Tag Archives: fiction

FPQ62: Homebound

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What activities have you cut from your life since this pandemic started that you DON’T really miss?

Unlike some, I don’t see a silver lining in this thing for me personally although yay less pollution right now, so that’s great. I miss everything I was doing because I had my life the way I liked… work, family, pets, friends, hobbies, etc. Still have pets around. Everything else is online or not at all and geez I get tired of staring at screens.

However! There is one thing I’m not doing or hardly at all and I do not miss it because I hate it. Can you guess?

Traffic jam at sunset

God, I despise driving. It’s just the worst and I don’t miss it one bit. Wish I could resume a normal life without it, but I live in Southern California, so lol.

It was making me more depressed to keep documenting my days of nothingness, so I stopped. I’ve been working on Ghosted 👻 and playing games.

~*~

Images from Fandango and me.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 5

Book bingo challenge

See my previous update here.

For the anthology box, I read When Love Rises by Michelle Stradford. I enjoyed it and gave it a 4-star review. Not 5, since I couldn’t connect that well with some of the poetry at the beginning. Here is my full review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.:

I especially connected with the later poems in this book where I felt her true soul was laid bare. That painful, powerful imagery resonated with me. Throughout, her poetry contains wonderful metaphors and striking language. A joy to absorb.

I love poetry. I’m trying to get in the mindset to write more myself, but it’s so hard to focus because of the thing.

Next, I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, a book I meant to read last year. This book really grabbed me, which is odd because it focuses on topics I normally shun. First, it has a huge emphasis on the mother-child bond, in a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Second, the story is told from the eyes of teenagers a huge chunk of the time. These days I generally dgaf about the angst of teenagers. You think it’s bad now, kids? Just wait. Third, there’s the familiar trope of boring suburbia, the bad that lurks beneath, and the MPDG who twirls in and shakes everything up.

And yet… the story held me immediately. I needed something exactly like this right now, something so different from what’s happening in the news. Remember when we as a nation were riveted by a stain on a dress? That was the most important thing going on. I find it hard to focus on trivia, but I don’t feel like watching a movie either. I haven’t turned on my TV in days except to exercise to a video (I get the news online).

So anyway. That’s when LFE took place, in the Time of the Blue Dress, around 1997, in a wealthy Ohio suburb. I was riveted by the story; I really wanted to discover what the various characters would do. Their actions seemed surprising at times and yet also inevitable, which I admire in writing. It’s a fine line. You don’t want to be predictable, and yet you want your readers to say… oh, of course. They would have done such a thing. I can totally see it now. And there were so many layers upon layers to each character and the part they played in this drama, that the finished “cake” felt fully earned.

I gave LFE 5 stars despite the fact that Ms. Ng had POV breaks within scenes and lengthy, meandering backstories with POV breaks in those too. That just goes to show you that the story and characters are everything; rules are still important, but they can be broken. I’m not sure why Ms. Ng broke them, but with her credentials you know she knows them. They weren’t mistakes. One critic suggested it’s a cliche to have someone die on an icy road or of a brain tumor. I didn’t cringe when reading them, but I can understand someone not liking those sections.

I can see that same critic’s point about the trope of the MPDG breezing into the small town and turning it upside down while discovering all is not what it seems. I guess there’s also the trope of the naive country bumpkin stumbling into the big city and encountering cynics and meanies. But everything has been done. The key is to bring your own voice and spin. That critic doesn’t believe that Ms. Ng added anything new, but LFE struck me as fresh and engaging.

To each their own! 🙂

~*~

Image from Kriti & Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Neep [socs]

Stream of consciousness Saturday

Fred saw that his son had cleaned up the garage as he’d been told. He went into the family room where Dylan was watching a movie with Grandpa. “Dylan, thanks! The garage looks great.”

“Neep,” Dylan said.

Neep?” Fred asked.

Dylan waved a hand. “Like yeah… neep. I’m acknowledging your compliment, Dad.”

“Whatever happened to no problem?” Fred said. “I hope you aren’t using this casual language to your teachers.”

“Like they ever give me compliments,” Dylan muttered.

Grandpa spoke up. “Back in my day, we said you’re welcome.

Fred rolled his eyes. “How many times have I heard back in my day?

“Not enough!” Grandpa chuckled.

“I like you’re welcome,” Dylan said. And he began using it with his friends, who thought it was hilarious. They said it instead of neep. It was fun! Made them stand out from the crowd.

At the parent-teacher conference, Ms. Pine told Fred she was pleased with Dylan’s progress. “He’s a very well-spoken young man. He even says you’re welcome when I thank him for turning in his English homework. You’ve done a great job with him, Mr. Hartley. Thank you.”

Fred, being divorced and thinking Ms. Pine was very pretty, wanted to seem cool. So, he smiled and said… “Neep.”

Ms. Pine frowned at him over her glasses.

~*~

Image credited to Shelley Krupa.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Self-Isolation Report 1

Isolation Bitmoji

Thursday Morning

8:00 ~ cleaned cat box, vacuumed, did laundry, cleaned bathroom, read blogs

9:30 ~ had coffee & an avocado 🥑

10:00 ~ dusted, cleaned kitchen

11:00 ~ exercised to a video

11:30 ~ downloaded phone games

Thursday Afternoon

1:00 ~ played phone games, ate cookies 🍪

5:00 ~ thought about writing, took a walk in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Central Park

Thursday Night

7:00 ~ ate instant noodles, made tea, started work

8:00 ~ freaked out about Gov Newsom telling us we can never leave our homes again and began frantically chatting with friends and daughters

11:00 ~ finished work, had more tea

Midnight ~ made this post, feeling too anxious too sleep, glad I still have some Valium

Yah… so just like the olden days when I was all upset about some dumb man, I can’t get my mind in a clear enough state to switch over to the fictional realm. It’s too cluttered with stabby bits of reality and what ifs.

~*~

Images from Bitmoji and me.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Whatever…

Pointless meandering

I guess I haven’t posted anything today. What’s left to say? I was looking forward to the FPQ, but then I saw I would have to listen to a news clip. Ughhh. Like I’m not glued to the news enough already? Too much and yet I can’t stop looking at it like I’m passing a car wreck except it’s the whole world in a wreck and I can’t just pass by because I’m living in it too.

Then I was gonna post for the Color Code Challenge, but I didn’t have anything. I had pics with colors, but no pics with groups of colors. Boo. That would have been a fun post, if it had materialized. 🌈

I thought about Sadje’s pic of the woman on a cliff with the broken god, but eh. Then there was a “glorious” sunrise or something too. Meh. Just not feeling the fiction. Or poetry. The challenge from last week was humor, but I’m too consumed with anxiety to be funny right now.

The weird thing is that I had a relatively good day, very productive. Things ended on a happy note too, and now I have a 4-day weekend. I had planned to go to Vegas with some friends, but obviously that’s not going to happen now. I’ll read, write, exercise, and maybe watch a few movies alone at home. Those are the kinds of things I enjoy, so I’m not upset about Vegas, but I dislike uncertainty. A lot. 🙁

Believe it or not, I watched Contagion last night. It’s a good movie! People wonder why I’d watch that now, but now is a great time to watch it imo. Absolutely stellar cast too. It’s weird to see Bryan Cranston before he played Walter White. (Never watched Malcolm.)

So anyway… I’ll be around. My Thursday Inspiration is coming right up tomorrow morning and I’m working on my April A-Z game posts here and there. It’s a good time to catch up on things.

Stay safe! 💖

~*~

Image originally found on Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

TOVID-22

Derek came upstairs to find Miranda watching the news again, despite their resolution.

“I’m sorry,” she said, as he sprawled next to her on the sofa. “I couldn’t sleep.”

He gestured to the American President on the screen. “And you think that will help? What is he babbling on about now?”

“He said he has the states of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois under quarantine and all livestock has been destroyed, even chickens, to be on the safe side. People there are going crazy, not having meat. I can relate.”

Derek shrugged. “Not really fair to the ones who are immune though. They’ll never catch TOVID-22 if they had COVID-19.”

“But he keeps congratulating himself for keeping those numbers low.” Miranda switched to a channel playing Gilligan’s Island reruns. “He doesn’t like people calling it TOVID, by the way. Says there’s no proof it originated in Topeka. Maybe Mexicans brought it in when that wall fell down in the earthquake.”

“You’ve got to quit obsessing over it, darling.” Derek put his arm around her. “I keep telling you we’re perfectly safe here in my ancestral home.”

“But I’m hungry,” Miranda whined. “We need to hunt again soon. How can we know who isn’t infected? I got such a tummy ache during the Black Plague.”

Derek nodded. These pandemics were so inconvenient. “I remember.”

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #57.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF41: The Pledge

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The post below is a reblog of a post I made exactly one year ago. So happy this isn’t another review!

The Pledge

Icefire the dragon heard the soft clop of the horseshoes through the snow and knew a knight approached his bridge. His sensitive nose sniffed out that this was a rider from the East, one of the King’s men. Under normal circumstances, Icefire would come out from under the bridge and burn up the knight, which would indeed be a pleasure. But these were extraordinary times.

Last summer, Icefire had met a princess in the forest. Not just any princess, but the fairest maiden ever born. Instead of being afraid of him, the little princess had given him a bouquet of flowers. Icefire had fallen in love! He’d given her his pledge of honor. Anything in the world that she wanted, he would do for her.

She’d asked only one thing: please don’t kill her father’s knights when they crossed the bridge.

Hmph. It certainly went against a dragon’s nature not to set fire to a knight, but Icefire had his bouquet of dried flowers to remind him of his promise.

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Writing Oddities #PoiMe

Pointless meandering

This isn’t a peeve because I don’t care. I’m not even asking for an answer, such as does this do any good? I know exactly how that will go. I’m just… meandering… 🦋

So, there are like 87 kajillion books around online with more coming out every minute of every day. There are “literally” more books than readers now… a real pyramid and soon we’ll all be competing for that one last reader at the tippy top who hasn’t written a book too.

The few writers who are lucky enough to be published by a house with a marketing department can sit back and keep writing per their contracts, but the rest of us have to do our own. I suck at it, barely doing any at all because I hate it so much. Still, I pay attention to what others do, sometimes.

Two things I have noticed lately. One is the “cover reveal.” Usually it’s for a book I had no idea was in gestation in the first place. Oh, great it has a cover! Um, do I care? No. Most of the time I don’t open the post or tweet. I guess this is like a “teaser” for a movie or something to pique our interest so we’ll be all excited to buy the book the second it’s released. Yah okay. 🙄

Problem with that idea is… it’s not a movie backed by gobs of ads. I’ll likely forget the name of the book the instant the post is off my screen. Since this is undeniably true, I have no intention of doing cover reveals for my future books.

Second thing is audience participation. I assume this is to get people “invested” in some way emotionally so they will then be more inclined to invest a few bucks in the finished product. For example, I might say hey peeps, what should the name of my protagonist’s son’s band be in Ghosted:

A. Snake Charmers
B. Viper Invasion
C. Venom Cult
D. Rattlefang 🐍

You guys vote and then you’re all, yeah baby, now I’m part of the process here! And then when I get around to publishing my book later this year (hopefully, since it’s been hanging around since 2018, but that’s not even old compared to some stuff I have sitting there), you’ll be thrilled to buy it. 💰

Or not. This will simply be one more post that disappears from your mind the instant it vanishes from your screen…

Kinda like Ghosted… 👻

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 4

Book bingo challenge

See my previous update here.

I read 30 First Dates by Stacey Wiedower for my book with a number in it. At first, I expected this to be a fluffy, predictable romance I could read quickly. Well! I did read it quickly, but it wasn’t that fluffy or predictable. I loved it. All the characters were quirky and interesting, and the plot did loop de loops I did not expect. Also, the story centered around blogging. Hello! Yes, there were some unrealistic moments, but mostly I thought it was very well done. I’ll be looking for more of Stacey’s books in the future. 😍

PS: The next book that Goodreads showed me was Erin at 35, all yuppily successful and struggling to complete her new bucket list. Meh. Not interested.

For the beautiful cover square, I chose a non-fiction book from the library. Actually, my friend found it for me in the used book sale pile. The Romantic English Garden with text by Jane Taylor has stunning photos of gardens as I expected from the gorgeous cover. But I gave this book only 3 stars on Goodreads. The narrative was kinda boring and not that well proofread. I would have enjoyed more poetry and juicy tidbits of gossip about castle owners rather than dull lists of flower names. 🌷🌷🌷

For a colorful book, I chose Black Sheep by Rory Scholl. What a strange book; I don’t know what to make of it. Is it fiction? Is it autobiographical? Is it both? Chunks of a comedy routine (he’s a comic)? It was short enough that I read the whole thing in one blast before going to sleep the other night, and I flung a 4-star rating on it because it held my attention. But I’m not rushing to read anything else by Rory. It’s not because I think he’s using his relatives unfairly for comedic value (assuming they exist), but because I feel it’ll just be more of the same. You know… sincere but bumbling guy keeps getting in trouble when other peeps with impure hearts skate along doing better. One book is enough.

Woohoo, lookit my bingo card progress! ✨

~*~

Image credit to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

First Date [flash 175]

Spaceship taking people

“What the heck is going on, Bill?” Kathy patted her hair to smooth it back into place after that whoosh up into the air.

Bill grinned and waved his arms around, which seemed abnormally short. “You said you were bored with the same old dates, so I came up with an original concept.”

She had said that in her profile. “Yes, but when you told me to meet you in the field, I assumed we’d have a romantic evening looking at stars, not a tour of a spaceship.”

“It’s too overcast to see stars tonight through this haze,” Bill said. “Besides, this is the latest Teslatta. Aren’t you interested in the amazing details?”

Kathy shrugged. “Only if it has a wine and cheese bar.”

“Well, it does,” Bill said, pushing a button on the console.

“Eww!” Kathy shrieked as giant insects flew out of a crevice.

Bill zapped them up with his 7-foot tongue. “Sorry about that, Kathy,” he said after swallowing. “I need to put a sticker on that button to remind me.”

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 55.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.