ness writes about writing

Chatterbox – Cupcakes and Murder

“We can’t kill him.” The pronouncement hung in the clearing like a gloomy smog. “I mean, we may want to. But we can’t.”

Amelia raised her head. “Torture?” she suggested hopefully.

She was subjected to a hard stare from her brother, a towering and noble figure of reluctant righteousness.

“Outlawed,” said he.

“Accidental homicide?” she offered.

“With you, it wouldn’t be accidental.”

Amelia tilted her head and felt her hair – so carefully arranged – snag on the bark. She ought to move position, but there was something poetic about sitting against the trunk of tree.

“Yeah,” she admitted, rubbing the hem of her pink dress. “That’s true.”

Another hard stare. A car whizzed by on the nearby road – you could just catch a flash of it through the trees.
via Pinterest

“Alright,” she sighed. “But can’t we sell him?”

Her brother shifted on his booted feet, crunching leaf and twig. “You’ve got a dark character,” he commented.

“Oh?” began Amelia dangerously.

“Calculating mind,” continued the erstwhile male.

Oh?” demanded his sister.

“Bellicose brain,” offered he, arms crossed and head tilted to the side just so. Sunlight caught at his fair hair and gave him a righteous glow.

“I have no idea what that means,” said Amelia, her eyes indignant. Her thoughts changed paths and charged towards a more dangerous subject. “Ask anyone,” she said, “and they will tell you that no torture is too good for him – no punishment too great. He … he …”

A hand was flung around in a sweeping motion that gestured to the entire clearing.

“Hanging is too good for him,” she pronounced, scrambling to her daintily sandaled feet and glaring about her.

Her brother rolled his shoulders and nodded. His face was luminous with his reluctant agreement. He was a peace-loving soul, and yet-

“Even you are angry with his … his … “ she was lost for words and yet the expression on her face spoke more than an entire dictionary of words ever could. “Treachery!” she exploded.

A nod. A shrug. “We’ll manage,” were the paltry words offered to soothe her.

“Manage?” demanded Amelia. “Manage?!” she said throwing her hands outwards. “Look at me,” she said. “Do I look like I can manage?!”

Her brother eyed the puffy pink dress; the hair sprayed white; the make-up speckling her face in the form of rebellious blue and purple polka dots.

“I am a cupcake!” the words were hurled at him. “How can I manage to walk home like this?”

Her brother closed his mouth, wisely withholding wisdom which would no doubt be ill received. Another car flew by, a bird chirped merrily in a nearby tree.

“Oh no, you don’t say anything,” Amelia said with a heated glare. “It’s not as if you’re much better. You’re dressed as a candle! A CANDLE!”

Her brother looked down at his golden suit and plastic globules which stood for the running wax. He didn’t need to raise a hand to his face to feel the yellow and orange paint which caked his skin. The paint which resembled a flame. (Or rather, was supposed to resemble a flame).

Amelia’s shoulders slumped.

“We’re going to have to walk home,” she said. “On foot.”

“Like this,” agreed her brother as a fleck of paint drifted off his nose and fell to the floor.

“Rob,” said Amelia in a mournful voice, “let’s never trust a watermelon again.”

I blame Rachel Heffington for this. I really do. Travel-By-Foot was the theme of this month’s Chatterbox.

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The Proof has come – and I have proof!

So this is a post which I meant to post on Friday. And then I moved it forward a little. ‘I’ll post it then,’ I thought. But then I didn’t. Because reasons. So now I’m posting it late. Oh well …

Do you ever have moments of ‘Squee!’? I do. And I did last Friday morning.

The Proof … has come.

… and here is proof of the Proof.

I’ll admit it – I’ve not mentioned Our Intrepid Heroine in a post before. But I’ve been steadily working away at it and now, after weeks of waiting, the Proof has come.

The first moments of holding your book in your hands are beautiful. Disbelief and wiggle-squeals take hold of your emotions. And then you flick through the book and see your words upon a page, your story told in actual ink. It is quite wonderful …

quotereally2But I’d better back-track a little because I’m sure that you have some puzzled questions. (Or perhaps you haven’t, but I’m going to answer your not-so-puzzled questions anyway.)

Our Intrepid Heroine is a short story of eighty-seven pages. It is the tale of a Heroine who sets off to obey the command of a King. Namely, to kill a dragon. Things don’t turn out quite the way she expects them to.

She wanted to slay a dragon. In peace. Was that too much to ask?

Yes, apparently it was.

Narrated by a scatter-brained, scholarly-minded gentlemen and divided into tips (not chapters), I vastly enjoyed writing this completly unorthodox tale – and the characters within its pages.

Particularly the Hooded Person of Unknown Gender. And the Female, ah yes – the Female.

“I’ve waited every day and stared out into the horizon just like my stories say. But,” said the Female, “I don’t think I’ve got the longing look right. Does this look longing enough?”

So while I work gallently away at the paperback version of this short novella, I have the proof beside me and I’m not at all ashamed to say that I pick it up and flick its pages often.

And while the backcover may prove to be tricky to format, the final product will be worth it. Because having an ebook isn’t quite the same as holding a Proper Book in one’s hand.

However, it is still the cheaper option I suppose.