Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashing Friday (Painting/Honor and Reeve)

First of all, I feel better. Wow. I feel so much better. I'm not dizzy. My brain feels all clear and fantastic and I feel like eating real food today. Non-cracker food. (Why do I feel like I ought to explain that isn't an ethnic slur?) I'm so excited. I just felt like death on a stick all day yesterday. I don't know what that was or how I came about it, but I'm hoping that It'll be gone today. That was horrible yesterday and trying to relax just seemed to make it more obvious rather than make it better. Ugh. Anyway, I'm hoping... it's gone.

Secondly, I'm a huge slacker. I haven't done any Flash Fiction this week. I loved some of the prompts. I went to check them out yesterday and just trying to concentrate made me want to hurl. Geez... the sound of text messages coming in made me want to hurl. I was like this freaky little Gollum on the couch yesterday just lurking on Twitter while curled into corner. "We hates everything. We twitters, but we hates everything." If you don't believe me, you can ask Diana... I believe I sent her one of the whiniest, grumpiest emails in the history of emails. The phrase "What fresh hell is this?" was used. (I only drag out Shakespeare when I'm really grumpy for the record... or when I'm patronizing....) So, instead of flash, I'll be posting something personally revealing. Woo woo! Prepare to be flashed.

Here is a painting I did that I gave to my mom for a room she's decorated with a castle/medieval theme:

The book he is reading says, "How to Train your Princess to do Simple Tricks." It's one of the paintings that shows how strange my sense of humor is at times.

But, wait, there is more flashing to be done. I've been posting tweets from my Honor books, and post 140 characters of quotes is annoying the.... well, it's annoying. We'll let you fill that in with whatever you feel like saying today. So, I thought I'd post a section that I was already posting from last night that requires very little explanation. It's from Place of Honor (Honor #3.) It's long and imperfect, but no one is forcing you to read it, so quit your whining. (Okay, so there is still the tiniest bit of cranky left today.)

Anyway, it starts with Honor throwing a coin in a fountain:

I veered over toward a fountain. Reeve handed me a penny before I even asked. He found my desire to wish on stars and pennies to be amusing for someone who didn’t believe in fantasy.

It was one of the few sweet and non-violent impulses that I allowed myself. There was some part of me that wanted that kind of magic to be possible. It had to be. Right?

I stood with my back to the fountain, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath.

‘What do you wish for?’ he asked inside my head.

I peeked one eye open. “I’m not supposed to tell you.” I closed my eye and took another deep breath.

‘Why?’ he asked. I could feel he’d gotten closer to me and it made my heart jump around a little.

“It won’t come true if I say it out loud,” I said.

‘So…. Don’t say it out loud. Just tell me.’ His voice in my head sounded warm and deep.

“It’s against the rules,” I whispered while frowning at him. I could tell he was prowling around in front of me trying to force me to open my eyes.

‘What rules?’

“THE rules,” I explained. “The unwritten rules regarding wishing on anything….”

‘So, you’re saying that someone thought of our situation when coming up with unwritten rules?’ His tone was amused.

Reeve was really close now. I could feel the warmth from his body. It made me shiver.

He chuckled.

“Yes, they knew someday two people would come along who could hear each other’s thoughts and one of them would be vastly annoying about cheating on the wishing rules,” I said.

I scrunched up my nose. I was going to have to try extra hard to block him out so I could make a wish. Actually, most of what I wished for was right in front of me trying to annoy me enough to kick him. I frowned and said, “Actually, the frustrating thing is that if I did tell you what I’d wish for, you’d be forced to try to give it to me. That ruins wishes.”

“Not necessarily,” he said. “Maybe it’d be something I wanted to give you.” He said it in a husky voice that made me wonder what he had in mind even while I shivered again.

“Are you cold?” he asked amused… knowing that I wasn’t.

“Well, if that was the case, if you wanted to give me something, then you could do that without me forcing you to,” I pointed out.

Then, an idea for my fountain wish came to me. I wished Reeve loved me the same way that I loved him. I wished that with every part of myself… especially the girly part that believed in wishing.

‘You know what I’d wish for?’ Reeve asked.

I tossed the coin over my shoulder, opened my eyes, and asked, “What?” while raising an eyebrow.

He was staring down at my hips but looked up smiling. His smile was dangerously close to a smirk. That smile always meant one thing.

I cleared my throat and said, “Never mind. I think I know.”

‘Did you ever decide which step seeing you naked was on this path to mating? I’m guessing we’re not going through these steps very quickly. How many steps are there? Ten? Fifteen?’

His questions sounded vague and thoughtful. I got the feeling he might know more about the steps, so I decided not to attempt a stumbling and embarrassing guess. I didn’t have much input to give. I was four years old even if my memories of the world seemed a little older. He was four hundred and five. He must have gained some carnal knowledge in all those years.

He’d read books. Books had ‘stuff’ in them. I’d read a very interesting book that I’d borrowed from Pamela in which a vampire was the lead male character even. Most of the ‘pertinent’ descriptions had left me feeling a bit ill. I like to think that made me practical and rational. Seriously, who throws around the words “heaving”, “swollen”, and “engorged” thinking it sounds sexy when you could use those same words to describe viewing a case of gangrene. I think the fact that I was repulsed just goes to show you that I saw a more universal application of the adjectives in use.

I looked at Reeve who still had a serious look on his face.

I found it strange that he was wondering about seeing me naked again. I couldn’t figure out what the draw was. I was short and scrawny.

Reeve looked over my body as if considering a puzzle or writing up a checklist, and I shifted uncomfortably.

What if, once he saw the full me, he wasn’t interested anymore in me at all? Maybe he’d get tired of me…. Maybe he secretly wanted someone more like Callie. She looked so statuesque and perfectly perfect. Reeve was perfect. He was huge and muscled. I stared at the frown on his sculpted mouth.

Did it matter if there were any steps beyond kissing? Kissing was pretty amazing. My stomach jumped around like a wild thing trying to fly every time. Why clutter up something perfect with crass groping or my nakedness?

Reeve finally said, “From what I’ve seen, I think there are probably nine steps.’

“Yeah?” I asked aloud. Wow. He must have really thought this through. I might have made up a step just to make it an even ten, though. Reeve wouldn’t. He was strictly honest… sometimes to a fault.

Okay. So he wasn’t perfect… but I didn’t hold his honesty against him.

“I think we’re on two,” he calculated.

Two? Two wasn’t very far. Was he telling me this because we were taking too long?

“Your point?” I asked crossing my arms.

“I just told you,” he said in confusion. “I think seeing you naked is around step seven.”

“Step seven? What are steps uhh….? No. Wait. I don’t want to know. Let’s just get going.”

I started walking and then turned to see him looking at me from behind while walking very slowly.

“You’re starting to make this creepy,” I warned him while putting my hands on my hips.

“I find you fascinating,” he said honestly.

I felt my cheeks flush and my heart start thumping. I felt flattered and terrified. Was that the same as saying he loved me? Probably not. I wondered what step that was. Maybe it wasn’t one in Reeve’s mind. My heart started thudding… from dread.

What if he really didn’t love me? Now that I thought about it, fascinating wasn’t the same as a declaration of affection of any kind.

A snake swallowing a rat was fascinating in a grotesque way. That really clarified the definition in my mind. Fascinating could be documentary-worthy. Then, there was that woman with the world’s longest fingernails in the world record books. That was fascinating.

“It would be nice if it was before step seven. Maybe we could skip steps?” he suggested, dragging my mind away from vile topics.

“We can’t skip steps! That’s why there are steps.” I threw my hands up in the air for emphasis and to distract him from the sound of my nervous heartbeat.

It worked, because, for a moment, he followed my hands with his eyes as if they were saying something. It was wise of him, because most of my hand movements were making a statement. This one was saying, “SKIP STEPS! NO! Then we’ll get to the monster at the end of the book which is where you see me naked and freak out.”

“We can skip step five, though,” he said. “I’m more interested in seeing you naked.”

“We CAN’T skip step five! That’s an important step.” I had no idea what step five was. It could be sharing straws for all I knew. I was just not ready to jettison ahead to step seven.

“We could move step seven up so that it’s step four or five and just slide the remainder of the steps backward. We wouldn’t be skipping things that way,” he suggested.

I narrowed my eyes.

“You’ve seen me naked,” he pointed out.

I choked a little. Wow. That memory was both disturbing and good. “It wasn’t by choice. You and all the Hunters seem to think the Inner City is some sort of men’s locker room.”

“You were the first female there in five hundred years.”

“Just because you prefer for there not to be any mystery….”


  1. The title on your painting cracked me up. It's a great picture.

    This clip of your story shows so much about Reeve and Honor. Her voice comes through so clearly. I struggle with voice so I admire that.
    Winged Writer

  2. Oh man, I love that picture and I LOVE the title! You are so talented!

    I liked the snippet too, but honestly, if I was her, I would have slapped him, kicked him and shoved him by now... lol

  3. This is awesome. I love their banter. I can't wait to read more.

  4. I agree with Catherine, the title of the book is utter hilarity!! Love it and the painting is gorgeous.

    Reeve and Honor at their best. Honor's voice is distinct and clear as crystal. Reeve is Honor's perfect match. I love how they play off each other. Perfection :)

    Glad you're feeling better, and I'm sorry that you're email made me laugh, I could NOT help myself. I always find humor in your writing, even when you're venting (especially when you're venting??).

  5. LOL. Just to show you why yesterday's post was so short and how bad a mood I was in... Here is the email I sent from the bus stop to Diana:

    Re: Today

    Sucked hardcore. Oh good it's raining on me on my way to the bus stop. Because we haven't done THAT this week! Dear rain, bite me. Seriously. It's cold. It's raining. I've been eating crackers all day to avoid hurling--this day just needs a big hairy rejection to really kick it in the crotch. Grr. This headache is probably a tumor. Plus, the bus is late. Dear bus, bite me. Seriously. Do you think generic hatred of all things that live, breathe, exist is a sin? Stupid bus.

    What fresh hell is this that I've stepped into today? Brain is going to explode. I swear, if the husband gave me the flu, I'm punching him in his sleep. Finally bus is here.

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Oh My GOD!

    I was wondering what all the hype about Reeve was about... and now I know! AHHH! Are there little pins that say "I heart Reeve" that I can get? Seriously?


    Okay, really, that painting is spectacular and you should hold a contest where you give away a painting of yours... (HINT -cough- HINT)

    And that blurb. Wow. I loved it! Loved loved loved it! I am willing (for YOUR sake, of course... teehee) to read one of your stories...! I dont know how much critiquing I can give, but I would do a little bit for ya so long as I get to read a book of yours =]

  7. Yay you posted it!! Soooo funny, but I'm sorry you felt so terrible :)

    I agree with Natalie, I heart Reeve too!

    Okay, gotta pick up the 5yo.

  8. Natalie, you're one of my peeps. You just had to ask: bug at sparrow dot us I'm still offering to beta for you, btw.

  9. Le sigh. #Reeveishot. And...you TRICKED me! I came over here expecting a painting of Honor and Reeve. Don't get me wrong. Love the painting. But...*sniff, sniff* where's Honor and Reeve? This is one of my favorite parts of number 3. Reeve is so yummy. And I have to agree with Diana, you are very funny when you're venting:)

  10. You have a profile picture! It's so strange to have this idea of what you looked like - based solely on your writerly voice and then to see you "for real."

    Wait. That is you in the picture, right?! (The thumbnail, not the painting. Obvi.)

    You're purdy!

  11. That's me in the painting, Amber. It was hard to get the dragon to hold still long enough to do the self-portrait, but you can see that it was worth it. :) Yes, the profile pic is me laying on the ground surrounded by leaves. (Apparently, leaves make me laugh hysterically if the picture is anything to judge by.) I've seen a lot of literary agents recommending you have a picture of yourself on your journal as it makes you more approachable... and so on. Since my campaign to inspire fear is on hold, I thought I'd go for it. Plus, I honestly think I look fairly unmemorable, so any stalkers would have some difficulty locating me.

  12. Tina, if you click on the Honor among Thieves book in the column to your right, I did a rough sketch of what I think they look like around six months ago... and it was in Paint... so that's practically a painting of them. That's as good as you get because I don't drag out my paint as much anymore. I haven't "painted" for quite a while.

  13. HAHAHA oh I love the self-portrait sarcasm. Wendy is the funniest bestest ever.

  14. I like your new profile picture. You're painting is terrific. And I loved the blurb. Very nice!

  15. Ohhh, Wendy! First...I'm loving that you posted a photo!! Whoo hoo!
    Second...I am in love with Reeve! *Sigh*
    Third...I've been so absent from the Flashy and from any commenting. sorry