The 7-Link-Challenge

Right now I’m reading a book called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. It’s author, Darren Rowse, posted a challenge on his blog today where he encourages his readers to do something similar to what he teaches in that book. It’s a neat, simple, terrifying task of writing a link-post. Of course I couldn’t resist, you know me… (Or will, if you keep reading my blog ;) )

THE 7 LINK CHALLENGE

  • My very first post on this blog was a beginning of a story, titled Dawn. Dawn is actually a story I’d like to continue some day, I like the idea of it and its characters, but for now it serves a different purpose. Got to start somewhere, right?  *grin*
  • The post I enjoyed writing the most is without doubt my ongoing story… Okay so they are multiple posts, not a single one, but you can find Triplepeak City in reading order on a single page if you want to! The story is about a girl in search of adventure who gets exactly what she asked for and more. Hidden city, horse-riding heroes, dark magic growling in the background in the form of wolves and ravens… Sound like fun?

At first it seemed like a dark cloud, but as it came closer she made out shapes and movement. It was a flock of large black birds, silently gaining on them with such accuracy it was clear what their target was. And soon enough, the first bird let out a rough cry and plunged towards them. It had barely moved from the flock when a few more mimicked its move and then the whole bunch was shooting down.

She reached for her knives, secured by her hip, but was stopped by the rider. He grabbed her arm and put it back around him as he leaned even further down, basically pinning her to the horse.

“Hold on,” he growled, muttered something and the horse broke into a gallop that seemed to be closer to flying than running as it´s feet barely met the ground. The birds missed their target but kept following them and she was about to point that out, somehow, when the rider added:

“Ravens are the least of our problems, it´s the dogs we need to worry about. The guys better have that damn tunnel ready.”

  • There was an interesting discussion on one of my poems, the first time someone actually criticized anything on my blog… Which is great! Feedback for me, some points to think about for you. The poem paints a picture of a troubled girl and it’s called Go on.

Dragging her feet
making her way towards whatever she
has to face that day.

Eyes glazed and gray
hair tangled as if soaked and woven
everything is slow.

  • The fourth part of the challenge was to link to “A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written”. This one is a bit of trouble for me. There are too many to choose from. I think I need to start by admitting to my relentless admiration of James Chartrand.
    (James, if you’re reading this: I’m your #1 fan! Will you please sign my bookmark of one of my favorite posts you’ve written: “How to Become a Better Writer and Get Readers Loving You” ? )Yeah, so there’s this post on reading your work out loud to improve it. Did I mention it? “How to become a better…” Right. Ahem. (How embarrassing.)
    The technique is one I use with and without meaning to. My friend Vallý knows when I’m really concentrating on writing something because I start reading aloud as I type and fix bad lines or ill-fitting words out loud before I fix them on the page… It comes in handy when doing assignments and essays for class together. She knows exactly where I’m going with the text before she gets a chance to read it ;) Do I wish I’d written that post? Do I wish I had the to-the-point and witty voice the author has? You bet I do.
  • My favorite title is “Light in its Natural Habitat“. The post is a poem, a cute little abc poem in fact, and that title both fits it perfectly and sounds… Well, I think it sounds awesome ;) Don’t you?
  • And finally, the post I so wish people would read and take to heart, because it’s supposed to help people realize poetry is a form of expression anyone can use. Please go ahead and read 5 Easy Steps to Writing Rhyme-Free Poetry
    I’m telling you now and I’ll tell you again, it’s not a question of “not getting” poetry. Who does? I mean, really? Do we ever know if what we gather from a poem is actually what the author wanted to say? No. Well, not unless you ask. The point is, if you can read, you can read poetry. It uses the same words as other texts, the same symbols. The words may stand for other than the obvious meaning, but so do words in other types of writing. I mean, have you read a legal document lately?

    Reading poetry is similar to listening to music. You have rhythm and sound, emotional use of words and metaphors… All you have to do is let yourself feel what the words are saying, just like tones of the piano or the guitar.

Now you have a decent list of great posts to read, and by all means do ;) In the meanwhile, I’m writing a little Thank-You post to celebrate a comment count of 100! Yay :) All my wonderful commenters will be listed and linked to, and the top ones get a little paragraph of introduction. All lovely people, I assure you ;)

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Triplepeak – part 7

(Find part 6 here.)

The grand hall filled Chase with dread as he crossed it with the kid in tow. He didn‘t look at the floor, the artfully decorated two-square-feet tiles, or the paintings that hung in viewing height and created a border from door to stairway on both sides of the room.

His large frame was squared and tense, shoulders set back and chin up. He was going to face some serious music this time.

He glanced at the kid as he reached the wide staircase straight across the room from the door. He only hesitated a second, only looked at her long enough to frown, but her image was burnt into his mind. He knew what the council would decide on, and that it was his fault. With a few muttered curses under his breath he started climbing the spiral stairs, one hand locked around a thin wrist.

He let go of her when they were half way up and slowed down a little. Not much, just so she‘d have any breath left when they reached the top floor. He saw her rub her wrist but she didn‘t complain. Maybe she felt the weight in the atmosphere. The finality.

The walls started creeping in as they neared the top, ending close enough to the stairs to easily cause claustrophobia. When the couple finished the hike, Chase‘s shoulders were touching the walls on both sides. This was for security reasons, of course. An entrance like this was easily guarded and there was no other way in or out.

Follow me, Chase said quietly and meant for it to sound commanding but it came out like a plea. Damn nerves, he thought and mentally kicked himself. He couldn‘t afford any mistakes now. He had to stay cool and composed.

He stopped a couple of steps from the tall archway into the front room where they‘d wait for an audience with the council. He should tell her what to expect.

“I, uh…” He started and cleared his throat when his voice sounded cracked and insecure. Well, to be fair it probably sounded just as grumpy as always to others, but he cleared his throat anyway.

“There are laws”, he started again, not sure how much to explain. “No one from the outside is supposed to know how to get to the city, or to see it.”

He looked her directly in the eyes now, hesitating a moment when her grin faded. He focused on her hands until she tucked them in her pockets and then looked her in the eye again, the whole thing taking only seconds.

“What they do”, he said and then corrected himself, “what we do, is execute the outsider”. She didn‘t break eye contact when he growled the last words, but she flinched. Of course she did, who wouldn‘t? Someone from outside these walls wouldn‘t understand the meaning of their secrecy. The way of life depending on it.

“There hasn‘t been an outsider for over twenty years, though. So we‘ll see what they…” He stopped without finishing and frowned. She probably didn‘t believe they‘d kill her, so why give her reason to wonder? Might as well let her discover the severity of the situation herself.

He ran his hand through his hair, leaving it even more tousled, and turned to enter the front hall. He heard her follow… Not going to admit to feeling her follow, that was for sure… And headed for a plush-clad bench near the double doors to the council chambers. They had barely sat down when one  of the guards standing on each side of the door leaned his head a little down and to the side, held a hand to his ear and then looked at them.

“They are ready to see you now.”

His partner immediately stepped forth, pushed the door open and waited for them to enter.

Top 5 Things for (extremely) Shy Writers to Think About When Introducing Themselves and Their Work to Strangers.

I´ve always found it easy to talk and introduce myself to strangers, be it a single person or a room full of people. I realise that´s not the case for everybody and, as bravely posted on Writer´s Round-About, some people find it extremely hard if not terrifying. This can be a real problem for us writers, fiction and professional ones alike. For those of you who know what I´m talking about, here are a few bits of advice from yours truly.  

1. MIND YOUR MANNERS

This may seem silly. Why would I need to bring that up? Isn´t it pretty much given? Yes. Yes it is. The thing is, manners don´t mean the same thing for everybody, in every situation. When nerves are added to the equation, things might end up a catastrophe.

What I know I don´t need to tell you is: be polite. Of course you are. What I might have to remind you of is: don´t be too polite. What you have to offer, what you want to bring into this person´s life, is more than fits in a line of “hello, how do you do, very nice to meet you”. Introducing life-changing products, as I´m sure you and your writing are, takes more dramatic measures.

I´m not talking about dancing on tables. I´m talking about what good manners tell you to include in your introduction. Continue reading