1,000 Stories: A Quote

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas everyday. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” ~Orson Scott Card

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The stories, the imagery we see daily, be it on the outside or in the inside of our imaginations, are like seeds. Like dandelion fluff, the fertile seeds are plentiful, we just need to have the will to let them take root and flourish.

We have to be willing to see what it is that is right in front of us, or tucked within us.

Happy watching, waiting, and writing.

Cheers!

Man Widget

Purple She: A watercolor

Before I went to school and studied art (Advertising & Graphic Design) I was an artist who created solely from imagination. But having the learn the “rules” of “proper” art, I became some what rigid.

I somewhat lost my freedom to create on a whim. That freshness returned with a vengance in November 2013 when I went to Europe for 10 days. That freshness is what gave life to this blog and everything you find on it.

Purple She is my recent watercolor piece.

Original art done by Candice Coates in watercolor.

Original art done by Candice Coates in watercolor.

ART Palette

The Wisdom of Taking Your Own Advice: More on Ascension Graveyard

Just a few short hours ago, I took the time to shed some light on my recent struggle (because there have been many) with my blog novel, Ascension Graveyard.

In that post, which I totally recommend you read (click HERE to so) because it has brought me to this decision, I give five words of advice to novel writers about their first drafts.

Points 2 and 3 are the ones that really got to me. What they did was call me to the carpet.1349825677w51fa

Ascension Graveyard has taken its sweet time in revealing its muscle and the characters behind it. A couple of the heavy hitters didn’t reveal themselves to me until I was at least a good 65k into the writing process, with at least 30 or so chapters posted on the blog.

In the process of these characters coming to light, came that nudge to my creative core that I needed to introduce them earlier on in the story. I did take note to do so, BUT I have just kept plucking away at the keyboard, NOT doing so.

Why? Because honoring that call would mean I was starting over…on a first draft…that I have sharing with the world since June 2014…you see issue.

This was me ignoring my own advice, while misusing it at the same time. Brings fake tears to my eyes.

So, I realize that I have not only NOT been listening, but I have kept on writing, while assuring myself that the plot will work itself out…which it will if I LISTEN to the story!!!!!

So what does this all mean, and what is my big decision?

I have decided to listen, go back to the beginning, put these late comers to the story in their place and listen from there. What that means is that several of the chapters in the main menu will be going bye bye, but it is all in the name of doing what is right by one’s art.

There it is, folks. The struggle is real, but the journey upward is worth it.

In all truth I am feeling better about Ascension Graveyard already!

CHEERS!

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Never Judge A First Draft By Its Word Count: The Fun of Novel Writing

The title is pretty self explanatory, right? More so than anything, for me, it is necessary reminder.

I am fiddling with cover ideas...this is my recent attempt.

I am fiddling with cover ideas…this is my recent attempt.

As it stands, I am a mere couple of weeks away from the one year anniversary for when I first started writing Ascension Graveyard…and the first draft STILL isn’t finished.

Now, I am not complaining, because honestly, I have done a crap load of that already, but I have been a little bit nervous.

Why the nerves you ask? Well because I still have a good 30 to 40k worth of words that still need to be said here, and the manuscript, as of 20 minutes ago is at a whopping 130k words!

YIKES!!!!

Imagining that by the time I type those two delicious words, THE END, that I will be hovering at a word count somewhere around 170k makes me jittery. I will have to take a knife to my story and cut things away that I have grown to love. Big chunks of body, flying everywhere! Can you imagine it?!

I don’t want to lay claim to any kind of disorder, but if I had a problem, I would be a hoarder…a word hoarder, a hoarder of snappy analogies and flowery metaphors.

Those two things are what separate a glowing portrait from a basic stick figure.  But they can also weigh down a novel with an excess of poundage in word count.

To be frank, I don’t think my flowery bits are what is causing so much fat. Actually its the simple fact that, even though I have been committed and faithful in sharing AG since its conception, it is still a first draft.

I, not even an hour ago, had to tell myself to just keep writing and not to look back until I type “The End.” The reason being is that I can fix all of the issues and trim away the excess once everything is fully laid out on the table, or in this case, on the computer screen.

Etta is still telling her tale, as is her gorgeous husband.

So if I could leave any advice for other writers who may be facing similar quirks and nerves, it would be these few things:

  1. Just keep writing: First drafts don’t have to be perfect, they just have to BE in order to be worked into something incredible.
  2. Don’t make the story into something that it is not: There is a saying in the visual art world that is, “Create what you see, not what you think you see.” In the case of writing, “Write what you see, not what you wish to see for convenience.” If you want to derail your stories authenticity and originality, try to fit it into a mold that makes you “comfortable,” but totally contradicts what the characters are laying out for you.
  3. TRUST THE PLOT TO WORK ITSELF OUT!: If you story seems to have a conflict that has you uncertain about how it is going to resolve itself, don’t worry, if you follow your muse and honor point #2 the resolution will reveal itself at the appropriate time. For more on this click HERE to read my post called, “Where You Are, Where You Are Going: Plot Conflict Resolutions.”
  4. Don’t mind the word count…too much: (Obviously, 200k is a lot to manage for a reader and even a writer at times.) Just write what the story is telling you in ALL the words that it tells you the first time around. You can trim and polish later.
  5. Just have fun:What other reason is there for writing fiction besides to have fun?

Cheers to you, and all those extra words!

Happy novel writing.

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The Nursery Part II: Short Story #Blogbattle keyword Loop

Tis blog battle Tuesday! Keyword for the week is “Loop.” For more blog battle entries, please click HERE and view the blog of Rachel Ritchey, the brains behind the blog battles. It read Part 1 of The Nursery, click HERE.

The Nursery: Part II

“Loop it again!” Turner’s voice sounded off in their ears. “For the love of God, loop the code again!”

It was only Elais, Ivory and Turner now. Everyone else had either gotten lost in the code or captured by a Tiller. Even sweet little Laila Tov had sacrificed herself to ensure Elias made it to the Nursery.

B.U.N had to be destroyed, no matter the cost. He just prayed that he and Turner could free them all before they were put to rest for good.  He could not lose Laila Tov, not now, not ever.

Elias huddled with his back against the wall, his arms and wrist flicking like Glendella’s had when she was the one manipulating the computer of Cerebral Helix. Now frighteningly ancient woman was howling through the halls of B.U.N chasing down Turner just like she had the other soldier she could get her knobby fingers on.

Thus far she had been unsuccessful with Turner. The binary code of the nightmares had already eaten away at the surreal structures around the Tillers, sending them into fits of rage and chaos. Those who had with held its effects had finally given in and were fighting against nightmares.

“I will use your bones as tooth picks once I am finished with you!” Elias heard Glendella holler at Turner’s back, and was nearly distracted by her threat. He had already encountered the woman who looked her full again of 287 and there was not a single tooth in her gummy mouth. Maybe she thought she would be able to regain control of the Helix and reimplement the Tiller’s  code along with her teeth.

“Not gonna happen,” Elias said to himself with a final flick of his wrist. The sound of Glendella’s feet pounding through the halls, was lost in the din that came from the sound of metal zombie-dog-lobster-spider-monsters that were now chasing after her…people had such strange nightmares. The bleeding mess outside was a sure sign of that.

Elias forced himself to focus on the next task at hand, keeping his eyes locked in tunnel vision, ignoring the creatures and beast that huddled around him and tried to taunt him. Even the bubbling and peeling walls of the Nursery, that were weeping babies that turned into giant bats, was a hard thing to keep out of focus. But he had to. Everyone down below needed him too, even Laila Tov.

He looked down at them, even his sweet Laila Tov, awake but not fully awake, standing as still as trees in a forest…well trees in a real forest, not those that had been created by the imaginations of the Nursery. They were all catatonic, blinking but not seeing, stuck between dream and reality even though they were more engrossed in reality than they had ever been before.

Poor Laila Tov and the other soldiers were more like statues than anything, not just catatonic but in Catatose, the forced phase before utter death. It was hardly used but when it was it was the beginning of the end.

Laila Tov and the other soldiers could not be grafted back into the Nursery, not like the others, and so unlike they others it would take something far more special to wake them. Nevertheless, Elias pushed forward with Phase 3.

Instantly the song “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight” by the Spaniels, a team of sages, began to sing over and around them. Ivory, slipped into the Nursery and smiled up at Elias, giving him a thumbs up. All of the people in the Nursery began to turn towards her, drawn towards the dimly flashing beacon on her head.

Like a pack of lemmings they followed her out of the Nursery and towards the exit of B.U.N, into a world they had created in their sleep, a world that was being turned inside out by the Good Night code.

But reality, even one that was dull and broken, was better than a dream that you were unable to touch…right? The thought was so heavy on Elias’ mind that he had not noticed the large, blob like body of Harriet roll its way out of the room. He hadn’t even realized she had awaken from her fainting.

The Nursery had completely emptied of its inhabitants. Laila Tov and the other soldiers still stood standing, staring blankly and blinking with heavy lids.

“We are almost out, only five more to go!” Ivory’s chipper voice pulled Elias out of his thoughts.

“The road ahead is clear. Team 37 is waiting for instructions for extraction.” Turner said with a pant. He was still winded for being chased by the Glendella monster.

Elais sighed. “Tell them to proceed.”

“You coming, Elias?” Turner asked.

“Not yet, I,” His voice became thick. “I can’t leave them. I won’t leave her.”

“But there is nothing you can do, not from this side of things. You would need a miracle to get the team out of Catatose.”

“Funny you should say that,” Ivory’s voice came through again. “On the way out I passed a room room that might have what we need!”

Elias felt his heart flutter. “What was it?”

“It said it was the miracles room.”

* * *

END OF PART II

 

Chapter 44: Ascension Graveyard

Chapter 44

Speaking those things that be not, as the bible directed, had surely worked in Etta’s favor. She couldn’t help but smile, and nearly did an in-your-face-dance as she listened to Vanessa Wong and her newly assigned entourage of Ayo Adeyemi and Claus Einberger, give their press conference.

Sure they made her sound like an idiot in so many words, but they had fulfilled their purpose, making Oliver Taubmen and Clive Meeks the pariahs of Greenwich Pass, and Etta somewhat of an afterthought.

“That is a flat out lie.” Vanessa stared down the reporter with a steely gaze that could have made the most vicious of creatures turn tail and run for cover. “What do you people think? Do you actually believe she has some kind of super powers or something? She is flesh and blood just like the rest of us. The people of Greenwich Pass need a reality check. So let me make myself abundantly clear, I am not a fan of Etta Castle Teague. She is rude and she has proved a nuisance, but then so has Oliver Taubman, who instead of working to make our township a better environment while I was away, has done nothing but kick up dust like a two year old turned loose without proper super vision.

“He has reinvented Etta in such a way to make her out to be a demi-goddess who has the power to put people in and out of comas. Really people? No one with any sense would buy into such tom foolery. And who fed you this hog wash? Oliver Taubmen? He has done nothing but breed fear and cause tension to swarm in our streets, polluting the once peaceful place we all call home. He has used my medical condition, those of my colleagues, and the discord surrounding the ascension for his own political gain.

“He has used fear and smear campaigning against a woman who isn’t even running for office to build himself a platform. He has been reckless and irresponsible, not to mention, committed libel against Mrs. Castle-Teague.

“Election season will come again, folks. But I want you all to keep this in mind, if Oliver Taubmen is this bad as a self appointed interim leader of Greenwich Pass, imagine the chaos he would cause if he were ever voted into office.”

A quick-lipped reporter tossed out a question before Vanessa could finish taking a breath. “You say Taubmen has lied on Mrs. Castle-Teague, but what about Paster Clive Meeks? He has been in Mr. Taubmen’s corner supporting his claims against her. Both men believe that she is a murderer. Isn’t in true that the whole town was convinced of this several years ago when Mr. Baldwin Falk was first reported missing?”

Vanessa huffed. “Several years ago, as you stated, Mrs. Castle-Teague was cleared of any an all charges that were being filed against her. Why? Because there was no evidence of foul play. In fact no has proven that Mr. Falk was indeed murdered or even died. What is fact is that he at that time was a flighty twenty something, who swooped into town out of nowhere, just like he most likely has swooped out again, once his teenage love fell apart. It happens all the time. So why are we all assuming murder again?”

“So you do not believe that he is indeed back and working with Etta against the sequence?”

“I haven’t seen him, nor do I care to. Honestly, he is not even a bleep on my radar. Getting Greenwich Pass back in order is. That means silencing rabble-rousers and exposing them for what they really are.”

“It is clear that you and Mr. Taubmen have not been on good terms, both politically and now it seems personally, but what about Pastor Meeks? Both of you came out as Seat holders for our Junction and were on the same page up until the last scheduled ascension. He stands firm with Taubmen against Mrs. Castle-Teague and is just as certain that she is indeed a murderer. What do you have to say about that?”

Ayo was the one to take lead on answering that question. “Unfortunately your Pastor Meeks is not a very liable source or witness of character.”

-“Care to clarify?” Another reporter hollered.

Vanessa sighed and took control of the microphone again. “It grieves me to have to say, but our beloved Pastor has succumbed to an old addiction which has completely clouded his judgment and puts his credibility into question—”

A cacophony of questions and flashing lights from cameras filled the room once again. It was already a news worthy occasion to have the once comatose mayor giving a press conference with two other suspected coma victims of Etta’s, but to hear all three of them exonerate her of all alleged charges and then down the two men who had accused her was huge. At least it was for a township like Greenwich Pass.

Vanessa held up her hands, commanding order. “Pastor Meeks, has had a relapse into alcohol use, a heavy use that has clouded his judgment and most likely ended his marriage. It is for that reason that my colleagues even came into town a few weeks ago, to address his problem and relieve him of his place with the Council until he got the proper medical treatment and help.

“As far as his credibility goes, we are all aware of Pastor Meeks’ history in this town especially when it comes to substance abuse and exaggerated imaginings. This man believed that he was abducted by aliens when he was a child and held firm to that belief up until recently. His unfortunate battle with alcohol is common knowledge, but something that has come to haunt him again.

“The disruption of the sequence and Mrs. Meeks leaving him, has been extremely hard on the man. Understandably. But that does not excuse anything that Taubmen has done to him and through him within the last few weeks, especially as it pertains to Etta Castle-Teague who through her misplaced zeal against the sequence has made herself a target for political bashing.

“Pastor Meeks, in his fragile condition, has been taken advantage of, and viciously manipulated, by Oliver Taubmen. All of you have. My condition, which Taubmen has accredited to Mrs. Castle-Teague, was a result of a head injury I incurred a week before the last scheduled ascension.”

“How do you explain the comas of Ms. Adeyemi and Mr. Einberger? That doesn’t seem suspicious to you given that Mrs. Castle-Teague was present for all three?”

“Was she present for all three?” A rhetorical question that no one dared to touch. “She is not Typhoid Mary, giving everyone the bug without contracting it herself. And if you are thinking about her to that degree, does everyone who manages to not catch a cold during cold and flu season seem suspicious to you? Is their immunity some result of superhuman activity, or cause for a smear campaign? I will say it again; Etta Castle Teague is a Liberal nuisance, with a loud mouth and an even louder megaphone, but a magical being who can put people into comas at whim, she is not. The foolishness has to stop, people.”

“Then how do you explain Mrs. Adeyemi’s and Mr. Einberger’s comas?”

Vanessa scowled. “I don’t because I am not a doctor and I am not abreast to their past medical histories, nor do I ascribe to being a science fiction fanatic. What I am is a realist and the Mayor of Greenwich Pass. A mayor who is not given to witch hunts.”

“But Etta has been reported as having control over Lotus. What are your thoughts there?”

Vanessa took her time in answering. The room had gone so quiet you could have heard a mouse peeing on cotton. “I don’t have an answer for that, just like I don’t have an answer for how the sequence was disrupted. Not a real one even though Mrs. Castle-Teague would have you all believing she was indeed responsible.”

“So you don’t believe she was responsible even though you were seen arguing with her about having stopped it in the name of Baldwin Falk?”

Vanessa sneered. “In all truth, I can neither confirm nor deny that she was responsible for interrupting the ascension, although she has made claim of doing so and there is nothing to refute that. I could do like others and weave a fantastic tale if you would like, place blame on a target and spread fear if I thought that would do some good, help people sleep better at night. But then I am not one for ruining the lives of the citizens who reside here, even the ones I find less than palatable.” Her face contorted as if she had tasted something awful. Several chuckles rang throughout the room.

“So, it is safe to say you are not friends with Mrs. Castle-Teague?”

“A chicken would make a better friend with a fox than I would Mrs. Castle-Teague. No further questions.”

Etta turned off the television in her office and slurped down the last noodle from last night’s beef lo mien. She let the chopsticks in her mouth, chewing in them as she processed what Vanessa Wong had said. The woman was harsh but by the strange buzz of the frequency in the atmosphere she had done a good enough job of getting the hanks off of Etta’s back.

She glanced at her cell phone. It was just after five in the evening. The store clerk formally known as Kyle, was manning the store. He had been there since that afternoon but Etta was going to send him home before closing.

Opening and closing the store was definitely out for the Towes possessed child. There was too much at stake as it was. She didn’t need him snooping about. It would not do her a bit of good to put the young man in a coma after Vanessa had argued that she was innocent of such wrong doing.

Etta smiled listening to the agitation ringing in the foreign frequency that had overtaken Kyle. The Towes was livid. She grabbed her bag, coat and keys, hoping to visit Mr. Albert for an hour before coming back to close the store up for the night. “Gosh I wish you could here this.” She whispered to Baldwin, who had appeared out of nowhere, his hips perched on the edge of her desk.

“I don’t need to hear it to see it. Kyle’s face says it all. That and the glare he keeps shooting into the office when he thinks you are not looking.”

Etta smiled. “That was an excellent idea by the way, bringing Ayo and Claus in to discredit Meeks and Taubmen. I can already feel the town turning on its ear. I mean they may start looking at me like I am some revolutionary hippie, but there won’t be so much of that other stuff from back then.” Her voice lost most of its levity as her mind slipped to the year that Baldwin had been transformed. It had been tough then. Now it was more of a nuisance, one she would have been better able to ignore if she wasn’t so emotionally raw over Jørn.

A knot formed at the back of her throat, one she had to concentrate to release. Baldwin must have noticed before she turned away from him, swinging on her coat. “You aren’t carrying this alone, you know,” He looked down at his hands. “I mean I wish I could be more of a present help if you get what I mean, but that is what Jesus is for, right?” He smiled. “And there is Jørn,”

Etta’s eyebrow was cocked when she met his gaze.

“I don’t know what is going on exactly. I just know that once he hears this, he won’t have a choice but to cut you some slack. Support you at least a little.”

Etta snorted. “I am not so sure about that, Baldwin, but I assure you I am not going to get my hopes up.”

*          *          *

“Did you hear that vibora?” Graciela slapped Jørn’s arm with the back of her hand. “In one breath she is saying sweet Etta is not guilty of doing her harm, even though we all know that if she did harm her, Wong most likely deserved it. And then in the next breath she is calling your wife an idiot. Vieja bruja!” She clucked her teeth and shook her head. “At least she told the truth about Taubmen and Pastor Meeks. I told you all he was a drunk and none of you listened. I should have put money on it, and then I would be rich right now.”

Jørn felt as if his feet had been cemented to the floor. He ignored the din behind him and forced his legs to move. He needed to stay the course, keep his mind on track and not let the opinions of others cause him to second guess himself.

He loved Etta. He wanted her to be innocent of everything she was being accused of, everything he felt like she was guilty of, but more than anything he wanted the solid truth. The only unbiased person he could think of who was capable of helping him gain that truth was right there in the hospital.

He didn’t know why he hadn’t gone to check on Arnold sooner, but there was not time like the present to rectify that problem.

 

“You look a lot better, Arnold.” Jørn said, taking a seat next to Arnold’s bed.

“I would imagine this is a great improvement to me having my head in a waste basket the last time you saw me. Suffice it to say, I feel like a new man.”

“Glad to hear it. Did you, did you watch the news?” Jørn’s knee bobbed nervously. He didn’t know what he wanted to man to say to him if he had watched the news.

Arnold nodded, before getting tangled in the cords of his oxygen line. Grunting a few unsavory words, he snatched the nozzles from beneath his nose and tossed the thing behind his head. “I don’t know why in the world they have me on oxygen. I assure you I can breath fine on my own.”

“You won’t get an argument from me. Now your doctor is another thing.”

“I can handle him. Anyhow, the news and the suddenly healed, and fiery as ever Mayor Wong. Yep, I watched it.”

“What do you think?”

“It doesn’t change anything if that is what you are asking me. Wong’s incident has nothing to do with what happened to your cousin. So Etta didn’t put her in a coma. Truth is I never even considered that she had in the first place. But a coma and murder are two different things, son.”

Jørn let out a breath he hadn’t even realized he had been holding. This was what he needed to hear, wasn’t it? He just needed to stay focused, look at the facts, for Baldwin, for Heidi. “You are right, absolutely right, I just…” His brow knotted together.

“Did you actually think she had the ability to put peoples in comas?”

Jørn’s eyes flickered away from his gaze. The telling expression on his face made Arnold consider him more closely. Jørn had been playing his cards close to his chest, this he already knew. But he clearly had a few more aces up his sleeve. “Those must be some powerful cards you have hidden there.”

“What’s that?” Jørn pulled out of his trance. He had so suddenly began to ruminate on what he had witnessed Etta do in the woods, the way she had manipulated the Lotus as if they were puppets on strings. If anything, Jørn was more convinced that Etta had indeed put Vanessa Wong in a coma, along with the others. Maybe they were just too afraid to say anything. Any person in their right mind would be, especially if no one would believe them.

“I said, you are hiding something, something you know about your wife that you have not cared to share.”

Jørn leaned back in his chair. “There are a lot of things about her that I have not cared to share, and even more that I wish I didn’t know.”

“True.” Silence danced between them for several moments before Arnold spoke again. “Jørn, I am here to help you. I fully intend to do just that. But you tie my hands and make my work harder by keeping your mouth shut, hiding information that could make or break this investigation. In the end, you are not protecting her, and you certainly are not helping your cousin or yourself for that matter.”

“I know,”

“Good. Just as long as we are clear.”

“I just need to get my bearings is all, get a grip on what it is that…” He sighed, resigning not to say anything else.

Arnold narrowed an eye and pointed at him. “My gut, even with as busted as it has been the last week or so, tells me that there is something big, something vital that you know about your wife that you are not ready to bring to the light. But you are going to have to do so, and soon. If she suspects that you know about her whatever it is that has your jaw clamped like that, you can kiss this investigation goodbye.

“I may not know her like you do, but I know how to smell rain when it is coming. If she realizes that you know whatever it is that you know, she will run. Mark my words. They always do.”

Jørn stared hard at the man before standing up. Wong had said Etta had no power, but Jørn knew otherwise. He was probably the only one who knew for certain. He headed for the door. “Thanks for your time, Arnold. I am glad you are feeling better.”

“She will run, Jørn. Don’t hold this too long.” He warned with the authoritative tone of a father.

Jørn shook his head. “No, she won’t. Let me know when you get out. We still have a conversation to finish from before.”

Arnold dipped his head. “You are the first person I intend to call. I share, you share. Deal?”

Jørn dipped his head.

*          *          *

Etta stood out of view, watching as Jørn walked out of the patient’s room. Usually she would not have watched and listened so intensely, but since she was avoiding her husband it was best to stay out of his line of vision.

It hurt much less being the one who was doing the avoiding of the other.

What nipped at her curiosity was the strained vibrations that were coming from Jørn. She could hear them clear outside of the room and the sight of them was more volatile than she had expected. Who in the world had he been talking too that had him all tied up in knots? The light refracting off of him was not that of a physician concerned for a patient. No, that light had become common place whenever he looked at her lately; a suspicious, angry, secretive light that made her stomach turn.

She waited until she heard the familiar ding of the elevator and felt his vibration lessen as he descended to the lower level of the hospital before she went to find out. She peered down the hallway where Mr. Albert lay. She was there to see him after all. She would visit him shortly.

Focusing her attention on the door before her she fixed her expression and knocked, right before letting herself in.

Stunned dark eyes, washed in light of guarded, surprise, stared back at her. A hint of fear filled the air in a way that was far too curious for Etta to ignore.

Smiling, she closed the door behind her.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season Finale: My thoughts

This is definitely a far way off from my usual post, but I find that I need to vent and this is my platform so here it goes. SPOILERS AHEAD so if you haven’t watched the two hour season finale, you should bow out of this post now.

Here it goes, at the climax of the show,  Phil Coulson sacrifices his safety by diving in and catching one of the blue crystals that release the “inhuman Cree Mist” before it hits the ground and kills everyone in the room.

That’s very heroic. Applause to Phil Coulson.

My problem is in what happens next. NEXT  his hand begins to turn to ash and is cut off by the deliciously gorgeous Mack (it took two seasons for me to realize that man is a beauty…well it took them killing off Agent Triplette which had me weak for the end of last season and most of this one, in order for my gaze to turn to Mack) before he dies.

NOW HERE IS THE PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THIS: Agent Coulson was part of the Tahiti Project where he was injected with Cree Alien DNA. Meaning his DNA has been compromised and is really no longer human. He is like a Cree baby wrapped in human flesh.

Since the Cree created the root of the blue crystals and Phil now has their DNA, it stands to reason that HE WOULD NOT BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY COMING IN CONTACT WITH ONE OF THE BLUE CRYSTALS!!!!!

He and Sky both have the Cree DNA. Sky survives the mist so should Coulson! GIVE HIS ARM BACK!

Okay…maybe I am being greedy…they did resurrect him after all. Still, he should not have been harmed by the crystal..I will be satisfied if they somehow bring back that chiseled piece of man candy, Agent Trip. I would smile for weeks and hold back any further complaints…for a while that is. I mean they did renew Agent Carter for a Second Season which had me nearly screaming like a girl… that being because I am a girl.

I am done now…dishes have to be washed…manuscripts need editing…laundry needs to be put away.

Cheers!

Blue Viola: A Watercolor by Request

What grand news! My mother LOVED her watercolored Poppies card for Mother’s Day. She loved it so much she requested that I paint a card for her mother…In case you have not guessed, she let it be known the Poppies design was hers and no one elses.

Mom’s are so cute.

Anyhow, I decided to try my hand at a Viola. The original was pink (I intend to paint it true to its color in the future, and mayhaps recreate it with colored pencil) but I decided to go for blue tones with this study.

Here she is:

Copyright Candce Coates

Copyright Candce Coates

I didn’t use the same technique that I had with the Poppies. (If you have not seen them click HERE.)  But all in all, I am not disappointed with this. Watercolors are tricky things.

Here goes the image all dressed up in card form.

Copyright Candice Coates

Copyright Candice Coates

As I gain more years under my belt, I begin to develop different tastes. As of late, flowers have become of interest. We shall see where this leads my art in the future.

Cheers!

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The Nursery: Part 1 Short Story #BlogBattle

New Week! New Blog Battle! New Word: Bun! For more stories dancing around this word, and to get to know Rachel Ritchey, the brilliant mind who started these battles,  click HERE to follow the link.

THE NURSERY

“Well if that just don’t beat all,” Harriet propped a fist in between the space of her trim waist and bottom. “Glendella, do you see what I am seeing?”

Glendella pursed her lips and tried to stifle an irritated sigh. Shaking jet black hair from her eyes she said, “No, Harriet, I don’t. If you haven’t noticed, I am busy.” She flicked her fingers in midair, the gesture looking as if she were conducting an invisible orchestra.

Copyright by Candice Coates

 by Candice Coates

She was…in a sense, doing just that, manipulating the code through Cerebral Helix, ensuring that it remained “delightful” and full of whimsy.

Each stroke of her fingers against the projected functions of the Cerebral computer she manipulated dictated what was happening in the Nursery. One slip of her finger, one misplaced flick of her wrist and-

“Well, then you ought to get yourself unbusy, because all that flicking and fiddling ain’t doing a bit of good.”

Excuse me? I will have you know, I have been doing this for ninety seven ye-”

Harriet pointed down into the Nursery, her nose in the air, “They’s waking up, ever last one of ’em.”

* * *

Elias, held his breath as he eased within the blanket of darkness of B.U.N Headquarters.  He hardly let himself breathe. There were many “last” things that made his list of things he most certainly did not want to happen to him, at the top of that list was being caught and put in the Nursery of BUN…again.

B.U.N or Binary Unit of Narcosis was a vile existence. Nothing short of torture for anyone put in the Nursery. From the moment of a souls conception B.U.N was involved, linking them with their Cerebral Helix, and stealing away everything good; hope, good dreams, wonder and imagination. B.U.N claimed it as its own.

The stolen muse of those who were born to sleep and dream had become the very foundation of the whimsical world that now existed.

People, those seen as Seed and not Tiller, had been reduced to real live think tanks, forced to sleep until their last breath, weaved into a binary code of the Cerebral Helix where their dreams and thoughts were used to create a world beyond anyone’s imagination. A world fit only for Tillers.

Tillers were too busy to dream, far too superior in pedigree to be milked in the Nursery.

Elias shuttered and felt the familiar itch that tickled the skin of his naval, neck and spine. There were no scars to be had for the mental assault he had endured for the first seventeen years of his life.

He was one of the fortunate ones. He had gotten away.

“Very few like us,” Laila Tov had said when she had first found him. “Most people are stuck when they dream, accept everything as real. We know better.”

“How?” He asked. “We just feel it. We know how to wake up.”

And they did feel it, so much so they manipulated their dreams to run contrary to their natural muse. Doing that too often, however, upset the Binary Code, created monstrous  environments, which lead to  an immediate rejection from Cerebral Helix Coding and the Nursery.

Being rejected…well that meant evaporation. Recycling was out of the question for the “bad seed”. B.U.N could not risk any contamination.

But even that process required a compliance that those like Elias, Laila Tov, and several others just did not embody. People like them not so simply got away.

Elias smiled thinking on their first conversation, before making contact with Captain Laila Tov. “Phase one is completed, Sweet hea- Er, Captain.” It had been three years since he joined the Good Night Project, named for his now wife Laila Tov. He still found it hard to call her “Captain,” not because he didn’t think she was worth her salt as a leader, but because he found her so darn cute!

“How many awake?” Her voice held no lilt of endearment. Laila Tov was all business. This was a one shot gig. Everyone in the Nursery had to be flat-lined from the code in order for phase two to work.

“All of them.”

Silence that was followed by a relieved sigh, opened up for the next command. “Begin Phase Two. The others are prepared to initiate their Binary Uploads.The Tillers won’t have time to rewrite the code before our nightmares begin to manifest. Its going to get darker in there and even worse out here.”

Elias grimaced. “That’s generally what happens when nightmares become reality. It gets dark fast. But hey, we wrote this code so…”

“True. Let’s finish this, Soldier- er Darling.”

“Rodger that!” Elias smiled as if Laila Tov’s last word was a kiss.

* * *

“Stop that!” Harriet hissed at Glendella. “Your going to break your hands clean off at the wrist, woman it ain’t working! Somethings wrong with them!” Harriet suddenly sucked in a strangled voice and pointed a finger at Glendella. Her once raven-esque hair had grown grey and brittle, the coarse strands of it brushing against her sagging skin.

Dreams were always the place of youth, but Glendella had suddenly grown haggardly. “Or,” Harriet took another step back, plastering herself against the viewing bay of the Nursery below. “You are what’s wrong! Glendella you are absolutely ghastly!”

Glendella’s eyes widened, drool slipped from her lips along with several of her once pristine and perfect teeth. “You’re one to talk, your skirts are about to pop!” She let out a horrified mew as she tried to catch her teeth.

Harriet had not felt the strain of the fabric against her once trim waist but couldn’t help but faint to the ground as if shot as the sound of her seams popping echoed through the room.

END OF PART 1

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of this tale. It is very tongue and cheek. I must give a shout out to the “muse” who inadvertently gave me the idea for this story, Blondeusk! Do check out her blog HERE and give it a follow…you can thank me later, that is after your sides have taken a moment from splittling with laughter. She is funny, that one. 

Cheers!

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So Much To Say: A Poem

I had so much to say today

But I think I must stay silent

Zip my lips

Bind my fingertips

Alas, my imagination won’t abide it

I think I should write some words today

Or read to feed my soul

Let the muse of others come for tea

And make my resting whole

I think I ought to lay it down

Bid the day behind farewell

Take time to dream of something new

Swim with wonder for a spell

Oh but I had so much to say

I trust it will keep until the morrow

Blame it on tornado season and libraries

The cause of stillness and books to borrow

So much to say

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