s Random Wednesday topic is – I Spend Too Much Time…

Worrying.

I am a master worrier. I worry about everything. Did I leave the toaster plugged in? Did I lock the door when I left for work? Am I going to lose my job? Is something in my house going to fail drastically? Is my cat sick? I can worry about anything at any time and it can easily spiral out of control. And if I’m not careful I can end up in a panic attack.

I also spend too much time not writing. Every day I leave work telling myself that I’m going to go home and write. Instead I go home and binge watch Netflix, or goof around on the internet, or read. Or sleep. It’s a wonder I ever get anything written at all.

Last but not least, I spend too much time “shoulding.” I tell myself I should be doing this or I should be doing that. All it does is add to my stress level so I’m working on cutting my self some slack. Easier said than done.

Check out the Wednesday blogs below:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Kellie
Paige
Gwen

Wednesday Randomness – Five Words or Less

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This week’s blog post is another Five Words or Less…on My Blog, My Fiction, and My Creative Process.

So, let’s see what we’ve got here.

My Blog – Aimless, needs a new title.

My Fiction – Unfocused, not happening right now.

My Creative Process – Lacking, distracted, squirrel!

Can everyone tell what kind of mood I’m in right now? 🙂

Check out the other blogs to see what they have to say:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Gwen
Kellie

Flash Fiction

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“You have to go. You have to go now.” Even as she urged him to leave, Lucy pulled Liam closer by the collar of his coat. “They’re going to be here soon, you can’t stay.”

“I can’t just leave you to deal with them,” Liam said, fear choking his voice.

“You can hear the helicopter coming. They’ll be able to see us soon with the searchlights.”

“But there’s no place for them to land,” Liam protested.

“Not right here, but they’ll find somewhere close by. And I’ll be able to keep them busy while you get away. I’m not the one they’re after. Liam, go. Run. We’ll meet up in a couple of weeks at the cabin and figure out what the next steps are.” Lucy framed Liam’s face with her hands, trying to memorize his features in the faint light coming from the helicopter that was closing in on them.

This was all Lucy’s fault. It had been her idea to go after Senator Willis in order to prove he was behind her grandfather’s death. Of course that meant Liam had been the one to break into the Senator’s office and search his files and his computer. And now the FBI was after Liam, and Lucy was posing as his hostage.

Everything has gotten so out of control since her grandfather’s death. He had been a long time D.C. fixture, his family had owned The Washington Post for years. And when they started digging into a deal Senator Willis was working on, grandfather had died in a seemingly random car accident. But Lucy wasn’t convinced. The more she dug, the more she was convinced the paper had been on to something and grandfather had died because of it.

Liam stared at Lucy before pulling him to her and kissing her hard. “Be safe,” he said. “I’ll see you in two weeks in Colorado. Don’t be late and make me worry, ok?”

“Ok,” Lucy said. “Just go.”

Standing in the middle of the road she watched Liam turn and run into the woods. She hoped desperately that he would be ok, she couldn’t stand to lose him too. Not now. Not when she needed him more than ever.

Check out the Flash Fiction stories from the other bloggers below:

Jess
Bronwyn
Gwen
Jessica
Kris
Paige

Wordless Wednesday – My Past

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Bronwyn
Jessica
Kris
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Gwen
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Kellie

Flash Fiction

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songprompt1It’s Flash Fiction Monday and this week’s inspiration comes from the song The Hammer’s Comin’ Down, by Nickelback. Listening to the song inspired me, but so did some of the lyrics specifically, so I’ve posted them below.

Where will you be when the sky comes down?
What would you do if the strength was found?
Stay right beside me when the ground starts shaking
The only sound you’ll lose is the breath we’re taking

If there’s only one thing I can promise you
You’ll see the light again
This the calm before the coming storm
This is the red sky morning
And without warning now
This is the rocket we’ve been waiting for
And there’s no sense in running
The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming

Once it’s starting, there’s no turning back
But I’ll be with you when the sun turns black
‘Cause finding faith will always be the hardest
While your standing in the heart of darkness
If there’s only one thing I can promise you
You’ll see the light again
This is the calm before the coming storm
This is the red sky morning
And without warning now
This is the pocket we’ve been waiting for
And there’s no sense in running

The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming down, down

Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We can make our way back home
Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We’ll find the light, come on

Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We can make our way back home
Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We’ll find the light, come on

This is the calm before the coming storm
This is the pocket we’ve been waiting for

Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We’ll find the light, come on

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This the continuation of an earlier Flash Fiction post. To read the first part, click here.

***

Leaning across the table, Celeste clasped my hands in hers, “Please, Kat. Please say you’ll say help me.”

I was completely thunderstruck. Fairy tales weren’t real. I wasn’t sitting across the table from Snow freaking White and I sure couldn’t do anything to find her missing miners. “Wait,” I said before the thought had even fully formed. “Aren’t they dwarves?”

At that she smiled. “No, they are not dwarves in the sense of being small, as is, I think, the traditional story that is told. They are, as I said, miners And brothers. I believe, over the years the story was twisted so that it became common lore that they were of the race of dwarves who are traditionally miners.”

“Wait, that’s not the point,” I said. Standing up, I pulled Milo with me and headed towards the door. “You’re not Snow White, I’m not your great, great, whatever niece, and I’m not looking for any lost miner guys. We’re going.” I was halfway out the door when she spoke again.

“What about you, Milo? Why haven’t you told Kat about your dreams?”

I felt Milo stiffen behind me. “Dreams,” I said. “What dreams?” Turning to look at him, I could see a flush creeping up his face.

“I, uh, they’re not, I don’t think. They can’t be. What?” The last part he directed to Celeste. “Do you mean they’re related somehow?”

“If you’re here with Kat, yes. You wouldn’t have been able to set foot in this house, or even see it, if you weren’t meant to be here. Please, will you both sit back down?”

In a complete daze, I stumbled back to the table and sat. “Talk,” I said to Milo. And he did.

It took some prodding and finally the story came out. A couple of weeks after my dreams had started, Milo’s had shown up. They were always the same. He was trapped underground, he was weak and tired but, oddly, hopeful. He knew he wasn’t alone but he couldn’t see anyone else. He knew where he was, but at the same time, there was no conscious thought of where he was. At the end of the dream, there was always a blast and a rock fall. And then he woke up. He had never told me about he because it didn’t think it was related to my dreams. He was pretty severely claustrophobic, so he’d had dreams about situations like that all his life.

Celeste had a different take.

“The miners were imprisoned by the Queen in their iron mine, in a sort of stasis. The magic surrounds them completely, sustains them, infuses them. I believe it’s allowing them to communicate with Milo.”

“Why me?”

“As Kat is descended from my family, you must be descended from theirs. They were a large family, every seventh generation had seven sons. That’s where my friends came from, they were that seventh generation.”

“I’m the youngest of seven boys,” Milo said quietly, not able to meet Celeste’s eyes.

***

Check out the links below to read the flash fiction stories:

Jess
Bronwyn
Paige
Jessica
Gwen
Kris
Kellie

Wednesday Randomness – What Inspires Me from A to Z

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This week’s topic is what inspires me…from A to Z. This was hard. This was very hard. I almost gave up, three times. But I stuck to it, and this is what I came up with. Some of these are writing inspirations, some are general inspirations in life. I couldn’t come up with something for every letter of the alphabet, but I did my best.

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Books, duh.

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Dora is my husband’s great-grandmother and she is 102. She has seen so much and lived through so many changes in the world. She’s lost a husband, a daughter, survived breast cancer in the 70’s, and she’s always in a good mood when you visit her. She’s an amazing lady.

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Fear inspires me, mainly the fear of being stuck forever in a job that I don’t want to be doing when I’m 60. I don’t hate my job, but I don’t want to do it forever. And the fear of seeing myself in that same desk 30 years from now inspires me to keep writing.

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Hiddleston, Tom inspires many things that I will not talk about here. 🙂

Ireland inspires me, because, well, I should have been born Irish. Something about the culture and history speaks to me. Just looking at pictures of the rolling green hills and rocky shorelines makes me happy.

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K

Location, location, location – there are many places in the world that inspire me. I was fortunate to travel to Italy as part of a program when I was in college and I got to visit Venice. The Grand Canal is amazing and seeing pictures of it always brings me back there. Cheesy as it sounds, it transports me.

My brother co-runs a small theater company in Seattle. it started out as something he did only part of the year, but it has become his full time job. He has put so much time and effort and creative energy into this venture. I’m inspired by his willingness to do something out of the ordinary and to take this plunge.

New experiences, any new experiences, have the potential to inspire. I tend to be rather hermit-iike in my tendencies, so I really have to push myself sometimes, but I always tell myself that a new experience may be the inspiration I need for a new story.

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People watching kind of goes along with new experiences, you never know what you might see when you’re around a group of people. And boy can you get inspiration from people you see out and about.

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Rainstorms inspire me the same way that sad songs inspire me. Sometimes I get stuck in a melancholy mood and when I’m there, I just like to kind of wallow in and see where it takes me. Some of my best writing ideas have come out of those moods.

Sad songs inspire me to write. There’s something about the mood they put me in, it gets the creative juices flowing. I think they tap into the inner high school loner in me.

Toad the Wet Sprocket is one of my all time favorite bands, I love them unashamedly and I always will. There are numerous songs that I hear that take me back to a certain time or event. There are also particular songs that fall under that “sad song” category that inspire me to write. They help me when I’m working on YA stories because I can get back into my teenage headspace.

U2 is another one of my favorite bands, inspirational on many levels.

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Water in the form of lakes (Lake Michigan specifically) or oceans is incredibly inspiring to me. I can sit on a beach and listen to waves for hours. The first draft of a full length novel I finished is heavily influenced by water, the main character is for sure. I also find it soothing, I often fall asleep to water sounds.

X

Yellow Ledbetter is a song by Pearl Jam. I can’t understand most of the lyrics because, you know, Eddie Vedder. but something about the opening chords of that gives me chills.

Z

Check out the other Wednesday bloggers to see what inspires them. And make sure welcome our newest blogger Paige Prince!
Bronwyn
Paige
Jess
Jessica
Kellie
Kris
Gwen

Flash Fiction

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Eve sat in front of the mirror, touching up her make-up. Red lipstick, eyes outlined in kohl, a light dusting of glitter that would sparkle in the right lighting. She didn’t even have to think about it anymore, the look was pretty much muscle memory at this point. The finishing touch was a scarf in her long, chestnut, hair; turquoise with silver swirls and beads dangling off the ends. It was pretty yes, but it was also expected.

With that last touch, the picture was complete. Eve stood up and examined her reflection in the full length mirror on the opposite wall. Her costume changed daily, but always contained the same basic elements, a long flowing skirt, a peasant top, sandals and the scarf in her hair. It’s what people expected of a carnival fortune teller. With a heavy sigh, she picked up the bundle on the table next to the door and stepped outside.

Squinting in the sunlight, Eve scanned the fairgrounds and saw the crowds were already starting to gather. It was going to be another humid, exhausting day. And the owners thought it wasn’t “authentic” to have air-conditioning in her tent, so she had to make due with a hidden, hand-held fan. She made the short walk over to her tent, purple and bejeweled, and stepped inside through the opening in the back.

The floor of the tent was covered in soft pillows surrounding a low table. In the center of the table was a silver stand. It was on this stand that Eve placed the item from the bundle she carried. Once it was settled and she made sure it was secure, she stood back a moment and admired the way the lamps made it glow. It was a glass orb, something you could hold in both hands, and the inside was full of delicate glass filaments in a rainbow of colors. The other members of the carnival thought it was odd how protective Eve was of this particular prop. It was pretty, sure, but it was just a fake crystal ball. But she never left it in the tent unattended and never let anyone else touch it, let alone carry or move it.

But what no one actually knew was, the crystal ball was where she saw her visions. Because Eve was a real psychic.

A long time ago she had realized the safest place to hide out was in plain sight. Tell the world you’re a psychic and no one believes you. Try to hid and eventually someone will find you out.

Once she was sure everything looked perfect, Eve went to the front of the tent and set out her sign, proclaiming her attraction open for business. It only took about fifteen minutes for her first customers to arrive, potentially knowing the future was a hard thing to resist.

The first hour of the day was mundane. Will I get married? Will I be rich? Will I get the new job? People’s worries were so predicable and petty. No one cared about anything important. Will I make a difference? Will we ever get world peace? Will my children grow up to be good people? Those would be important questions. And for all Eve saw about other people, she never saw a hint of her own future. When it came to what the future had in store for her, she was as blind as everyone else.

After lunch, Eve was preparing to suffer through the heat of the afternoon when the flap of the tent opened. The sunlight outlined the individual so at first she couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. Once the flap was closed against the sunlight, she the person was a man, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. His clothing seemed odd, given the heat of the day, she thought.

“Have a seat, please,” Eve said, gesturing to the pillows across from her. The man folded his legs under himself gracefully has he sank down. “What question can I answer for you?”

“I think it’s a simple one,” the man said. “I’m mostly curious about my plans for this afternoon.”

“This afternoon?” Eve was confused. Usually people came to her either to ask outlandish questions or to find out about things farther in the future.

“Yes, I have some rather audacious plans for the afternoon and I’m interested to see if they are going to work out in my favor. Would you mind telling me if you can see how things will go?”

Eve looked at the man across from her, really studying him for the first time. He was probably close to her age, maybe twenty-five or so. He had light brown hair, brown eyes, a pleasant, if unmemorable face. All in all, the most distinctive thing about him was his voice. It was very low and smooth and almost made her stomach flip every time he spoke.

“Please?” he prompted.

“Of course,” Eve replied, giving herself a little shake. “But first, that will be five dollars please, sir.” He smiled and handed her the money, and something in that smile made a little shiver run down her spine.

Eve tried to center herself and leaned over the crystal ball, pulling on her other senses to see what was in this man’s future. Slowly, shapes and images started to materialize in the orb. From experience, she knew he couldn’t see anything, so he was looking at her expectantly.

The scene in front of her solidified and she smiled to herself. She saw the inside of her tent, with the man sitting across the table, watching her. It was strange, almost like an out of body experience. And the first time she had ever seen herself in a vision.

“What do you see?” he asked.

“Well,” she said, meeting his eyes, “I see us. Here, in this tent.”

“That’s a good start,” he said.

“Is this a part of your audacious plans?” Eve asked with a smile.

“It is, actually. What else?”

Eve watched a for a minute, waiting for the scene to advance. As she looked on, she saw the man reach behind his back and pull something from underneath his shirt. As it glinted in the lamplight she realized it was a knife. The man in the crystal ball lunged and the knife plunged into that Eve’s chest.

Eve’s eyes flew up from her crystal ball to the man sitting across from her.

He smiled. “I’m guessing my plans work out just fine.” He reached behind him and pulled out the knife.

Eve screamed.

Check out the links below to see the other Flash Fiction Monday stories:
Jess
Jessica
Kris
Gwen
Bronwyn

Wednesday Randomness – Your Book is a Movie, Who is the Dream Cast?

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This week’s blog is about all dream casting for your book. I haven’t actually published a book, yet, but I have a current story I’m working on that I’m pretty excited about so I thought I’d use that one. I don’t want to give away too much about, but in short, this is a YA story about a psychic and a serial killer. Enough said.

My main character is named Francie and I have always pictured her as Felicia Day, although as a teenager. Especially with a hint of her character, Charlie, from Supernatural. A little quirky, but with a secret that she sides from a lot of people. But the look, total Felicia Day, the red hair, the smile, totally adorable.

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Francie’s best friend is a kid named Will, or as I like to call him, a younger version of John Cho. In the book, his last name is actually Cho. I like this picture of him in particular because he looks a little younger and a little innocent. And kind of a like a guy in awe of his psychic best friend. But he’s also Francie’s rock.

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The other character I can picture clearly in mind is the bad guy, the killer, Grayson Anderson. And for him, I see James Spader. A late 1990’s or early 2000’s James Spader. He can come across as utterly creepy and soulless, it just screams serial killer. His faces flashes in my mind when I write certain scenes. *shiver*

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Those are a few of my characters from my current work in progress and my dream casting if it ever became a movie (and time travel were possible, apparently).

Check out the links below to see what the other Wednesday bloggers are saying:

Jess
Gwen
Bronwyn
Kellie
Jessica
Kris

Flash Fiction

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Flash Fiction

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I could hear Milo’s steps getting quieter as he fell farther behind me, but I couldn’t bring myself to slow down. We were getting close, I could feel it. Something was pulling me deeper into the woods.

“Kat, wait up!”

I paused momentarily to let Milo catch up and I could hear branches snapping over the sound of my harsh breathing. The cold made this trek harder than it should have been but waiting just hadn’t been an option. Once Milo was close enough, I headed towards what looked like a clearing on the other side of a grove of pine trees. We pushed our way through and I stopped short.

“Is this the place?” Milo asked, his voice ringing in the cold air.

“Shhhh.” I hushed him. I don’t know why, but I felt like we were being watched. Or maybe that someone was listening to us somehow.

It looked the same as in my dreams. A small, stone cottage surrounded by a creek on three sides. It looked abandoned, but there was an energy coming from it, waves pulsating out from the house. Beckoning. “Do you feel that?” I asked Milo.

“Feel what?”

I didn’t bother answering him, but started forward, crunching through the snow. I didn’t stop when I reached the creek but splashed through it, expecting the water to be icy cold. Instead, the water soaking my jeans was warm like a summer sun was shining down on it. I heard Milo gasp in surprise behind me but other than that he stayed quiet.

We reached the other side of the creek and as we stepped onto the bank, the scene in front of us changed. The snow-covered grass became green and vibrant. The broken and missing shingles on the roof repaired themselves and the cottage looked like it had just been built. Smoke curled slowly from the chimney and lights glowed softly from the windows.

As we approached the front door, it swung open on silent hinges and the delicious smell of baked bread surrounded us and pulled us inside. Seated at the worn wooden table in the middle of the main room was a young woman with long black hair braided down the middle of her back. She wore a floor length, emerald-green dress with bell sleeves, almost Medieval looking. She was heartbreakingly beautiful, but was surrounded by an aura of sadness that was almost tangible.

“Please come in,” she said. “Don’t be scared. I’m glad you finally found me, Kat.”

Her voice was soft and melodious. I glanced over at Milo and he looked like he was positively entranced.

“I didn’t realize I was looking for you,” I said to her. “Who are you?”

She smiled, “My name is Celeste. But I understand that you may know me as Snow White.”

That was just too much for me. I sank down on the bench on the other side of the table from the woman, Celeste, and felt Milo sit next to me. “I, no. You, no. Absolutely not. No.”

She laughed softly. “I’m sorry, it’s probably a shock. But I called you here because I need your help.”

“What do you mean you called me here?”

“And how do you need Kat’s help?” Milo asked.

“Let me tell you my story,” Celeste said, “and hopefully you will take pity on me.”

When neither of said anything, she continued. “I believe most of what you know about me as a fairy tale is at least partially true. The Queen tried to have me killed because she thought I was more beautiful than she and she was jealous of me. She paid a huntsman to take me into the woods and kill me. What the Queen didn’t know about, and what the fairy tales never mention, is that I had magic of my own. I knocked the huntsman unconscious and fled from him, finally coming to a small cottage in the woods, this cottage in fact. Here I met seven men, miners, who took me in and helped to hide me from the Queen. They protected me and in return and I helped to care for their house and for them. I used my magic to help with their mining operation and they became more successful than they ever dreamed. They built a house for each of themselves nearby and I stayed here in my little cottage. Unfortunately, they became so wealthy and well known that they attracted the attention of the royal house. The Queen found me and was enraged when she discovered I was still alive and living a happy life. She decided to punish me eternally instead of killing me. She locked me in this cottage forever, never to age. The miners were stolen away, but kept alive, so that I could never see them again. And that’s where I need your help.”

“Ok,” I said, “I’m not saying I believe you in the slightest. But if I did, how in the world could I help you?”

“Yeah,” Milo said, “That’s what I asked.” I’d kind of forgotten he was there until he spoke.

Celeste looked at me for a moment and I slowly realized what she was seeing, the same black hair and blue eyes I saw on her face. The more I stared, the more I realized we looked like we could be sisters. She saw it dawn on my face. “I need your help, Kat, because you are my only living relative. You are the descendant of my younger sister making you my great, great, many times great-grand niece. And because I was able to call to you in your dreams, it means you share my magic. That means you can help me free my friends. You’re the only one who can help me. Although the Queen cursed me for eternity, the modern world is causing the magic to fade. If I don’t find the miners soon, they’ll be lost forever. You have to help me find them. I can’t let this happen. They are good men, their only crime was to help me.”

Leaning across the table, Celeste clasped my hands in hers, “Please, Kat. Please, say you’ll help me.”

To be continued…

Check out the links below to see the other Flash Fiction Monday stories:
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James
Bronwyn Green
Kris Norris

Wordless Wednesday – On My Walls

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Wordless Wednesday – On My Walls

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Check out the other Wednesday Bloggers:
Kris Norris
Bronwyn Green
Gwendolyn Cease
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James