Saturday, December 22, 2007

By Sky, member of Brand New Aspiring Writers

I sent out 7 new e-query letters for The Price of Freedom.

I know I've told everyone I'd stop after 2006 and seeing that's almost 2 years since my last batch--I thought I'd give it some limited tries and see what happens.

I completely abandoned the "traditional approach" to query-letter writing--seeing how all the old standbyes never worked worth a damn anyways; and just went with what I thought was a well-structured query letter.

3 pages total, but I gave it a personal touch to the whole thing: Kept the thing on track with what I was pitching, didn't rush it--gave the agent high points and some low points, but above all?

I think I did better this time around than I did last time. Last time, I didn't give one whit.

Pissed, angry, rebellious.

This time, I was a bit more sure of myself.

The Starchild (1,274 pages; $7.50-e-book) Release date: TBA

Sky's book news and other things

Sky's Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2007

By Sara, member of Brand New Aspiring Writers

I was at K.M. Ryan's site and saw a post about a poem that is trying to travel through the blogosphere.

The sound shook his bones,
like a cymbal
crashing fast against his soul.

A soul detached from mind and body,
shivering in the dark
and fearing the coming light.

He fled to a dingy back alley
and waited. A wind rushed

to meet him at the end-
with that terrible sound wound through it.

And all he could do was wonder if he remembered to lock his front door,
or if his memories would be taken away with his sanity?

He crouched down, curling into his grief,

the last line is mine.

Do you want to add the next line? Here are instructions to take part in this game:

It's a game of poetry tag. Be the first to post TAG in the comments. Then take these lines and add one, in a post on your own blog, along with these instructions. Whoever adds the nineteenth line then takes the poem to Poets Who Blog at and puts the whole poem in the comment section there. Each person who plays need to also mention what site you were at when you found the poem so that other bloggers can follow the breadcrumbs back to this poem. You can play more than once but not twice in a row.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

By Anna, member of Brand New Aspiring Writers

A Crease in the Sheets

A crease in the sheets
Looked just like your feet,
But I knew you had left.
So I straightened the bed.
Half-hoping to find
You were lying inside.

I imagined you'd say
That you'd got off the plane
You'd decided to stay.
Or that maybe, you'd say
That you'd had to return,
Or that someone had learned
That you shouldn't have gone.
But my image was wrong.

It was only the sheets.
It wasn't your feet.

Written by Anna Williams at age 32 Read more of her work at Free Poems

Monday, October 8, 2007

By Sara, member of Brand New Aspiring Writers

there’s no inner strongholds
left for surrender

no bunker I could burrow into
in myself

no hearth
no warmth
no happy home
no lovely soul

there is a vast echoless wasteland
withering within

and that

that is all there is

Read more of her work at The Shores of My Dreams.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

By Jaime, a member of Brand New Aspiring Writers

A chipper, albeit pert,
“It’s custard, ma’am,
not ice cream”
on the side
with our milkshakes.

Clarification and caring
disappear, like us around the corner,
as we drive away,
me giggling
and making lewd gestures
with my straw.

Read more from Jaime McDougall at Write Anyway

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Carnival of Beauty

Others will seek consolation for pain,
haunting the wishbone moment,
numb to sense.

I turn into my own desolate soul, hearing myself
break apart-
at the mental seams.

The repeated decrescendo
blasting against my ears-
screams echo and echo, echo, echo, echo,
until daylight broke.

Bless me, bless me, bless these wrists.
Mama, I think I am coming home.

Line one-Tiel Aisha Ansari with her lovely offering Rainmaker

Line two- Shakir Hasnain, a talented poet and friend, who wrote Mirror Writing, check it out. The first two lines are remarkable!

Line three- Shakir Hasnain who also graces us with another piece of his work,Flaw

Line four- Sara from Poets Who Blog

Line five- Sara's poetry blog The Shores of My Dreams

Line six-Skakir Hasnain at his third blog asks that you read the longing filled, exquitely crafted poem The Weatherman

Line seven- Rax, who never fails to amaze me, shares her poem Stitch

Line eight-KGT who shares with us an allegorical masterpiece, My Shameless Lion Pareto

Line nine-Sara with her third blog, non- poetry Aspiring Romance Writer

Line ten- Brian who offers a gripping poem called Bars on My Soul

Line eleven- Terry McDermott from The Shamgar Report with his poem Checkered Cloth

Line twelve-Sharanya Manivannan adds an international flair to our carnival with her poem Duende (The Gypsy Prayer)

Line thirteen-Soham Das, one of the latest poets to share his talent with Poets Who Blog. His line from I Am Coming Home, and all his work posted online, has its
Rights Reserved as per Creative Commons Attributive-Non Derivative 2007 License Soham Das.

Thank you to all the poets who took part in this week’s carnival and to Billy for running the Ringing of the Bards. All the sentence fragments listed above come from the poems that the poets submitted. They belong to the poet who wrote them. Thank you for letting me use them in this way for our carnival.

* if you believed you submitted to this carnival but was not included email me at

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Brand New Aspiring Writers are honored to be hosting the Ringing of the Bards this week.

Fallen Words is the work of a yahoo writers group that is filled with novelists and poets who are striving to constantly improve their craft. We offer each other support and guidance. It's great to be able to extend that to a larger community for this week and to spread the word about poetry bloggers.

To submit to the carnival send the following information to by July 20th. The carnival post will be up on Saturday.

1. The name and URL of your blog
2. Your screen name
3. The name of your poem
4. The URL to your poem

I might make one poem out all of the submissions, if possible, by taking one line from each poem. So be aware of that when you submit. Of course, your line will be credited to you.

Thanks for taking part in this carnival.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

He was going to meet her later that night. The “other” woman. Mia found it strange how, even as she plotted her course of action, she still referred to her as “the other woman” instead of some foul name. Then again, she’d never been one for outright aggression. She was a subtle, quiet type and that didn’t make for rough language.

Jeff didn’t know she knew and neither did the other woman, his project partner, Cassidy. Mia was no stranger to technology, so when she’d come across the private messages, she’d easily been able to make it look like they’d never been read. What had she been doing in his private message box? Looking for the recipe for the meal she cooked tonight, promised to her by a friend to be sent to Jeff. Jeff, the idiot, had forgotten she had his password.

How fortunate for her.

How unfortunate for him.

“Smells delicious, sugar cake!” he called from his study. “My genius cook fiancé is at it again!”

“All for you, my dear,” she called back, smiling pleasantly so the smile could reach her voice and she would sound in a good mood. “Dinner is ready.”

He nearly ran out of his study and sat down at the table. He moved to serve himself and she motioned for him to relax.

“It’s okay, sweetheart. You let me serve. You’ve been working so hard on that project, you deserve a little time to relax.”

“Yes,” he said, mournfully. “I’m afraid it’s going to be another full night for me. I can’t wait until this thing is done.”

I bet, she thought, remembering back to that afternoon when she had called his boss and found out that the project had finally been finished and gone through without a hitch earlier that afternoon.

“It’s been rough,” he said with his mouthful, for some reason eating as fast as he could. “It’s been just one thing after another. A bitch of a project.”

Overcompensating, she thought, pitying him for his lies instead of hating him for them.

“My Mia, this is an excellent…” He blinked and swallowed, putting his hand to his stomach.

“It’s soufflé, darling.”

“Yes, soufflé,” he mumbled as a loud, strange noise came from his stomach. “Peach, I think I might have a sensitivity to your-”

He got up from the chair so fast it clattered back on the floor as he ran to the bathroom and slammed the door behind him.

“Yes,” she said quietly and stood up, “it will be a long night. But not for the reason you thought.”

Poison may be a typical woman’s art, but in that moment, she was happy to be using it. Anyway, poison was only the beginning.

He groaned loudly from the bathroom as she stood outside it. Smiling, she opened the door just enough to roll in the can of air freshener and then closed it again.

So it began. The first step. Revenge best served cold, in a light soufflé.

By Jaime McDougall who posts at Fiction Scribe

Saturday, July 7, 2007

twin hues of
green and blue
light and pain
align in the portrait she paints,
a lovely bitter face.

And she wonders....

is it a symptom of madness

to find such beauty swirling

around all that

By Sara Pufahl who posts at The Shores of my Dreams

Saturday, June 30, 2007

10 Steps To Writing Your First Novel

By Sara Pufahl

Anyone can dream of writing a novel but it takes cracking open your soul then laying it bare, hand cramps, eye strain and, possibly, a few sessions
of crying to see one to completion. And those are the easy parts of novel writing. To make it more clear, if you want to see your name on the spine of a book, you are going to have to work for it.

Here are ten concrete things you can do to go from dreamer to novelist:

10. Write every day.

What you write doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you are getting your inner thoughts down on paper or screen. Do not edit this writing at first. Allow yourself the freedom to write whatever comes to mind.

9. Kill the inner liar.

There will be a voice in your head that says “You can not do this. Give up.”

If you are born to be a writer, and you will know it if you are, then that voice is lying to you. It’s testing your resolve. Shout it down by saying positive affirmations out loud. This is your dream. Do not let anyone, even yourself, steal it from you.

8. Focus on one idea.

Decide who will be the star in your novel and what locale it will take place in. Pick a goal for your main character to strive to accomplish.

Don’t try to write like your favorite author or the person who is currently on the top of the best seller’s list. Instead choose a story idea by picking emotions you want to write about. Love. Hate. Rage. Disappointment. Shame. Guilt.

You have to infuse your characters with these emotions and let that be the driving force behind their behaviors. If these characters seem real to your readers they will read about them in any setting or situation.

7. Decide on a Point of View

Once you have characters, a setting, and conflicts you need to decide who gets to tell the story. Will it be in first person or third? Will more than one character get to have a P.O.V.?

6. Plan Ways to Make Your Characters Suffer

Novels are about conflict. The characters start off in the middle of a dilemma or transition period in their lives and by overcoming obstacles they find themselves or the answer to their problem. Or they don’t. Either way they have to be constantly struggling toward or away from something.

5. Accept Imperfections.

If you wait until you know how to perfectly construct scenes, dialogue, story arcs, a climax, a resolution, then you will never get past page one.

Your first draft will be a mess. Write what you can. Correct it later when you have learned more. You can not edit a blank page so write what comes to mind and worry about making sense in your second draft.

4. Recommit.

This is about the time it all seems overwhelming and a dreamer gives up. A writer does not have that luxury. For them the desire to write a novel, to tell a story that reaches into the hearts and minds of strangers and makes them feel, is embedded into the DNA of a true writer.

Take a moment to come to terms with your fate. If you are destined to write, then sit with your pen or
keyboard each day and string sentences together. Novels are written one word at a time. Don’t let the enormity of this task stop you from forging ahead.

3. Listen

Do not listen to anyone who tells you to give up. Instead close your eyes and listen for the sound of your characters speaking to you. When you can hear them telling you who they are and what they want you are ready to start putting their lives down on paper.

2. Figure out your writing style.

There are two types of writers: the plotters and the pansters. Plotters develop detailed plot outlines and background information for their stories. Pansters sit down and start creating with only the vaguest sense of where the tale might end up. Either style can work.

I suggest writing only was much as your need in order to feel comfortable with your characters and story idea. For a plotter that might mean twenty pages of information, note cards, and poster boards filled with scene ideas. A panster could begin a novel only knowing the first name of the protagonist.

1. Write Page One.

Now jump in the deep end and write the first page of your novel. Each day write at least one more page. At the end of the year you will have a novel.

Then you will be more than only a dreamer. You will be holding your dream in your hand. At this very moment the story is inside of you. Write it down.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Part Two

This is the second half of my interview with Schuyler Thorpe.

Question Four- You share your novels online. How and when did you come
to this decision? Is it something you struggled with or did it seem like
the obvious choice from the start?

I started this decision almost 4 years ago. It seemed appropriate for me--that if I was going to be a serious player as a writer, I would have to start advertising and promoting myself online and locally. But it was a natural choice--since I've been doing something like this for almost 20 years now. (I started writing when I was 14. I'll be 34 come January 3rd.)

But being online has given me a wide lattitude when it came to selling myself as a competent and reliable author. Most authors and writers usually sell themselves short in this regard--by relying on more traditional methods--but I see the internet as just another extension of myself.

I use it appropriately to share what I know about writing and publishing--and not just my books or myself. The only thing I charge is doughnuts, hot chocolate, and sunflower seeds these days for my "services". I tried asking for money and donations once, but no one seemed to take me seriously enough to part with a small amount of their change--so I dropped that idea. :0)

Question Five- You've been writing for over twenty years. Ever think
about throwing in the towel? Any advice for those of us just starting
out about how to overcome our doubts?

If I threw in the towel, I wouldn't get anything else done. I still have over 300 stories and about 105 novels to complete. What you read and see on the 'net through search engines is just the tip of the iceberg. :0)

How to overcome your doubts about writing and publishing?

Sigh...let me think about this one for a second. I've given out so much advice for first-timers over the years, I think I've emptied the bank on that front!

The most prevalent advice I can come up with is to keep perservering and experimenting with your works. Both arenas--in question-- are a real bitch and a half to go through--let alone overcome--and you just need to keep hammering away at it, until you succeed.

And success as a writer doesn't mean just doing it for the money, fame, and fortune. Those things are as extinct as the dinosaurs are now. And you shouldn't count on any of them to lift you up.

Success for you, should be the love of the craft. What you most like about writing and why you are doing it! If you can get one book done, then consider that a success!

Take a bow!

Does it matter if you're published or not? Does it matter if you're in bookstores or not? Or even on the bestseller's list?


As long as you keep churning out stories and books at your own pace, you will be a success in your own right. Your career as a writer doesn't need to be tethered to the mainstream any longer.

Not when you have the internet and e-publishing to look forward to now.

And that's why you should not worry about being a notable household name. That's not important anymore.

What's important is the story and how you tell it. Everything else is just fish food for someone else to worry about.

Be a writer. Be that storyteller. And tell people about the worlds you've created and visited in your life's travels.

Check out part one to read more about this writer and find links to his work online

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Chat with Schuyler Thorpe

Question One- As one of the more prolific members of Brand New Aspiring
Writers, you provide inspiration to the rest of us to keep plugging away
on our half finished novels. Can you tell us about the first novel you
ever wrote?

The first novel I wrote was called "Fire and Frost". This novel was set in the year 2983, and told of a struggle between the government of Kamar V and the people it represented. The planet was in the grips of a civil uprising--due to an energy crisis of monumental proportions--and the discovery of a planet-killing asteroid--also added to the tension.

For the most part, the novel centered on a 13-year-old boy named Jason Scott, and his journey towards survival--from being involved in a hostage crisis with his father--to escaping Kamar V's eventual destruction.

Though this is the first draft--with Cosmic Death completed, and Virus X only partially complete--the book itself taught me a lot about writing. I still need to finish the saga surrounding the book, but it was a fascinating experience--one of which led me to writing more books on a much larger scale.

Question Two- You writing mixes several different genres. Can you
explain which ones? Would you compare your stories to any currently on
the bookshelves? I tend to say you are a true original!

I tend to mix science-fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, and several other genre elements together in my books. And while science-fiction and fantasy represent the two strongest of the genres prominent in my works, I also add other 'lesser' elements to the batch--to strengthen and add a unique diversity to my books.

(Though this is strongly discouraged by the mainstream. They only want one thing--and one thing only it seems.)

I tried to run comparisons to my books according to what's on the market--12 years ago and onwards--but I could not find anything which would help my placement odds in the market. The only thing which I could probably have an easier comparison to my books would be to movies--based on certain themes and elements. But again, it would only be a rough comparison--since what I write falls outside the mainstream. (Which is why I have had no luck in finding solid representation with either agents or publishers in the last 8 years. I simply don't write according to trends or fads.)

And thanks! I appreciate you calling me original! It would be very hard to be otherwise--if I were following in another author's footsteps. But I never did--despite my love for classic works of the last 30 years. I never had an inclination to write like Asimov, McCaffrey, or any other prominent author of the late 20th century--even though I've read many of their books.

Question Three- I'm intrigued by what I have read of your Starchild
novel. How many books do you plan for this series? Do you have any other
series in the works?

23 novels so far in this series. But this is just a rough estimate. Early last year, I revised some of my book storylines in the series--after Starchild Ruin. The number of books was based on the idea that I would continue to showcase what happened with the running storyline surrounding Isis McGowan. But before, she wasn't the main character for the saga. It belonged to another alien girl named Kalar Vox. Her personal struggle on her homeworld sparked the current run of books which stretches to close to two and half dozen novels. But because I was having difficulties breaking out with a solid first novel, I had to abandon her--and that storyline--for something closer to home. I wanted something which had some ties to our own world, as well as some personal ones. Something which all readers could relate to.

So in 1999, I embarked on a completely new story for The Starchild (the term 'Starchild' being one word), and Isis McGowan was born. But her struggle was also mine: I didn't have a solid grasp of writing back then, and it took me quite some time (almost 13 years by the time the projected release date of the book is due to come out in 2009. But because of some extensive editing and reshuffling, it may be another 2 years on top of that--before the book can be fully released.) to come up with something good for the universe's overall guardian and protector. (I started this project back in 1996.)

I have completed Starchild Duel, but the novel needed another rewrite--which I'm currently involved in. And Starchild Ruin is slated to begin sometime later in the Fall of 2007 or early 2008. I had something going for the book 3 years ago, but the problem with theological differences cropped up, and I needed to abandon the novel (temporarily), until I could iron out the first two novels, and go from there. But this third book is a Greek tragedy. It tells of a conflict long forgotten, a love affair gone horribly wrong, and a world left in ruins. All of which will have severe repercussions in Isis McGowan's future.

As for my other series in the works, I have The Price of Freedom, and Stories of the Dead Earth.

The Price of Freedom focuses on a war set not too far in the distant future. A conflict between the human race and the mysterious Neos--along with the Mother Control Matrix. (And no: This has nothing to do with The Matrix! lol) The storyline takes place between 2165 through 2167--when 2 characters embark on a journey to occupied San Francisco to go back in time to stop the war from ever taking place. But because of an "echo" by the main character--it doesn't look like they will be successful.

However, it doesn't stop Kenneth Sparks and Kayla Sorenson from trying anyway--as they pass through one sector after another--of the former United States of America--in an effort to get to California in one piece. (And since public transportation is out of the question, the survivors have to walk.)

Kenneth Sparks is a former lieutenant attached to Captain Tanner's group; the 14th Infantry--coupled with the 3rd Infantry and the 1st Armored Brigade. He's 36-years-old--an orphan from the Kansas Incident of 2135. (Topeka was wiped out in a Neos operation--costing then 6-year-old Kenneth Sparks both his parents.)

He's been with the Free Earth Movement for roughly 20 years now, and is involved romantically with Kayla Sorenson.

Kayla Sorenson is a cloned techo-organic once Mother's top field commander of the Neos. Her story is a complex and complicated affair. From what we know of her now, she was once an ascended being belonging to an order of people who oversaw the formation and continued stability of the known universe.

She was sent back through the time-stream (towards Earth), in an attempt to stop one of their own kind from dominating the primative plane of existence. But something went wrong in the past, and Kayla's "other self" was killed in the middle of the war (somewhere around the 2050s), and then reanimated later on--to serve as a foot soldier in Mother's vast armies on the North American continent.

Kayla was 'liberated' in Waco around 2163--and reintroduced back into the fight. For the human race. But this version of Kayla came with some interesting abilities. After some time with Kenneth, she fell in love with him, and the pair journeyed towards San Francisco--to go back into time to stop the war. Despite her pregnancy (she's six months along now), various transformations, and attacks from the Neos and Mother herself, she continues to find out more and more about a past which may or may not come to pass.

This book is NC-17 for a reason, and I keep cautioning readers to be at least 18 years of age when reading this book. And this is the first of six books in a series. But the novel so far is breaking word count records and page numbers. I have 1,409 pages done so far, and if things continue, by 2009, I should have close to 600,000 words done.

The Catalyst of Freedom should be started sometime in 2010 or 2011. But it depends on how long the first book will take. I started that one in 2004.

Stories of the Dead Earth is a first-person perspective, fantasy series, which is running at least 10 novels strong (could be more; I dunno)--centering on two lost princesses named Jeanna Ulysses and Jasmine Steinberg. They both lost their homes to the evil king--Richard the Infinite First--and now they've journeyed to finding out what happened to their families, and overthrowing the king along the way.

What makes this series so unique is that it is written partly on an anime-styled format and an RPG-game one as well. It also is the first one of its kind to employ everything known to man about fantasy: Mecha, magic, dragons, and so on.

The two characters are proficient in magi; with one being a magi-sorceress, and the other a techno-mage. They have with them, 2 special wrist-comps named Seth and Merlin. Through them and their 5th-generation power armors, they assume different forms and creatures. With Jeanna, she can utilize her armor's mecha-morph capabilities by calling on 2 powerful mechas: Argus and Prometheus. With Jasmine, she has different "angel-type" Valkyrie transformations which allows her to assume a different kind of flight mode. But she can also control everything metal, and she does have different types of spells at her disposal.

Jeanna is supposed to be a white-magi sorceress, but she's been delving in other types of magi magiks; including some of the more forbidden arts.

Personality-wise, both are strong and independent. They don't want to embrace their royal status--going so far as to hide their true identities--as they just want to be treated as 'one of guys'.

Both have a quirky sense of humor (as older teens go), and they both enjoy the challenges Dead Earth throws at them.

And while Jasmine has shunned any romantic entanglements, Jeanna has her sights set on a dashing captain named Tiddus (Gi-ah-soiski) Kalamon--and wants him for herself.

But things didn't go so well in the beginning of the third book, and she found herself being spurned of his affections--even after she threw herself at him unashamedly. The second novel was a battle for survival, as the Esmeralda Jasmine fell prey to the inner workings of an area known as The Hole. The ship managed to come out intact, but the damage is pretty severe.

The third novel has them going to Jasper next, but the two lost princesses will be tangling with a very pissed off Queen of Jasper--whom has claimed Tiddus as her very own.

So you can think of the implications to this one...

I should be finished with the 10 books by 2012--seeing that these novels will go by much quicker than one of my "mega" novels. (The Starchild and The Price of Freedom for example.)

I've also finished many other books, including: Fire and Frost, Cosmic Death, The Vampiress Hunter, A Girl Named Mystery, and a couple others. And while this small list may sound small--broken up, they would stretch to almost 2 dozen books total.

To read more about this author stop by next week when the second half of his interview is posted.

Until then you call find more about him at

Freewebs (Updated Monthly)


Yahoo 360 (Updated Weekly)

and this one

Star Child Blog (A 3-in-1 site updated 3 times a month)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Do you wish …

Do you ever wish
To paint your life
In black and white
And hang some sad nostalgic music in the back,
And put it on a TV screen
For men in future years to see
And say, "this must have been
The way things used to be" …

Do you ever walk the street
And half-imagine you might meet,
Some half-forgotten face from long ago
Although inside you really know,
You're walking where they'd never go …

Do you ever sit and look
At ancient photos you once took,
Long-lost faces in a book,
Examine them a million times
As if to read between the lines,
As if you might see something more,
That wasn't ever there before …
Something new, that might resolve
The mystery you never solved.

Do you ever wonder why
Faces wilt and flowers die,
People change and time goes by,
Leaving you to stand and sigh
At night beneath the starry sky
Watching comets fall and fly ...

Written by Anna Williams

Stop by her blog to read more of her work, Free Poems Online

Saturday, June 2, 2007

A chat with Fiction Scribe

One of the members of Brand New Aspiring Writers is Jaime. She shares her wisdom about writing related issues at Fiction Scribe.

With her blog she manages to not only entertain but inform aspiring writers how to improve their craft. In her poem below, and the answers to my questions you can see for yourself how her talent and hard work blend together to make her a true inspiration. First, some background on her in her own words.....

Group Manager,

A little about me...I’m a four leaf clover,
a lemon with a twist.
I’m a scotch on the rocks,
a Sunday morning mist.
I am your daughter,
your lover, your friend.
I am a stranger,
and on whom you depend.
I am a woman.
I’m breasts, hips, and curves,
I am a body
on what man perves.
I am everything and nothing,
I’m all I believe.
I’m beauty and mystery -
not just what you see. I'm still recently enough married to be considered a newlywed, a native Wisconsinite who, on my first flight, flew to Australia, where I found great people, good food, and an appreciation for city living.

I'm a freelance writer, published short-story writer, professional blogger, and aspiring novelist.

When I'm not writing and listening to almost any type of music you can think of, I spend my time talking to friends, scrapbooking, traveling with my husband, and talking quantum physics. I also take time every day to write about my journey to lose weight and and get healthy.

Question One- Nearly all of the members of Brand New Aspiring Writers have written a novel or have a half written one they are battling their muse to finish. What are you working on these days?

Gosh, what am I not working on these days? That seems like the question, anyway. I currently have bunch of open stories and other story notes, but I'm very excited to say I'm finally working on a novel these days. I have two others written, and now I get to go back and write how it all began. I'll be doing a lot of things I haven't done before in a novel, like using a language and an entirely different way of life (I have so many notes I had to set up and print my own "guide" to this world, lest I forget) so I'm very excited about that.

Question Two- Many writers claim to have been scribbling down stories since childhood. Did you start writing at a young age?

Oh, absolutely. Somewhere in my vast collection of childhood paperwork, I have all the stories I wrote when I was beginning to learn to write. I also have two of my favorite stories I wrote in my childhood - one about my brother destroying the world with an atomic fart and one retelling of the three little pigs from the wolf's perspective. I always felt back then that he didn't get the chance to explain himself.

Question Three- Have you ever taken a break from writing fiction? How long did it last? What brought you back? If you never took a break, what keeps you motivated year after year?

Yes, I've taken breaks. I tend to think of break times as when I refuel my idea tank. Usually when I finish a piece, I take anywhere from a week to a month to talk to people, read books, and explore to fill up my idea notebook once more.
I think you're talking significantly long breaks, though, and there has only been one for me. I wrote my first novel and then I didn't write for about half a year. I suppose I didn't take myself very seriously as a writer then, so I didn't see any reason to jump right into the next project. Or any project, for that matter.
What brought me back was the sensation that the stories of the people of Tet weren't done being told yet, and the granddaughter of the main character in the first novel had an important story to tell - perhaps even more important than her grandmother's.

Question Four- Where do you see your writing career in five years? In fifty?

In five years, I want to have my novella published. I took a break from seeking out publishers because of my wedding, but I want to get back into it and get that bad boy published. I also want to be in the process of publishing one of my Tet novels or have it published already. Those are the immediate goals for five years down. I'd also love to take all my pet peeves (on Fiction Scribe) and put them into a book or ebook, but that is just an idea at the moment.
In fifty years... Wow. I'll want to have quite a few books published, but as always, I'll be aiming for quality, not quantity. I'll still be blogging, if I have anything to say about it. Maybe not professionally, but I do adore reading and writing blogs. By then I certainly hope to have made a name in whatever writing-related career I choose, which could be writing for a paper or freelance editing at this point.

Question Five- How did you come to have your Fiction Scribe blog with 451 Press?

Oh, my. This is actually a funnier story than you might think.
Chrispian, one of the main people at 451 advertised for writers on a writing forum I'm on (which he created). I eagerly signed up and suggested I could write about relationships, life in Australia, scrapbooks, etc. I listed a bunch of things. They responded quickly that I had the job as the scrapbooking blogger. (How different life would have been, hm?)
This was all right before I flew over here, so there was a good amount of time between when I was hired on and when I was settled enough here to start blogging and putting in the paperwork. However, by that time Chrispian told me there was a mistake and they already had a scrapbook blogger.
I was feeling pouty and emailed him back that "It's too bad you don't have a blog about writing, because I would love that."
He responded that he loves fiction writing and thinks a fiction writing blog was a great idea. And so, Fiction Scribe was born and I started writing on it last October.

A scrapbooking blogger... How strange to think about how things would be now if I had written for that instead.

Question Six- Your blog is a favorite of mine. Its a must read! What is the latest contest you are running?

I'm glad you like it!
Currently, the Spread the Love contest is going in honor of getting married. All you have to do is get your friends to comment and put who they were recommended by, and you could each win a $15 amazon gift certificate! Good luck to everyone who participates.

A huge thanks to Jaime for taking the time to share some of her story with us.

Make sure you stop by Fiction Scribe and check out all her tips, hints, and prompts for aspiring writers.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Excerpt from Josh

Private James Parker waited very seasick at the edge of the transport ship. The salty air made his nose stuffy. Watching the waves only made the seasickness worse. He had been at sea for many a day, and he began wanting to go home.

But he couldn't now. He had been drafted to the United States Army and was now near North Africa, much to his disgrace.

They were to help the British troops defeat the Desert Fox's (or I should better say Rommel's) troops.

Parker could hear faint footsteps approaching him. The sound was being drowned by the constant sound of the ocean water splashing on the steel ship.

"Howdy, Private?" asked the obviously Texas man.

"Hey, Sergeant," James mumbled.

"Wat ja' doin out here, son? I thought jou' hated being out here."

"I'm trying to get too seasick to go to the mission." The Sergeant, named John, chuckled.

"It ain't gonna work, boy," he replied, "it'll clear up in no time." Parker began groaning.

"Cheer up, son," said John, "you ain't going to die."

"That's not what I'm afraid of," Private quietly said. "I just want to go home to my family. Carla, Isaac, David, everybody. Stupid draft took me away from the ones I love." He kicked the guardrail.

John gave him a hard, but friendly slap on the shoulder.

"Don't worry, you'll see them sooner or, later." He began walking back inside, still chuckling.

Private turned around. "Why do you keep laughin'?" John paused.

"I'm sorry, I just love that Californian talk of yours'." When he said "talk" he meant more like "accent."

"Yeah, well, you're Texan accent ain't less funnier."

"Whatever." He took out a cigarette and lit it. Once Sergeant got inside, Private realized his plan was worthless and decided to follow him.

The plan was called Operation Torch. The U.S. 3rd Infantry, which James was in, along with the 9th Infantry and the 2nd Armored divisions, would land in Morocco. Six other United States and British divisions would land in Algeria. Also, the 509th Airborne would capture airfields in Tarfarquay and Youk-Les-Bains.

James had never seen military action in his life. His father, a Great War veteran, told him that it was no fun and exciting business. It was bloody and barbaric. James kept this in mind as he walked through the bedrooms to find his bed.

Captain Halker slept on top of James, since the beds were bunker beds.

"You ready, Private?"

"No, I'm never am. I don't like the thought of shooting Germans, many of my relatives live in Germany."

Captain chuckled. "Well, then this is your lucky mission."

"What do you mean?"

"What I mean is that there aren't any Germans there."

"Really? So this is just gonna be a walk through the park?"

"In a way, yes. But there is some resistance."

"Who are they made of?"

"Just some French people who ain't in love with us landing there. But don't worry, there ain't many resistance fighters there. In fact, most of them Vichy French are supporting us. Also, we go there after the 34th. They will do the fightin'."

James sighed in relief. His confidence had sprung to the maximum level, and he was able to sleep the night before the operation.

THE END of the excerpt

This is a passage from the novel that Josh is working on. Though he is not even old enough to drink alcohol, this young man has already discovered some essential truths about himself and the fact that he is a writer. He's on his way to a long life of spinning compelling tales that keep readers turning the pages well past their bedtime.

If you are an aspiring writer who needs support and wants to play an active role in a writing group, consider joining Brand New Aspiring Writers at Yahoo Groups

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Introducing Abhay Kumar

The goal of Brand New Aspiring Writers is to support, encourage, and assist writers who long to move from inspiring to be published to published.

Several of our writers have crossed that fine and remarkable line already. To read the work of one of them, Abhay Kumar, visit his website. He is the author of River Valley to Silicon Valley" which tells the story of three generations of one Indian family.

Not only is he an accomplished writer but also a diplomat, for his birth country of India, who works in Moscow, Russia. Don't miss this chance to stop by his site and check out his work.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Child Without a Voice

Read This Post: A Child Without A Voice

Lend your words to a worthy writing project. Submit a short story and help to create a book that gives all its profits to charity.

One small boy can barely speak....will you give some written words so that one day he might?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Brand New Aspiring Writer's latest member to join is a poet who shares her work at her personal blog site titled Free Poems.

Below is an example of her fine work.

Karlov Most
Charles Bridge)

Far away and long ago,
In lifetimes lost and gone,
I left a shadow of my soul
Across the sea, upon

A bridge of soldiers, saints, and stone.
...The streets were drenched in rain.
But when I left, I left alone,
And there my soul remains.

Seagulls hovered, sparkling white,
Mid glowing mists of gold,
And hung above the yellow lights
Who lit the Bridge below.

My stomach burned in knotted pain.
My heart was beating fast.
I left upon a rolling train.
I left you in my past.

And as the wheels sped, I looked down.
I could not bear to see
The quickly disappearing town...
Forever leaving me.

And sleepless now, at night I lie,
Though years have flown away.
I can't forget you, though I try,
And in my dreams I pray

Again, one day, to dip my feet
Where winds blow black with coal -
Into the shadows in the streets,
And gather up my soul...

To stand upon the Bridge again
Beneath the Slavic sky,
And smile at you like I did then,
And watch the seagulls fly.

Written by Anna Williams at Age 22

Free Poems

Saturday, April 28, 2007

When Mama isn't Happy

dodging landmines,
does the dance the world expects.

a quick step
on heels, in a dress.

and she would never say
it wasn't worth the strain
their baby faces calling out her name
at 4 a.m.

then day after endless
holding back hurricanes,
mammoths running wild in the
freeway lanes,

all fighting for the last seat on the train.

she knows
she has it lucky.

numb eyed watching tv,
late night,

thinking about getting on medication or something.

she knows she has it

twist to make the moments all fit.
she isn't gonna run.

let the school bus go and come,
go and come.

hop, skip, jump-

be one of the lucky ones.

and with a thud
another landmine hits the door.

there is no time left to think

just be lucky,


By Sara Pufahl
This poem was submitted to Skint Writer's poetry contest.

Friday, April 20, 2007


It happened three days before the Chinese, just as the school was buzzing with excitement for the coming holidays. In three days time, the Chinese will usher in the year of the golden boar – an auspicious year meant to bring prosperity. Which doubly took everyone as a surprise when, on the last day of school, just before the holidays began, the inseparable Ali and Chun Kia, turned away from each other once and for all.

Even to this day, Ali’s parents forbid him from having anything to do with his best friend in school. A shamefully unfortunate event as Ali and Chun Kia have been like two peas in a pod since the day they discovered on their first day at school in primary one, a mutual love for spying on the mynah birds perched high amongst the thick foliage of the towering semarak api trees in the school compound, and mimicking their funny whistling each morning. Five years on, the two were virtually inseparable at school. They did everything together. They had lunch together, they played together, they hang out together and they were even sent to the headmaster’s office together once.

The crack in their friendship was caused by the subtlest, most well-meaning intentions. It began the day Cikgu Rosmah, their History teacher, chided Ali for eating his fried mee hoon with a pair of chopsticks. It was a blistering Tuesday afternoon and they were sitting at the school canteen’s wooden bench and table at recess, about to enjoy their lunch. Chun Kia offered to teach Ali how to eat using a pair of chopsticks when Cikgu Rosmah passed by.

“Ali,” she paused by their table, “… you’re using chopsticks?” she looked at him perplexed, her square, thick-rimmed glasses low on the bridge of her flat, rounded nose.

Ali scratched his head, “Why not?”

Cikgu Rosmah glanced uncertainly at Chun Kia who was holding the chopsticks mid-air, waiting and looking at her innocently, “Well err… you know, usually it’s the Chinese that use the chopsticks,” she hesitated before continuing, wiping beads of perspiration that had gathered just above her upper lips, “… and you know what they eat.”

Chun Kia turned to look at Ali, lowering his chopsticks, a guilty look spreading across his face.

Ali frowned, “But they use the forks and spoons too Cikgu...” he pointed out quietly, his voice trailing off.

At this harmless statement, Cikgu Rosmah was stumped. It must have just occurred to her that this was true, Ali thought. All the school children used the same forks and spoons. A terrible blush rushed upon Cikgu Rosmah’s face. She flustered for a moment before she recovered again and said, “Yes, but they use chopsticks more often than any other children.”

Then she raised her hand as though to brush off the topic, and walked quickly away as though she was late for an appointment.

Confused, Ali watched Cikgu Rosmah as her bulk shrank smaller in the distance, heading towards the teacher’s room. He stared at the chopsticks in his hand. The two slim, lacquered bamboo sticks matched neither in colour nor size, but for the practical purpose it was made for, the pair worked just fine.

It didn’t make sense to Ali. He knew pork was haram, but it didn’t occur to him before that he should also worry about using the same forks, spoons or chopsticks that the Chinese students there used as well. And if he wasn’t supposed to, then why hadn’t anyone said anything about it before?

The more he thought about pork, the more uncomfortable he felt. Suddenly, he began to feel a tiny repulsion to the chopsticks, which began as a tingling in the base of his throat and crept slowly to mingle with the saliva in his mouth. He felt his throat expanding. Quickly, he placed the chopsticks back on the table next to his green plastic plate of mee hoon, picked up a fork from the bouquet of cutlery in a rusty metal koleh on the table, and turned to look at Chun Kia.

But Chun Kia, who had been excited to teach him how to eat with a pair of chopsticks just a few moments ago, now just looked down at his own plate of fried mee hoon, looking as though he’d done something wrong. Ali felt a little guilty. So he nudged Chun Kia playfully, over and over, till Chun Kia smiled again. Then they both ate their plates of mee hoon with forks.

Now, this whole incident with Cikgu Ros would have simply slipped Ali’s mind if only he hadn’t brought it up at dinner time that night at home. It bothered him greatly that he didn’t know for certain whether or not it was okay for him to use the chopsticks or even the spoons and forks at school. Cikgu Ros’ point - vague as it was - stuck under his skin like the tiniest wood splinters and he had to clear the air about it once and for all. So he asked Abah about it.

“Why in God’s name do must you use chopsticks? Why can’t you just use the spoon like everyone else?” Abah growled in response.

For a brief moment, Ali considered letting it drop. But his curiosity got the better of him. So he asked, “But the Chinese students use the spoons and forks too…”
Mak looked at Abah, as though waiting for an explanation herself. But Abah was silent for a few moments. Then he gave Ali a threatening look, “You ask too many questions.”

“Just don’t use the chopsticks, sayang.” Mak patted Ali’s hand, “Now finish your rice.” Mak was always reminding him to be mindful of what Abah tells him. Mak almost never argued with Abah. She said that for her, the path to heaven lies under Abah’s feet and that Ali would do well to listen to his Abah and do as he was told. Ali once took a close look at Abah’s feet when he was asleep on the bamboo settee in the lounge, but he found nothing there but dirt and dust lodged in between the whorls of his footprint.

The next day, Ali sat on the red plastic chair, broken in one corner when Abah accidentally ran it over with his battered Honda cup a week ago, while trying to avoid hitting Ali who’d rushed out of the front door after his soccer ball. In his small tanned hands, he turned his favourite bright blue miniature Hotwheels car. He pretended to be absorbed with the toy, although all the while his ears picked up on the men’s conversation.

“Yeah, but you forget. This comes from a man who agrees that women ought to go around wearing chastity belts to prevent rape,” Tok Lang points out.
Abah nods his head non-committal. Ali didn’t know what a chastity belt was and wondered how it could prevent rape, which he knew, from his mother’s remarks as she read news about such incidents in the papers, was a very bad thing that happened to women who wore too much lipstick, sexy clothes and walked alone in the dark.
“He may know some things. But he doesn’t now everything,” Tok Lang added sounding exasperated, the way he sounded at the end of the day teaching his older sister, Sarah, how to recite the Quran.

“But he’s the Imam at the masjid. He’s very knowledgeable in matters of faith and religion.” Abah argues half-heartedly.

“Yes I know he is the Imam. But even the prophet Mohamed makes mistakes. He’s only human. Sometimes, when you hear someone say something, you can’t just take his word for it. Use your own reason. Read about it. There are plenty of books out in the stores. You have a computer at home, and internet. They’re not just for looking at pictures.”

Abah scowled at the mention of pictures. Ali wondered if Tok Lang meant the pictures of women he saw Abah looking at late one night when he woke up because he had to go to the bathroom. Abah slapped him hard that night, saying Ali given him a fright by creeping up behind him. Ali went back to his bed crying. It was so unfair. He hadn’t creeping at all that night. He didn’t get to go to the bathroom!

“Ali!” Abah’s voice boomed suddenly, causing Ali to jump in his red plastic seat. Abah glared at him, “Have you done your homework?”

Ali looked up at him and shook his head fearfully.

“So what are you waiting for?” Abah said, his voice masking a controlled rage.
Ali stood up quickly, his heart stammering in his small ribcage. He threw a fleeting glance Tok Lang’s way as he walked into the house. Tok Lang smiled sympathetically. It was so unfair. Abah was always telling him to listen to his teachers at school and to do as he’s told and not to ask too many questions. He said it was the only way Ali would learn anything at school. But now Tok Long was saying something different and Ali wanted to hear more. But Abah wouldn’t let him.

In dimness of the living room, no bigger than a field, Ali pulled out his brown exercise book and his thick, dog-eared and plastic bound Ilmu Hisab book. He hated the subject but hated his mathematics teacher, Mr. Ng, even more. More often than not, he got more than five out of ten exercises wrong. For this, Mr. Ng would direct the students to stand on their chairs and put out their right hand. Then he would walk down the aisle between the student desks and give a quick, sharp flick of his flexible yellow bamboo cane on their palms. Ali hated this period at school with a vengeance.

Ali gnawed at his 2B pencil, flipping the pages of his Ilmu Hisab book trying to solve the first exercise question. He stared at the words and numbers, but could not comprehend the question. He suddenly wished Chun Kia was there. Chun Kia always had the highest score in their class for Mathematics and although Chun Kia said Ali could get high scores too if he did more exercises, Ali refused to believe on account that Abah once said that the Chinese are just better at Mathematics because they do business. Chun Kia had offered to help Ali with some of the math problems in their homework every now and then at school, but Ali found it too hard to follow and always managed to persuade Chun Kia to go outside and play instead. And more often than not, Chun Kia would happily follow Ali, playing tag out under the searing sun on the dusty field with yellowing grass and bare patches of dry mud. They’d play until their shirts were sweat-soaked, having the time of their lives. Other times, they would play galah panjang using the evenly spaced, rusted steel pillars along the walkways that connected one building to the next as markers. And once the bells rang, with a groan of disappointment, they’d all filed back into the classroom where Chun Kia would share his plastic 7-Up bottle, filled with boiled water, with Ali. The water always tasted good after a good romp outside.

“Let him be!” Tok Lang’s raspy voice suddenly rose, drifted into the living room from outside. “What’s the harm in having that Chinese kid as his best friend?”
At the mention of his best friend’s name, Ali cocked his head up and the math problem before him ceased to be of any importance. He could hear Abah snort derisively,
“There’s plenty of Malay boys at school, but he doesn’t do anything much with them. They think Ali feels he’s better than them just because he’s in Kelas Biru with all those Chinese kids and they’re in Kelas Merah.”

“So? Why do you care about what those kids think?” Tok Lang asked. Ali can imagine the amused look on Tok Lang’s face. The old man, long past 80 years old, was Abah’s great uncle. Abah had the highest respect for the man, as did Mak. They said Tok Lang used to live in Mekah and that he used to attend the Al-Azhar University, the only one in his family who’d studied past high school.

“I don’t want him to become arrogant, that’s all.” Abah interjected. “And I’m not sure if I like him going around to that Chinese boy’s house on Chinese New Year.”
“He did?” Tok Lang asked, surprised, “Did he get a lot of ang pow money?” Ali could hear the smile in Tok Lang’s voice.

Ali did in fact receive a red ang pow packet from Mrs. Liew last year when he went to Chun Kia’s house which was near their school. She also gave him a red plastic bag filled with Mandarin oranges which he brought home with him.

There was a brief silence. Then Abah said, quietly, “I don’t think it’s right.”

“Why?” Tok Lang asked, sounding genuinely concerned.

“Well, you don’t know what they give him to eat at their house. The imam said they used their pots and pans to cook that thing. They might use the same pots and pans to cook other foods they serve during Chinese New Year.” Abah argued.

Tok Lang was quiet and for a moment, Ali wondered if he would agree with what the Imam had pointed out. Ali tried to remember what he ate that day at Chun Kia’s house. He remembered shelling a big bowl of peanuts, kuih kapit and plenty of orange Fanta. He didn’t really pay much attention to the food then, too absorbed with Chun Kia’s collection of butterflies and bugs mounted behind glass frames.

Ali hears Tok Lang drawing a great sigh outside. He crawled closer towards the door, for fear he might miss what was being said in case the two men start whispering.
Tok Lang said, “Do you really think it is worth severing the friendship Ali has with his friend? The Imam himself doesn’t even have a single Chinese acquaintance. How can you advise on something you’re not even familiar with?” Tok Lang cut in, “Not all Chinese people eat pork. Some of them don’t even eat meat.”

Abah didn’t say anything, but Ali could sense Abah was not satisfied with Tok Lang’s point.

“You should have become the Imam, Tok Lang. Then you can tell the Imam now what you know about these things.” Abah said, barely masking the cynicism in his voice. Abah could never go against Tok Lang directly. Whenever he disagreed with the old man, he would turn to cynicism instead. It’s the Malay way, Abah once told Ali.

“No.” Tok Lang answered his voice suddenly grave. Ali pressed his head against the wooden wall to hear better. “It’s no small feat to be a leader of man, Din. As much as I know about religion and as well as I know the Quran, I don’t have the courage to be a leader of man. It’s too big a responsibility. One you’ll be questioned on in the next life. I just hope the Imam still realises this.”

A moment’s silence passed between the two men. Then Ali heard Abah sighing deeply. Then he said, “I don’t know. But I don’t think Ali be going for any more Chinese New Year open house. Maybe he shouldn’t be going to that boy’s house at all.”

Ali’s heart felt like it’d been squeezed in his chest. No more visiting Chun Kia’s house. Chun Kia’s had promised to show him how to work out his math homework after school. They’d planned on working on Chun Kia’s butterfly collections after homework. Or play ball outside. But now it seemed, all that planning had been in vain. Ali sat dumbfounded on the floor, uncertain of how to react to this sudden proclamation of veto from his father. All because of pork? He never thought eating at Chun Kia’s house was a bad thing. But it’s just like Cikgu Ros and the chopsticks at school. It was because Chun Kia and his family eats pork, Ali thought to himself. Suddenly, he began to feel a little uneasy about his last visit to Chun Kia’s house for Chinese New Year. Of the glass he drank his orange Fanta from, of the bowl serving the peanuts, and of the home-made kuih kapit that he ate by the dozen. He thought of pork, though he’d never seen a dish made of pork or, in fact, a pig. He only knew they were filthy animals. He struggled to keep down the taste of bile slowly rising in his throat.

At lunch time the next day, as usual, Chun Kia came up to the table and slipped onto the bench next to where Ali sat. He smiled and opened up his blue Tupperware filled, this time, with fragrant, fluffy white rice, green vegetables and some syrupy white tofu squares. But this time, instead of inhaling the mouth-watering fragrance of Chun Kia’s home-made lunch, Ali wrinkled his nose and held his breath. Chun Kia noticed and a huge wave of disappointment crossed his face.

“What’s wrong?” he asked. “You usually like my mom’s cooking.”

Ali didn’t answer. He didn’t know what to say. He watched as his friend slowly turns back to his packed lunch, pushing the rice around with his small fork, wondering if there was something wrong with it. All the while, Ali struggles not to breathe in the aroma of green vegetables and syrupy tofu, his father’s voice echoing in his head about the Chinese eating pork. He felt his chest burn and knew he couldn’t hold his breath much longer.

Chun Kia picked up his blue Tupperware and offered it to Ali, “Do you want to share some rice?”

Ali shook his head, leaning away from the blue Tupperware. Chun Kia giggled, thinking it was funny and pressed his lunch closer to Ali, “Take lah!”

Ali exhales. “No!” he shouted, “Kau makan babi!” He didn’t mean for it to happen, but his arms just went up and knocked the blue Tupperware out of Chun Kia’s hands, and all its contents flew high into the air, spreading out like a fountain of water. They both looked up as rice, fried vegetables and tofu squares rained back down onto them. It happened in the blink of an eye. On the way down, the fork which was in the blue Tupperware fell onto Ali, its tines gouging a deep gash in his right eye, blinding him in that eye forever.

Translation of words:
Mee Hoon vermicelli noodle
Haram forbidden
Koleh metal container
Sayang darling
Masjid mosque
Abah father
Mak mother
Galah Panjang a traditional game not unlike ‘tag’
Ilmu Hisab mathematics
Ang Pow red packet filled with money, given to visiting children during Chinese New Year
Kuih Kapit a type of traditional cookie
“Kau makan babi!” ‘You eat pork!”


By Salmah

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Still, No One Noticed

I walked the lonely streets at night,
They seemed so different in the lost light.
The shadows quivered, making dim shapes grow.
Shifting moonlight, revealing slivers of what I know,
Beauty, darkness, and the words I made;
Empty winds, when the last song has played.
Over my head, the stars sang softly to themselves,
And no one noticed.

I walked distant, leafy trails one afternoon,
Knowing autumn's glories would wither soon.
Forest creatures rustled underneath every tree,
Wind in the upper branches whispered quietly to me,
Of passing years, unshed tears, words I still measure out;
Shifting dreams, jewels uncovered amidst ashes of doubt.
Behind me, a distant owl wondered what disturbed his sleep,
Still, no one noticed.

by the Wandering Author

© 1980, 2007 by the author. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

what can I do now?
you’re gone

you are gone
from my side

the seat besides me stays empty
the bed grows cold

and nothing else
I do
will ever be enough
to fill this space

it’d be so much easier if I could just not think
not think
but I do
I do

and this is all my fault
you’re gone
By Sara Pufahl, who runs the blog link exchange site Poets Who Blog.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Recently members of Brand New Aspiring Writers took part in a group prompt exercise. The challenge? To write a short story using only dialogue.

Talented Australian fiction scribe Jaime shares with you her take on this idea in the story below.

"I wouldn't mind being dead."

"How can you say such a thing? Oh! That cloud looks like ma, I swear it."

"Think about it. You don't have to worry about eating. You don't have
to answer the phone. You don't have to be afraid of death."

"I'm not afraid of death."

"Most are, just a little. Even if they don't know it. It's something
unknown. Something… out there. But think about it, if you're dead, you
already know all about it. You don't have to worry about when or how
you're going to die or what it's going to be like."

"True. Oh, look at that beauty! A sunflower, I'd say."

"I hate how sad people get, though. I understand it, but I don't like it."

"People need to be sad for a bit. You saw what happened to auntie when
unc bob died and she didn't even want to say he was gone. The men in
the white coats ma used to talk about took her not long after that.

"You saw that?"


"Ma wouldn't have took kindly to that if she knew."

"Nah, but she don't know, and she don't need to know. Ah! Now you
can't tell me that cloud don't look like one of them boats grandpa
used to make."

"Huh. You're right. I think you spend too much time looking at cloud

"What's the harm in it?"

"None, I suppose. Looksee, I should be getting back to the house."

"Ah, okay. It was nice talking to you again. Same time next week?"


"Hey, anybody say anything yet about you coming out here to the
graveyard every afternoon?"

"Nah, they don't mind or talk. They know I'm just talking to my
brother. I haven't told anyone that you talk back."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Fic-Blog

Fictional Blogging, or the fic-blog, has become an interesting offshoot of blogging. Instead of blogging as yourself, you create a character and a story to blog about. You write as though YOU are the character.

I started my fic-blog, The New Years Resolution, at the end of 2006 and it will last for the whole of 2007.

The blog belongs to Lilly Edwards, a bright and cheerful girl who wants to make some changes…

Here’s her first post…

The Resolution

It's nearing the end of 2006 and I've decided I need to make a change. I'm fed up with my life the way it is. I've just split from my boyfriend, I've got a job that I hate and I'm bored out my skull.

My Boyfriend dumped me three days ago claiming it wasn't me, it was him and that he didn't feel he could be with me anymore. How lovely, huh? Bastard.
My job has to be the worst job in the world, I work in a supermarket and it does nothing with the skills I learnt at College.
My boredom stems from living in a place that has nothing to do, nothing to see and absolutely nothing appealing about it whatsoever.
So. I've decided to make a New Year's Resolution - to make something of my life. To do something BIG in 2007 and by 31st December, I'll be where I want to be and I'll be happy.

Follow my journey! Come along for the ride! Join in the fun!

And so her big adventure started….

She moved away, got herself a new job and even a new boyfriend… but it’s never as simple as that… is running away really the best option?

It’s March now, is she well on her way to getting where she wants to be? Is she happy? Read her blog to find out! It’ll be one hell of a journey!!!

By A. Writer who is an Aspiring Chick Lit Author. She hopes to soon finish the editing process of her first novel If Not Now, Then When? Read more about her writing journey at:

Her Blog
Her Fic-Blog

Her Website

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I was going to write a book, but Oprah was on.

You want to write a book. It is on your to- do list right between Lose Weight and Travel More. It’s one of those things you definitely want to get to before you die. Or maybe you are more serious, you have a notes, outlines, a good idea about who your main character will be. You, at least, know it will be about a man. Or a woman. Definitely one or the other.

Still writing a novel is your dream.

But how much respect are you showing that dream? Do you work toward it every day? Week? Month? Ever? Do you think you will die wanting to write a book or having written a book?

I know all the stall tactics. I’ve done them. I’ve said “I’ll write after the holidays,” and I have said “I’ll start that novel as soon as life calms down a bit.” I’ve made writing like dieting, always next month.

Then I read one of those inspirational self- help style books for aspiring writers. In it one part spoke about how many hours you have each day and the sacrifices you have to make in order to write. No, you don’t have to stop watching American Idol, never see another Superbowl, or go without your daily fix of Access Hollywood- we all want to know what is the current status of Britney’s Spears hair, don’t we?

But what if you did have to give up all that in order to become a published writer? Could you? Could you stay inside hunched over a computer on the first day of Spring when you can almost feel the breeze calling your name? Could you type until you work up a sweat, your hands cramp, and your eyes feel like they will bleed? Of course, you could. Will you?

To become a published writer you don’t have to give up everything else in your life. All your experiences make you a more well rounded person and a better writer. But you do have to give up something. And it just might be Oprah.

Take one hour of TV watching a day and instead write. Even when you have nothing to say, write. Even when you think you are a talentless hack, write. Even though no one may ever see your words, besides your mom. That is if you could convince her that your half-finished novel about aliens who take over the bodies of Hollywood A-listers is a Mother’s Day present. Even if no one but your cat knows you are a writer, write.

If your dream is to write a novel then you have to give up something to get that dream. Once you are writing everyday you are moving toward your goal. It’s easy to say one day. Let that one day be today.

If not today, when? When Oprah is over?

Or are you going to put your dreams first for once?

Are you still reading this? Grab a pen or open a word document. Write that novel. Now.

By Sara Pufahl

If you are a writer who aspires to write your first novel but needs support and encouragment then join Brand New Aspiring Writers Group

Saturday, March 10, 2007

"You can't!" he said.

"Just watch me," she hissed.

"Just stop for one second, Sandra. Think of the consequences!" he raised his voice.

"Let go of me!" she screamed.

"I will not let you do it!" he warned her.

"What are you going to do? Follow me around 24 / 7? Stand by your phone at home to filter the calls?" she mocked.

"You will not ruin my life. Or yours!" he said through clenched teeth.

"What life?!" she sobbed, grasping his shirt, "The only life I have now is with you…"

"But Alex…" he said, his resolve liquefying.

"Alex has a lot of admirers John. We have an understanding…" she said, her voice trailing off.

"No, no, no. You've got it wrong. I…" He shook his head tiredly.

"You can't leave me John. Please don't leave me," she cut in before he could finish.

"I don't want to Sandra. But…" he stopped short.

"We can make it work, I know it..." she said between broken sobs, "I have enough money for us to start over somewhere new. Somewhere people don't know us. We can take Ricky with us. He'll love it in Whitewater. My old house… we can renovate it! It will be everything we'd ever wanted John!"

"Oh Sandra… I can't." he said in resignation.

"But you said so yourself! You don't love Carol anymore!" she said, her voice shaking with frustration.

"No. I don't." he mumbled, "… but it's more complicated, Sandy."

"No! It's not complicated John!" she yanks her arms from his grasp, "I love you, you love me! You've spent most of your weekends here in San Diego with me…"

"It's not just about you and me!" he yells at her.

"Who else is there? You're not in love with Carol. I've nothing left with Alex. Your son Ricky will be fine coming with us, you know he will," she pleaded.

John sighed, his shoulders slumped in resignation, "You really can't see, can you?"

"See what?" she demanded, "All I can see is how you're growing distant each day. It's like the more you spend time here with me, the deeper you get involved again with Carol!"

"What the hell are you talking about?" he growls at her.

"Those little trinkets that you buy back for her – the gold necklace, the silk scarf – all those little trinkets you insist on buying for her while you're here!"
she said, her voice quivering, "Sometimes I don't know if you're really out of love with her. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not just a past time for you!"

"For the last time, I'm not in love with Carol!" He shouted.

"Oh, sorry. I didn't know you were here." Alex apologized, halfway through the front door.

"No, it's okay Alex. I was just leaving." John stammered.

"Have you told her?" Alex asked.

Sandra looked at John, bewildered, "Told me what?" "I tried to…"

John said nervously, going for the front door, "I don't know if this is a good time Alex."

"Okay, then I'll tell her." Alex turned to Sandra, "John and I are in love, baby."

"What?!" Sandra gasped, "What are you talking about? You're a lesbian!"

"Yes, well I thought I was," Alex said, turning to look at John, "Until I met John. You shouldn't have brought him here. You were right. He is quite a man."

"Alexandra, you bitch!" Sandra hissed, her hands clenched in anger.

By Sal, an ex-travel writer, now struggling housewife and aspiring fiction novelist. She lives in Malaysia with British husband and dreams to publish her first novel and adopt a Siamese cat one day. Though not necessarily in that order.

Read more about this author's life at Aquarius Sal

Saturday, March 3, 2007

A Lost Time

it was the residence of my

it was the era when I grasped, caught nothing.

it was the start of my fall
from grace. my slipping into space,
racing then waking
to lose myself.

chasing and aching, glaring
at your ghost.

it was the home of lost hope.

it was my home of lost


lost hope.

By Sara Pufahl

To read more of her work visit The Shores of My Dreams

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ten Tips for Strengthening Your Novel

No matter how great your idea may be, or how skillful a writer you are, there are always ways to improve the manuscript you're working on. Perhaps you've already tried some of these, you may be too far along in the process to benefit from others, and a few won't work for every novel. Still, the chances are you can find something here you could use.

Of course, keep in mind these aren't magic spells. They won't breathe fresh life into any story, just because you went through the motions. You have to learn to use them wisely and well. That's true of any writing skill; you need to take the time to know and master it. Whenever you blindly follow a set of rules you don't understand, everything you write will come out wooden and unnatural.

1: Keep writing!

Don't hold back because every word, or every story, might not be perfect. Even if the result isn't always your best work, you'll have more chances of writing a masterpiece if you keep on writing. And that fleeting thought as you struggle for the perfect word might be just as important. So get as much as you can down on paper; you can always go back to rewrite it later.

2: Write yourself into a corner, then find a way out.

When your characters, or your plot, run into trouble, make sure they, and you, are focusing on the real problem. Consider every possible angle of attack. Look for answers that aren't obvious. Real, tough problems you have to struggle with keep your readers interested. Difficulties you have ready answers for look dull and predictable on paper.

3: Understand every character.

Each one must have reasons for what they do, hidden traits, and contradictory impulses. The most evil villains often believe fiercely in their choices, and the purest of heroes must battle baser motives. Brutal men have family and friends, who may even view them as kind. Decent men are lured into awful deeds by good intentions. No trait is as simple as it seems.

4: Combine the unexpected.

Pairing mismatched characters, or plunging your protagonist into a setting or situation utterly alien to them, is certain to generate excitement. Force a biker to cooperate with a book dealer. Strand a sailor in the desert. Relocate a hillbilly in the midst of a huge city. Make a recluse get involved with an acting troupe. Then stand back and watch the sparks fly!

5: Don't take shortcuts.

Resist the temptation to save your characters, and yourself, a lot of work. When they have to accomplish something to move the story forward, make them do it honestly. It's much more interesting reading about their struggles to build a raft to escape the wilderness than about the convenient discovery of an old boat that just needs a little moss stuffed in the cracks.

6: Pursue paradox.

Train yourself to recognise the opposite forces at work in most situations, and to explore them in your writing. This will add depth to your work. Explore the issues many paradoxes raise. They can lend extra dramatic tension to your story. Handled skilfully, such a treatment may even highlight the ironic aspects of life, or illuminate some of the deeper truths life has to offer.

7: Let your characters fail!

If you find your protagonist about to make a serious mistake, avoid the temptation to intervene. Instead, follow them as they deal with failure and its consequences, then pick themselves up to try again. Watching them go through this process enriches the story for your readers, and allows your protagonist, and your readers, to savour success even more when it comes.

8: Build up layers of metaphor.

While metaphor can be an excellent way of describing things in a fresh way, there are other ways to use it in your story. Look for unexpected similarities between very different things, then weave these into the fabric of the story itself. Such a technique can enhance your theme by providing fresh insights into the topic you have chosen to explore.

9: Save everything.

When you find passages or scenes that must be trimmed, don't discard them. Put them in a separate file instead. This will free you to cut out parts that need to go, secure in the knowledge they won't be lost forever. Later, review what you've kept. Well written scenes or passages might, with some changes, be the nucleus of a sequel or even an entirely different book.

10: Live your own book.

It's fine to jot down descriptions of your characters, or notes on your setting, but don't rely solely on those. Try to see your characters in your mind, hear them talk, sketch places where they spend their time. Get to know even minor figures. The better you know the people, places, and events in your book, the more real you can make them seem to your readers.

By Ray

To read more from this writer stop by The unending Journey of the Wandering Author

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Accident

12 years before The Wake...

Cassandra hated begging. But she would beg for this man. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to make Marcus see her, really see her and her heart.

They were standing in the hall by the restrooms at The Celtic Heart, at the end of a long night of drinking ale. Their six friends- the rest of the group that always seemed to be together- were scattered at the darts, the bar, the pool table. Living out their own dramas of unrequited love and jealousy.

But all Cassandra could think of was that Marcus had just kissed her for the first time. Right after she said, “Happy Birthday, baby,” her words soft and private. He had leaned over and let his lips meet hers, giving in to what they both wanted at last.

“Don’t pull away,” she said as he did just that.

“I shouldn’t have.”

Too long they had danced around this. Because he was dating Melissa, because they were just supposed to be friends, because Andrew loved her and no one wanted to hurt Andrew. But Cassandra couldn’t stop her need for this man. Marcus was who she wanted for herself- the rest of them be damned.

Too many times she put them all first, tried to keep them all together, to make these college friendships last a lifetime. But now she needed to think of herself. She needed Marcus to kiss her again, to slide his arms around her and pull her close, to take her away from this crowded bar and home to his bed.

“Melissa...” he started, his dark eyes meeting hers.

“Tell me that you love her more than me. Can you say that?” Cassandra watched his eyes, seeing how dark they were with desire. “I didn’t think so.”

Marcus took a step back, adjusted his clothes, and slipped back into the role he played instead of living. The script that made him seem the perfect boyfriend, the loyal friend, the one with the bright political future. Only Cassandra knew that without alcohol he couldn’t even fall to sleep at night.

While his girlfriend Melissa had some kind of otherworldly ability to not see the truth about him. Especially if that truth didn’t suit her unblemished image of her first love.

“Don’t go there, Cassie.” He gave her a sad smile. “I’m going to get another drink. Want one?”

When she didn’t answer Marcus shrugged and headed for the bar without her.

Peter danced with Cecily but his eyes and mind stayed on his friends. He watched as Melissa and Andrew sat in a booth, their heads leaned closer together, obviously sharing secrets. Her eyes were clouded with warring emotions that he could see even from across the room.

This group clung so tight to each other they were destroying the very thing they claimed to be fighting to protect: their friendships.

Peter figured they had spotted Marcus and Cassandra in that lip lock, bodies pressed desperately close to each other, as everything they kept under the surface for months finally came to life. All his friends thought they kept their desire hidden and their envy unspoken but Peter saw it all.

“You’re daydreaming again,” Cecily scolded.

It wasn’t the first time she begged him to get out of his own head and come back to her. But in his mind was the only place he could be with Cassandra. Where she loved him and didn’t fawn after that over privileged trust fund brat Marcus.

“Just thinking about you,” Peter lied to his girlfriend.

During the next song, Cassandra rushed from the bar with tears in her eyes. Peter counted to five and then, just as he thought would happen, Andrew was headed out the door after her. Melissa stalked over to her best friend, not her lover, Jake and started ranting. It wasn’t long till he was out the door after Cassandra too.

Peter seethed inwardly. Soon it would be his turn to be the one Cassandra turned to... or else....

Twenty minutes later, Cassandra was sobbing in the passenger seat of a borrowed Jaguar.

“Cassie, sweetie, come on. Stop,” Jake encouraged her. But her shoulders kept shaking, seemingly in rhythm with the rain that slapped against the windshield. “He’s not worth all this.”

Cassandra straightened, her tear stained face turned toward him. “I only wanted Marcus to love me. Why won’t he?”

Jake had no answer for her. He couldn’t even make sense of his own life, let alone the messy ones his friends led. He dug around his mind for some sooting lines that wouldn’t sound like a cliche.

Cassandra cried, “I don’t want to live without Marcus anymore!”

His head jerked to the side, in time to see the wild and broken look that flashed in her eyes. Then the tires started to slide and before he could refocus on the road they were in a spin out.

The Jag spun, tossing them, the past, and the future around like a kaleidoscope, leaving everything in a different place as they smashed into the utility pole.

At the bar, Tina showed up late as usual. She spotted Melissa sitting in their normal booth.

“Where’s everyone else? I missed all the fun?” Tina asked

“Fun?” Melissa laughed, the sound hollow and bitter. “They all took off a while ago. Cecily got a cab after fighting with Peter for not paying her enough attention again.”

Tina laughed as she sat down. “Nothing new about that. I can’t believe they got engaged when they can’t go a week without having a row.”

Melissa took another long drink of her ale.

“I hate that I missed Marcus birthday but I got stuck late at the lab again. I swear I am dropping out of the pre-med program. It just drains me to spend every second of the day studying or working.” Tina noticed the far away look in her friend’s eye. “What did Marcus do to you this time?”

Melissa met her eyes. “Nothing. Everything is fine. He’s the perfect boyfriend, you know that.”

Tina could tell her smiled was fake and that something must have gone down here tonight. Her curious mind would not stop mulling over the possibilities until she could figure out a way to get one of her friends to spill the truth. Tina decided to ask Cassandra. She was never any good, unlike the rest of them, at keeping secrets.


Marcus knew he shouldn’t be driving.

No matter how drunk he ever got he couldn’t quiet that part of his brain that sounded like his father’s booming voice, “Don’t embarrass the family with a scandal! This country won’t elect you if you give them any little reason to see how incompetent you truly are.”

But keeping up appearances was wearing him down. So whenever he found the chance he threw back as many drinks as he could, long before tonight when he turned the legal drinking age of twenty-one. Because when he was drunk he could not think so hard, try so hard, or feel so much.

The rain grew more intense, making it hard to see the deserted country road he was flying down. But instead of easing off the gas pedal he pressed down harder. Jake borrowed his car when this old Caddy wouldn’t turn over. Marcus fiddled under the hood and got it going a little while later. He sped out of the parking lot determined to meet Cassandra at her place and talk more about them.

Marcus told himself he didn’t plan to sleep with her. But that was just a lie to make it okay to go over there. Once they were alone, he knew, this would be their night. That kiss earlier hadn’t been enough to quell the heat in either of them.

He slammed on the brakes when he spotted the Jag in the ditch, its front end crushed against a metal pole. Jerking onto the side street, he parked the Cadillac and then took off in a run toward his friends. His feet slid over the wet pavement , bringing him to his knees, but he scurried onto both feet again.

Jake lay in the grass on his back. Marcus bent and felt for a pulse, it was strong beneath his fingers. He moved to the car, finding the door pulled open already, and saw Cassandra in the driver’s seat. Her eyes were open but there was no life in them.

Marcus took her in his arms, his body wracked by sobs, “Cassie, hey, come back.....please...Oh my”


Peter sped threw the downtown city streets at full speed, moving as far and fast away from that country road as he could. His breaths came in gasps, his hands shook.

Why was she moaning Marcus’ name? the angry thought repeated in Peter’s head over and over.

Only covering her mouth and nose, ever so gently, had been enough to make Cassandra stop.

She had looked so pretty.

The police found Marcus still holding her. They had their doubts about his version of the events. Especially when they went to look for Jake’s Cadillac and found it gone, stolen if Marcus was to be believed.

The official story was Cassandra was driving when the car spun out. Jake couldn't remember anything to say otherwise. Marcus refused to speak to any of his friends again after that. He folded into himself and all but disappeared. Wandering around Europe in the years that followed, he did his best to forget the way her eyes looked when he found her, the way her lips tasted earlier that night.

The group fell to pieces, leaving each person searching on their own for a version of the truth, looking for a way to live as a survivor when Cassandra was gone.

But that was the thing. Everyone knew there was more to the story about what happened out there that night but no one could prove or disprove what it was....


By Sara Pufahl

This story is my version of a prequel to The Wake.

To read the story that inspired it check out the first five entries on this blog.

The Accident is dedicated to my fellow Brand New Aspiring Writers member Salmah for coming up with the idea to have each of the four writers of The Wake write down their ideas about what happened the night Cassandra died.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

1589.81 Miles

Reaching, never touching,
but reaching nonetheless
for that burning star,
that heartfelt dream within
a dream, constant thought,
caressing comfort shattered,
stained glass on the pavement.

Roaming and watching
for the one, perhaps only
chance to be the breeze
and ride to the matching beat
a newfound heart makes
in love.

Made better by the tangible
that is, in this moment,
intangible for both sides,
for it, the heart,
the soul, the being, is
exactly 1589.81 miles away,
leaving me exactly 1589.81 miles
away from where I want to be.

My name is Jaime McDougall. I'm twenty years old and a freelance writer,novelist, poet, short story writer, etc. I can be found at talking about the highs, lows, and annoyances ofthe writing trade.
-- - A creative writing site with advice,writing exercises, and more.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Wake

The moment Marcus Garfield stepped into the pub he felt the tension in the room change. He knew they were there before he saw them, huddled in and around a booth near the pool table. His eyes connected with the ones that belonged to his first love then skirted away and took in the aged faces of the rest of his former friends.

He stood by the door of The Celtic Heart and gave himself a moment to adjust to seeing them again. No one smiled at him. It wasn’t grief that kept them somber, if only it was that, grief was survivable, something they could recover from in time.

He stopped at the bar and ordered six pints of Guinness and when he reached them he didn’t bother with hello. Placing the tray on the table he lifted a glass and said “To Andrew, the best of us.”

Glasses clinked signifying the first time they had agreed on anything in twelve years. Too bad Andrew had to die to force this reunion. Self sacrificing until the bitter end.

Marcus had to admit he was surprised they all remembered the drunken promises they made over 15 years ago, after Andrew slurred out, “When I die, no listen to me, I’m serious! When I die you all come here and give me a proper Irish wake. ”

Marcus nodded, smiled and made inane barely sensible small talk, all the while wondering if anyone would dare bring up the reason they lost touch.

He shivered as her face came into his mind. Cassandra. She would have laughed and cried the loudest tonight. She hadn’t been just one of the group. She was the one they all revolved around, their sun, and the one whose death destroyed their friendships.

THE END of Part One.

By Sara

As the group manager of Brand New Aspiring Writers she strives to help fellow novelists and poets reach their dream of publication while at the same time pursuing her own. An American from the Midwest all her novels, and her real life, takes place in the suburbs surrounding Chicago, Illinois.

Part Two of The Wake

Jake Landon downed his cup of Guinness as he looked around at everyone around the table. Each person there had once been a huge part of his life, especially with helping him through his gambling problem. It was because of them that he had quit. Marcus had done the most though. When he’d first quit and was trying to get in the habit of doing things other than gamble, Marcus had been there. He’d stay in contact with him, doing whatever he could, that is until she died and they all fell apart.

Jake jabbed his hand into the pocket of his gray suit jacket and found what he was looking for, his lighter. He knew smoking was another one of his bad habits, heck Andrew had always said something about his smoking, but he had to or he’d go crazy. He hated the feeling of tension; every since he was a little boy whenever he felt it, he’d feel sick inside and when he got older he found a way to relieve the tension in himself.

No one was talking as Jake continued to look around, knowing that at some point he would have to bring up what Andrew had wanted done with his things. That was his job and sometimes he hated, like he did now. Jake was a lawyer, how that happened he didn’t know because he’d always been the bad boy, but that’s what he ended up being. Andrew had given him his will about a month before he died, making Jake promise not to say a thing about it until now. Before he did anything though he had to have a smoke, give them a little more time to be silent and for him to calm his nerves.

“I’m gonna have a smoke.” Was the only thing he said as he got up from the table and walked towards the pool table.

Pulling a cigarette out he thought about what Cassandra had said the group the last night they were all together.

“Each of you is the glue that holds this group together, you stick together. I think if something happened to any of us, y’all would still be together.” That was one of the few things she’d been wrong about. When she died they were through, more than hope would allow them to be more than just civil to each other.

By Mel

Read more about this writer at