Category Archives: fiction

Paper

Clean blank perfect sheets of paper

Bright colorful patterned paper

I am surrounded by paper

Awash in paper

The feel of it, the smell of it, the crisp snap of it

The exuberant glide of ink across the snowy plain of it.

Such an abundance of delight it is to have paper

Paper enough to write on

To doodle

To rip

To crush and toss and taunt the cats.

When I was a child, it was not common to have paper at home.

I fell in love with paper at school.

So much paper, always available,

To write on, draw on, toss away.

The unexpected riches of paper.

Now I surround myself with paper

And never take it for granted.

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Filed under fiction, personal, poetry

Being Quiet

The days I remind myself to shut up

seem to expand.

A brave new world of vast global communication

and still I hear this message inside and out to be quiet,

Stop talking

You’re blathering

Nobody cares what you’re interested in.

The voices come mostly from inside, I suspect.

Echoes of my father’s “I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

Echoes of my mother’s “You don’t have to tell me about every single thing.”

But then how and where does this lonely country only child share?

Not in school. “Stop talking.”

Not with friends. “Nobody’s interested in that stuff.”

Not a church. “You ask too many questions.”

 

Ultimately it come to this: a pen, a notebook,

a keyboard, a file,

a blog spiraling its way into the vast emptinesses of hope

to friends I’ve never met

people I’ll never know

other voices needing to be heard.

All of us crying into the darkness in a desperate attempt

not to shut up.

 

– By Judy Wall Crump, 2012

Please don’t reproduce without credit. Thanks.

 

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Kickstarter

In an attempt to raise enough money to rent space for my writing workshops, maybe advertise them a little, and print up a small booklet of some of the resulting writing, I’ve signed up to try and start a project on Kickstarter.com. No idea how it will work or if it will work, but I really miss teaching and I don’t have the money it will take to schedule the workshops. I’ve got the money I made from selling hats at the Windows Market, but less taxes and charity and existing expenses, there’s not enough for the workshops.

So maybe this Kickstarter thing will work. I figure nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Oh, and also … I’m giving my Freedom manuscript one more thorough onceover, and after the first of the year I plan to start sending it out. Feel free to send me any good wishes you have lying around unused.

 

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Review: The Blacksmith’s Daughter

First, I enjoyed this book, which is available as an ebook through MUSA/Euterpe and also through Amazon.

Second, I’ve known the author literally since she was born, and count her as a dear friend. Just to get that out there in the front of anything else.

That said, “The Blacksmith’s Daughter” is as good a fantasy first novel as any I’ve read in a while. Fantasy novels have certain things going for them, or against them, depending on personal preference. They have a fair amount of backstory/world-building to do before they can get deep into the story. Anybody who’s ever read Tolkien knows that this has been a challenge all the way since the Big Daddy First Fantasy to Rule Them All, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. If you’re the kind of person who loves to dive head-first into a new world, with unusual names and unheard-of places and Important People you need to learn and remember early on, then you’re already comfortable with reading fantasy and won’t have any problem with all these things.

If you’re not accustomed to it, you’ll find that the Prologue is a strenuous chew. But hang in there, all will come clear and you’ll find that you needed to know all that prologue.

About midway through chapter one, “The Blacksmith’s Daughter” really hits its stride and from there on out, there’s plenty of plot to pull the reader though the occasional bit of necessary fill-in.

“The Blacksmith’s Daughter” hovers on an edge between standard fantasy, mild romance, and the Young Adult category the publishers have chosen to put it in. While many of the tropes in the story are fairly standard fantasy, none of them comes across as cookie-cutter. The pint-sized heroine is great fun, unexpected and full of twisty quirks, unusual strengths and a quiet competence not often seen in fantasy females. I love that not only is she a blacksmith’s daughter, she’s a blacksmith herself.

Oddly, the main hero character engaged me the least. He was certainly fine, but nothing really sets him apart. The main hero’s long-time best friend is far more interesting a character. I’ll be keeping an eye out for him if and when the promised sequel comes along!

All-told, “The Blacksmith’s Daughter” provides everything a reader could want from a fantasy novel: Engaging main characters, entertaining secondary characters, wizardly wizards, icky bad guys, sword play and magic. And about that magic: I’m really hard on magical systems in books and movies, because so often it’s misused as an abrupt deus ex machina. Wave your arms and make everything sparkly and fixed: That kind of magic. So I’m pleased to report that the magic in “The Blacksmith’s Daughter” has clearly been well thought out and has sane uses and limitations. Thanks, Arley, for that gift.

In conclusion, I only have one more thing to say: Where are the maps? You can’t have fantasy lands without maps. LOL It sprains the reader’s tiny mind!

My recommendation: Read “The Blacksmith’s Daughter.” And when you’re done, let me know what you think about Enith.

Because I think she’s fab. Just like the chick who brought her to life: Well done, young wizard. Well done indeed.

 

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Welcome to my new hideout

Mixed Message

Okay, not really a hideout. But I’ve been posting things pretty trustingly over at LJ for several years now, and while I don’t give a damn what anybody does with or about my posts, I’ve finally started getting a little nervous about my fiction.

My “friends list” has gotten unnervingly large, and the vast majority of the names on it I don’t even recognize. That’s… scary.

I’m not leaving LJ, and I may continue to post fiction there – short term. But I won’t be leaving any up in the long term. I’ve also started moving my old, existing, fiction to this space, along with fiction I’ve not posted anywhere before. All my old LJ-posted fiction will eventually vanish from there.

This site is not a VigOrli nor an LoTR fanfic site. It will hold some VigOrli fic and some Lord of the Rings fic, but it will also contain original fiction of all kinds. I hope you’ll enjoy some of it (and feel free to let me know your opinions, for good or bad).

Come on in. Take a chance on something different. And if you want to recommend this site to someone… maybe ask first, okay? I don’t like being paranoid, but right now I am.

Hope to see all or at least most of you here, though. And you are very very welcome here.

Rain

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