Sunday, April 26, 2009

Starting a Story

Well, I have a few paragraphs begun of a new short story. It's not Taking Her Life Back yet. It's another one called Summer Memories about a young girl named Kellie who will discover that she has Turner Syndrome, a genetic condition in which a second X chromosome is either completely missing, or is missing/incomplete in some cells. The condition universally causes short stature because two copies of a certain gene on the X chromosome are needed for long bone growth. More seriously, Turner syndrome usually results in infertility, and there can be complications with the heart and kidneys.

There are still some details to work out and plan in the story, but at least I've got a start. For some reason, it is so much easier to write blog posts! Oh, well. The story will eventually get done. I may end up working more on it tonight, but no guarantees. Kellie has an older brother, Kris, who has become sort of a bully to her in recent years. Her two best friends are Stephanie and Ian. I have to work on fleshing out these characters, as well as the parents. So far what I'm thinking is that Stephanie is tall and will provide a contrast to Kellie's lack of physical development, prompting Kellie's parents to take her to the doctor to investigate. The story may end up spanning several summers, and it may be a summer later than her 10th year that her parents truly notice enough of a difference to seek medical testing and advice for Kellie.

Eventually, I'm planning on creating a collection or two of short stories on my website that will hopefully be publishable. There's a self-publishing website called WriteLife that seems like it would be a very nice resource once I'm at that point. For all you fiction writers out there who have sites and blogs like this, I'd love to hear from you and get ideas, see what you've done, etc.

Here's an excerpt of what I have so far in the story. If it seems she has greater maturity than what might be expected at her age, I've been envisioning that Kellie is writing her story years later in her life:

Summer vacation was always the best time of year, filled with long sunlit days of delightfully warm weather and the complete relaxation of not having school or homework for a whole three months! It was the final day of school, and I'd actually shed a few tears at having finished fifth grade. Elementary school was over, and in the fall my two best friends and I would be starting middle school. There had been no fanfare celebrating this huge transition, no graduation ceremony to commemorate our accomplishment. It felt strange to simply get on the bus at the end of the school day, and know that it was for the final time at the only school I'd ever known.

That evening, Mom had put together a special dinner as a "graduation" treat. Fried chicken, corn, and biscuits...my favorite! She'd also baked a white cake with vanilla frosting, making everything from scratch. It was a perfect time, with the only thing ruining the meal being my bratty older brother Kris. He never could pass up the opportunity to tease me...as if I didn't have enough of that at school for being so little! At least at school, the teasing was for the most part good-natured. Not so with Kris. We used to be closer when we were younger, but he was in seventh grade and had long since turned mean. Not only did he tease mercilessly, but he kept trying to act like I was an annoying little sister who was always trying to tag along after him. I admit that a couple of years ago when we started drifting apart, I missed him and did try to get him to spend time with me again. But after about two months of this treatment, I stopped trying and instead began going out of my way to ignore and avoid him as much as possible.

"Hey, Shorty! Hand over the corn!" he demanded, smirking. He knew I hated that nickname, no matter how much I tried to pretend otherwise. Not that I was skilled at hiding my emotions, but Mom's advice to not react to teasing seemed sound. If they didn't get a rise out of me, eventually they'd give up. It had yet to work, but I remained optimistic that it eventually would.

Wrinkling my nose, I replied, "No! It's closer to you."

Before Kris could start in with a retort that would try to draw me into a bickering match, Dad cut in. "Kris, Kellie, no bickering at the table. And Kris, this is Kellie's evening. So don't spoil it by bothering her."

I flashed Dad a grateful look for his support.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Role Play Update!

Ok, so I still haven't gotten around to writing my first original story yet, but I have been doing more role playing. Oh, and I've added a bunch more role play excerpts to my website. There's been a lot of progress on the time travel role play with Ariel and Matt. That's the one we've been focusing on. I did post again a brief post on the Students Against Riddle role play, and we haven't worked on the role play with Camille lately.

Ariel now knows what happens in the future. Christian ended up coming into control, and between his revelations and her figuring things out, she discovered that her parents were killed and that she herself ended up dead in his time. Christian even told her about his role in the battle...at least to some extent. She knows that he helped Slytherin.

Speaking of Slytherin, he showed up for a second time in the role play. They now have plans to visit Ariel's twin brother, along with Matt (and Slytherin has promised to make sure Christian has some time to be in control during part of the visit). And to Ariel's relief, they are all in agreement that they want to prevent the tragic events of the future. After Slytherin leaves again, Ariel and Christian decided to practice using the Room of Requirement in order to prepare for whatever the future brings. After all, who knows how long this tenuous peace will last? Ariel and Christian discovered that the room will grant a request to keep anything dangerous (e.g., weapons or spells) from working in the room. Another lesson learned was that one can't undo a request another has made of the room; instead, a way around a request has to be found.

Eventually, Matt returned, and Ariel filled him in on what happened with Christian and Slytherin. He also explained the multiple personalities situation to Ariel. And that's the point we have reached in the role play! It's been fun and dramatic, and I really think the future will bring even more drama, with something happening to cause Slytherin to forget that he truly wants a peaceful solution...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Only 86 days to go!

Well, we've hit the 3 month mark now, and we're closer to that long-awaited film than we were before the WB decided that they needed to make us wait so long to see the movie. Finally we won't have to wait much longer! I just heard that the date has yet again been changed, to two days earlier. So now the movie will open on Wednesday, July 15. It's a shame in a way, both because of people's travel plans that will again be thrown off and because I'd been hoping to see it at a midnight showing on opening day. What with all the media we've been shown, from pictures to a multitude of trailers, it feels like we've already seen and heard so much about the movie. Everything really does look amazing, from the acting to the special effects.

Is anyone else planning to be there at midnight, seeing it in IMAX 3D? There are a couple of options for that where I am; Stephen and I recently discovered a second theater not too far from us that now has IMAX. We saw Order of the Phoenix at one of them last time. It was amazingly done, and I'm so looking forward to seeing the cave scene in 3 D this time! The cave scene looks incredible!

I haven't been spending as much time anymore on the discussion forums like HPANA (In fact, it's been so long since I logged in that I probably would have to reregister with a new account to get back on), so it's been a bit since reading what people are saying about the Half Blood Prince. Come by and share your thoughts! Here are a few of mine for now:

Quidditch:

It's really exciting that Quidditch is back. I've missed that in the past two movies. Oh, and it would be wonderful to see Luna's commentary for one of the matches; it was absolutely hilarious in the book!

The Added Burrow Attack Scene:

There are probably mixed feelings among fans about this added scene. I'm not a canon purist who minds things like this. If it's done well, and I think it will be, it should be a wonderful way of bringing the impact of the war in a real, primary way. In the books, we didn't see it hit that close to home until Deathly Hallows, when the students were all impacted at Hogwarts, Luna was captured, and the trio dealt with danger and attacks on their quest to find and destroy the horcruxes.

The Humor:

From the looks of it, the Half Blood Prince will strike a nice balance of humor and thrills. It's a shame they overplayed the "But I am the Chosen One," library scene with Hermione smacking Harry on the head for having said it. We've seen it so much in the trailers now that it could be a bit old by the time we see it in the movie. But at least there are sure to be some great laughs. The love potion scene was just perfect from what one of the trailers showed!

The Cuts :

The cuts are probably going to be what fans will most gripe about. I'm not going to list them here because I don't want to spoil anyone who wants to remain unspoiled. But there are some cuts that I wish would not have been made. And there was definitely a change that surprised me, though it will probably turn out well in the context of the movie. Overall, though, I'm sure we will have a great movie.

Again, please share your thoughts about the Half Blood Prince movie. Accio July 15.

XOXO,

Lora

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Taking Her Life Back: Story Notes

Ok, so I didn't get around to this last night. But I did create a new blog on WordPress! Maybe there it might be easier to find readership for my sites. Who knows? In the meantime, I will continue to write. Here is what I have so far for the first story, entitled Taking Her Life Back. It's the story of a young woman institutionalized after suspecting her stepmother as being responsible for her father's death. I've figured out what the event is that leads to her institutionalization, and probably what some of the clues are that cause Amelia to suspect her stepmother. Though my initial thought had been to include those ideas here as part of the notes, it'll probably work better to let you see if for your self in the story! But along with this synopsis of the story, I'll give a brief introduction to the characters.

Characters:

Amelia Winthrop - Age 17, about to turn 18. She's got long, straight brown hair with blue eyes. The oldest of two from a wealthy family, she is alternately very responsible when it comes to her schoolwork and her younger sister, and very fun-loving and spontaneous. She does her best to find joy in life, particularly so because she knows all too well how short life can be. Her mother died when she was quite young, and her father Charles recently passed away. An intelligent young woman, she's putting together the clues that her stepmother may be responsible for her father's passing...

Lexie Winthrop - Age 11. She's a bit quieter and more shy than her older sister, whom she resembles. With no memory of their mother, she envies Amelia for the fact that she does have a great many wonderful memories with ther mom. Oh, how Lexie wishes to have had that experience! Since that's not possible, she on occasion asks Amelia everything she can think of about their mother. Lexie is into sports and plays soccer for her school team. When their stepmother came into the picture two years ago, Lexie was less resistant than Amelia to the addition to their family. She'd never really had a true mother figure prior to this, though their former housekeeper, Maria, came close.

Alicia Ramirez - Age 18. She is the spunky, outspoken daughter of Maria. When Maria passed away of a heart attack about a year ago, Charles Winthrop became her guardian and fulfilled his promise to Maria to take care of Alicia. Having grown up with the Winthrop girls, she and Amelia have become best friends, as close as sisters. Alicia is fiercely protective of the girls, and looks out for Lexie while Amelia is away.

Victoria Cole-Winthrop - The stepmother. In her early 40's, she is quite a bit younger than Charles and undeniably beautiful with shoulder-length blond curls and blue eyes. Having no occupation of her own or desire for one, she has presented herself as a wealthy heiress. Clearly, she enjoys a high-maintenance lifestyle, including having her own hairstylist and going for frequent manicures/pedicures.

The Lawyers of Winthrop-Smythe - Charles' collegues and friends at the lawfirm he helped establish. They come to Amelia's rescue in the effort to find out the truth and have her released from the local psychiatric hospital.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Busy Week!

Priority or no priority, this week really has been way too busy for me to find the time to write anything of the story. I haven't even posted on the role plays! Hopefully I'll get to that this weekend, and may do that tonight when I have the time. Even dashing off a couple of quick posts would give the role plays a chance to continue. It will be fun to see where the storylines go from here.

As far as getting started with the first short story, the plan is to start working on the notes maybe tonight. The writing of it will hopefully happen on a certain day this month when I'll have a significant chunk of time to work on it. We'll see how that goes, and I'll update when it's finished.

Well, it's dinnertime, so I'm off! Afterwards, back to work on my first short story.

XOXO,

Lora