Tag Archives: fantasy

Shoes and Weddings and Dragons, Oh My! [socs]

Sandals and purse

“Don’t stamp your little foot in last season’s product at me, honey.”

Anyone recognize that quote?

It’s from Legally Blonde, of course! Elle was waiting to get a drink at the water fountain when one of the prosecution’s witnesses cut in front of her and then said that to her after he was done. Naturally, Elle immediately realized he was gay and therefore wouldn’t have had an affair with her defendant, which destroyed the entire prosecutorial case and exonerated her client. Because the only reason a man would know anything about shoes is due to his being gay, right?

Whatever. I love that cute movie, but Legally Blonde 2 was totally meh. Some things need to be left alone, and I don’t understand this mania for sequels and prequels when there is so much new writing. Supposedly, there’s a Legally Blonde 3 in the works, but it’s already been delayed several times, so who knows?

Shrug

Also, another wonderful romcom, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, was followed by a mediocre sequel, and now there’s supposed to be a third one in the works. Most likely this will be focused on Toula’s daughter’s wedding (just googled it and yep). I understand trying to milk a success for more more more, but can’t someone stand up and say hey this script sucks… let’s produce something else? I feel the same way about El Camino (Breaking Bad sequel) and The Many Saints of Newark (Sopranos sequel/prequel). I guess I’m a bit more kindly disposed toward Better Call Saul now (another BB sequel/prequel), but only because of Kim Wexler’s expanded role after the first season. She rocks! The rest of ‘em, meh.

Yeah, yeah… you know I’m gonna watch House of the Dragon (Game of Thrones sequel/prequel) when it begins on August 21, but I reserve the right to complain about it!

Dragon

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Read Everything?

Books and butterflies

Dr. Tanya continues her Blogging Insights series this week with a quote from George R.R. Martin about how we (as writers) should read everything we can. You know, of course, that Martin is the author of the Game of Thrones books, not that everyone has read those or even seen one episode of GOT on TV. How do we know when people have no interest in GOT? Easy… they’ll announce it repeatedly! Anyway, Dr. Tanya would like to know how we feel about Martin’s advice: “You need to read everything. Read fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers. Read history, historical fiction, biography. Read mystery novels, fantasy, SF, horror, mainstream, literary classics, adventure, satire. Every writer has something to teach you, for good or ill. (And yes, you can learn from bad books as well as good ones — what not to do).”

I don’t read everything. Life is too short to read boring books or genres we dislike, which is why I usually eschew history, historical fiction, and biography, though naturally I have read some or else I wouldn’t have discovered it isn’t my cuppa. I also don’t read much non-fiction in general, though there are exceptions for owls and other interesting creatures. Real people aren’t usually that interesting to me, which is why I prefer fiction most of the time ~ imaginary characters and situations are vastly more intriguing than real ones, with a few exceptions. I don’t read a lot of science fiction or fantasy, but I can be hooked in on occasion, especially if a story contains something cool like a dragon. I dislike horror these days, though I read a bunch of it in the past (King and Koontz, mostly). Same goes for erotica. Yawn…

I note that Martin doesn’t include romance in his list, which I’m sure was just an oversight. There are a ton of good romance novels out there, some of which are now classics, such as Pride and Prejudice. I go in phases of reading Regency romance, but sometimes I prefer stories set in the present day. In fact, lately I’m more intrigued by what writers do with the world as it exists right now and how the protagonist deals with the challenges presented by current political realities, Covid-19 concerns, the insane economy, etc. One of the problems I have with romances is that they’re too fantastical with little acknowledgement of risks and consequences or dollars and cents. Yet other times they offer me a nice escape from all that; it just depends on my mood.

I don’t read many magazines and newspapers these days, though I check the news online from several sources a few times per day. Many of the articles online feel rushed and poorly proofread (if at all), which is something to learn, as Martin says, about what not to do, such as toss off a crappy piece of work just to meet a deadline. I began a couple books lately and didn’t get very far before abandoning them. Focus on one character at the start of a story. Hook us in by creating an emotional attachment to the protag (good or bad). Give us some action before droning on about the protag’s parents, street names, HOA rules, and other boring nonsense. Most of that should be cut on an edit anyway. I periodically remind myself of all this too when I have the time and energy to work on my stories.

Happy writing!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Fans of Irony, Take Note [socs]

Fan

Back on Usenet, I was in a writing chat and we often used the phrase “fans of irony, take note,” commonly abbreviated as FOITN. But I’m not sure we were using irony correctly. Mostly, we were engaging in sarcasm when we decided someone was being a hypocrite. For example, if I said I didn’t like swearing, but a month later I wrote dammit, someone might go FOITN.

Rain on your wedding day isn’t ironic either, just unfortunate. I do like Alanis Morissette in general, but you know what? Her songs were better, more intense, when she was single and miserable. Then she met someone and her music became bland and boring. Is that ironic? I can’t imagine wanting to write if I were in a happy relationship ~ a lot of my inspiration comes from loneliness and sad memories.

That’s not to say I’m unhappy ~ I’m talking about writing inspiration. Take Ghosted, for example; it began as a reaction to getting ghosted in real life and then it spiraled out into its own universe. What’s possibly ironic about that book is its drift into the supernatural when I don’t believe in that at all. But it’s fun to play with in fiction and poetry.

Irony is something unexpected and often amusing. I think The Gift of the Magi story about a poor couple illustrates the concept perfectly. She sells her beautiful hair to buy a gold chain for his pocket watch; he sells his watch to buy fancy combs for her long tresses. Neither of them can use their gifts, which is unexpected and funny, but they have something better, which is true love.

Happy Saturday!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Book Talk

Books and butterflies

Maggie continues Throwback Thursday with questions about our family reading habits.

1. Who were the readers in your family?

My family consisted of my parents and me, and we all loved to read. I don’t know if my extended family were readers because we hardly saw any of them except for my dad’s parents. I don’t remember that they read anything but the newspaper.

2. Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read?

Probably, but I don’t actually know. I say it’s likely though because there are loads of folks who never read for pleasure.

3. Did your family subscribe to the newspaper?

Yep. My dad was a huge fan of the NYT, even after we left the East Coast. We also had the local papers ~ the Chicago Tribune in Illinois (though I secretly read the Sun-Times at work) and the LA Times out here in Southern Cal.

4. If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy?

Yes. Early on I liked cartoons, then later on I read the lifestyle and arts sections and also tried to do the NYT Sunday crossword puzzle. Unfortunately, I was not interested in current events or politics until much later.

5. Did your home have books strewn around? Hardbacks or paperbacks?

We had loads of books of all kinds… fiction, biography, self-help, cooking, poetry, etc.

bears book

6. Did you frequent the library at school?

Yep, especially in high school.

7. How about the local community library? Did you have a library card?

My mom took me to the library all the time and I’ve always had a card… though I don’t actually remember having one during the 4 years we lived in Chicago. I bought loads of romance novels during that period.

8. What was the first book you remember reading?

The first book I remember reading by myself was Arty the Smarty. It was about a rebel fish.

9. Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?)

I had Little House books and the Bobbsey Twins collection, and when I was around 9 I became obsessed with stories about dogs.

Rory lily dogs
Rory and Lily taken by Sam

10. Did you read comic books? If so, what titles?

No.

11. Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required?

I read constantly and always have.

12. Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book?

I occasionally reread The Velveteen Rabbit.

13. What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life?

The Velveteen Rabbit was pretty meaningful to me with its themes of love, loss, reality, and feeling like an outcast. Also, Harriet the Spy had an outcast theme, which I related to. But the problem with these books is that they all have happy endings where the protagonist ultimately finds a peer group who accepts him/her. I didn’t find one until I was 50 years old and spent the preceding years wondering what the hell was wrong with me that I couldn’t have friends like the book characters did.

Woman phone text bed night

BONUS QUESTION: What book(s) do you frequently gift to others? Why?

I give people what they like. Gifts shouldn’t be about the giver ~ I learned this from my children when they weren’t especially thrilled with gifts I bought for them that I thought were cute. I began to put myself in the mind of the recipient instead. I’ll get a biography of an artist someone likes, or a Stephen King book for a horror fan friend. I buy the grands books about topics they’re currently interested in, such as Cookie Monster and unicorns.

Books are awesome gifts for readers!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Way Down Below the Ocean

fantasy couple blue water


I want to thank Jim Adams for his Thursday Inspiration prompt today, as it gives me the chance to share one of my favorite songs by Donovan ~ “Atlantis.”

The song consists of two main sections. In the first part, a narrator (Donovan Leitch) speaks softly (in a sexy Scottish accent) of the mythical kingdom of Atlantis in antediluvian times (before the great flood). The second section is Donovan singing of his desire to meet his dream girl under the sea. It’s a simple repeating chorus that has a soothing, meditative quality, as does the musical accompaniment. I love the calm, peaceful video below.

“Atlantis” is a 1968 single written and performed by Donovan. It reached No. 1 in the Netherlands and Switzerland, No. 2 in Germany and South Africa, No. 4 in Austria, and No. 12 in Canada. Here in the US it reached No. 7, but in Scotland it peaked at only No. 23. It reentered the top 5 in Austria and Germany in 2001 after being included in the soundtrack for Disney’s Atlantis movie for the German-speaking market.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Confetti

Confetti dried petals

I threw confetti at their wedding. It was the safe, biodegradable kind, full of dried rose petals and sunflower seeds, with only a little bit of strychnine.

But he was a rat, so he deserved a dose of pesticide, and if she knew, then his bride did too, though I prefer to view her as innocent, just another victim of his manipulative lies.

Like others of his kind, he soon scurried off to hide from the light. I heard he wasn’t feeling right, and I tried to disguise my smile.

I knew it would only be a matter of time.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Six Sentence Story.

Sublime

Nature paradise waterfall pond

Frogs dream of dragonflies,
Their wings iridescent in the light.
Dragonflies dream of Paradise,
Free from frogs who snap and bite.
I dream of a love sublime,
Transcendent in the violet night,
To caress me with his velvet sighs
And pledge his heart forever mine.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt.


Dusk

Sexy vampire

Turned by a lover’s kiss,
I shelter in the cold abyss:
A prisoner of the light.
I wish to fade into the world,
Hunting the sun,
Sleeping at night.
Yet the dusk stirs my bones,
And soon I will rise,
To prowl, to kill, to dine.
I know I am despised:
Listening to the mist,
I can hear their whispers,
Their plots to destroy my kind,
But we will never die.
Delaying the immortals
Only makes us stronger;
When the hot star burns out,
We will all be free to wander
In the endless, glorious darkness,
Forever.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt and Reena’s Exploration Challenge.

Sea Mist

sea mist
Image from the Carrot Ranch

They say this beach is haunted, and though I don’t believe it, one spring I spent every day on the sand, just in case. And there she was.

With sea mist sparkling on her skin, she reveled in the waves. Some said she seemed like a witch, with her dark hair and mysterious eyes. She kissed me under a sky strung with stars, her hands icy cold but her lips soft and warm. I held her tight.

After Midsummer’s Eve, she grew pale and small, acting like she didn’t know me at all.

During September’s dark moon, she disappeared.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Note: I am catching up on some of the older Carrot Ranch 99-word challenges, but since these are all past the deadlines, I am linking back to the main site in the image credit.

The Butterfly Effect [s6m]

Butterfly elephant ears
Image from theawesomedaily.com

“Oh, my Ganesha, Ellie!” Twiggy stared at her friend. “What did you do to your ears?”

Ellie turned her head from side to side. “Don’t you like them? I saved up and got tattooed for my birthday.”

Twiggy trunked up some honeysuckle, chewed, and swallowed. “They’re very colorful, but I don’t understand why you’d want to change your natural elephant beauty.”

“Because of the butterfly effect,” Ellie explained. “The idea is that I can have a large effect upon the world by simply fluttering my ears. Isn’t that cool?”

“That’s ridiculous,” Twiggy scoffed. “Flutter now and see what happens.” 

Ellie fluttered, and the sky stayed cloudy, the birds kept chirping in the trees, and a crocodile crawled out of the river right on schedule. “Maybe you’re right, Twigs. Let’s go hang at the Giraffe Patch. I don’t like the way Crocky is staring at us.”

As the elephants lumbered off, a lion caught the scent of honeysuckle that Ellie’s ears had rippled through the air. Ick, he thought, I hate sweets, and he scampered away from the area. Soon he encountered a truck full of tourists aka lunch. But they screamed and banged pans, which annoyed him, so he ran back and ate a gazelle that his wife had prepared earlier.

On the truck, a woman said to her fiancé, “That was a close one. And why were you hiding under the blanket while the rest of us were scaring off the lion?”

“I uh was looking for a gun,” the man replied.

“We don’t have guns! You know that.”

Disgusted with his cowardice, she broke their engagement and married Oleksandr Zelensky instead.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Simply 6 Minutes.