Do you remember the fifth of November [for Friday Fictioneers]

A little background before we begin.

On November 5th,  1605, Guy (Guido) Fawkes conspired to blow up the Houses Of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder, but was caught before he carried out what became known as The Gunpowder Plot [or the Powder Treason, as it was known at the time]. In the UK, the tradition on November 5th, known as Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, is to burn efegies of Guy atop a bonfire in celebration of the foiled attempt. In later years festivities expanded to include fireworks. It also became a tradition for children, usually with an adult, to knock on doors and recite; “Do you remember the fifth of November.”, or “Penny for the guy.”

This little story is about such an occasion.CampfirePHOTO PROMPT -Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Do you remember the fifth of November. The poor old guy.

By

Alice White © 2014

Word Count: 100

Genre: Fiction

A cheerful knock on his door shook Freddie out of his melancholy.

“Penny for the guy.” The small girl chirped.

“Go away.”

She gazed up in tears, glanced mournfully at her homemade guy, and lifted its sleeve.

“These were Dad’s, he died last week. I was just trying to cheer myself up.”

His heart sank. This certainly put breaking up with his fiancé into perspective.

“Wait here.” He high-tailed it to the kitchen, picked up a handful of cookies, and gave them to her.

Her sudden grin lifted his soul. If she could smile through her pain, so could he.

My Writing Process (writing process blog tour).

My Writing Process (writing process blog tour).

A couple of weeks ago Madison Woods invited me to blog about my writing process as part of the Writing Process Blog Tour. Four questions are posed: 1) What am I working on? 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 3) Why do I write what I do? and 4) How does my writing process work?

1) What am I working on?
I’m currently working on a novel/novella called That English Lady.Cover 1 TEL fourth draft It is a tale of time travel with a love story mixed in. Emily, an English lady, and August, an American Army Veteran, meet on the internet. Both have had reason to be in a support chat room, but do not divulge too much about themselves to each other right off the bat. August suggests they meet in person, and invites her to visit him in America.This is their journey. Time travelling to prehistory, Medieval times, and parallel worlds, this is their journey of enlightenment for the places they visit and each other. But who is behind the strange willow tree, which entices them time after time to enter its shroud, and what is that shape in the sky that Emily keeps seeing?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work crosses genres, and I think my books offer something fairly unique, in that I am from England myself, but writing/publishing in America. My first four books, The Blue Door Trilogy and their sequel, Twisted Labyrinth, were written in the UK about time travel and the Victorian era in the UK, Such as .which already makes them different to most books published in the US. With my current project I am able to mix the two cultures, I hope with some success.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I have always been fascinated with time travel, fantasy, and “what if?” stories. And that is what my longer works encompass.

The Blue Door.final cover 2 KindleBTBD official cover 3 KindleRTTBD official cover3 KindleTwisted Labyrinth 1 Kindle

 

 

 

 

However, just lately I have been branching out into short stories and essays. But these are mostly non-fiction. More of a memoir feel.

4) How does my writing process work?

I try to write every day, but I don’t beat myself up if I can’t. Sometimes life gets in the way, and that is all right. Also, sometimes one has to take a step back in order to see progress :)

I’m a seat of your pants kind of writer. I allow my characters room to tell me what they are up to next. And I think that if the story turns surprise me, sadden me, or cause me to guffaw, there is a strong likelihood the reader will be effected the same way.

Click here to view Madison Woods’ answers, published last week. For next week (September 10th), I invited three more writers to participate, but only two were available for this blog tour:

Can’t wait to read Gil Miller‘s and Pamela Foster‘s answers!

Birthday # 49

The day before yesterday was my 49th birthday. First of all, thank you so much to everyone who sent greetings. I was overwhelmed and moved by all of them

Hubby and I started the day gently, planning to go to Olive Garden for lunch. Well. We got there and the parking lot was chock-a-block!

We had already decided to go over the road to The Tilted Kilt for a bevy afterwards,0824141527-00

(only one, since hubby was driving), so headed over there to see what they had to eat.0824141527-01

Whilst Tiffany served us with our drinks on the spacious and airy patio, I ordered fish ‘n’ chips, and hubby ordered the Irish stew. Let me tell you, both were delicious and ample servings. So ample, in fact that neither of us could quite finish.0824141510-00

So it came time for us to move along, and we paid for our lovely meal, giving Tiffany a good tip for being a perfect hostess. I made an off-the-cuff remark that it was a reverse birthday present.

“Whose birthday?” Tiffany asked.

“Mine.” I blushed.

“Oh my goodness! Why didn’t you tell me earlier? We have something we do for that.”

How was I supposed to know I should have blabbed about my special day right off the bat? I blushed some more, and wondered what she had in store for me.0824141512-00

I didn’t have to wait long. After a five-minute pause, she carried to our table an ice-cream-topped brownie with a candle on top. Then posed with me for a photo.0824141513-00

I think, if you look hard, you can just about see the blown-out candle, but not the ice cream. I was both relieved – I’d had no idea what was in store – and humbled by this gesture. To me, it was a nice touch :) We shall definitely be visiting The Tilted Kilt again.

Onward to the Mall, where I was instructed to seek out some black shorts, (to interchange with my ONLY other pair of khakis. This, dear reader, is easier said than done. Let me assure you most emphatically of that. I had been searching for the article in question for some weeks, without success. The shorts were either too long in the leg, too fancy, (I like plain things), or the wrong material, (I like cottons, canvases, etc.). So. We enter the second store, Express clothing, and lo and behold!WP_20140825_002 There they were in the sale section.

Hallelujah! I supposed that all good things are worth the wait and grabbed them, after making sure they fit, before they were gone.

On we trekked, in search this time of liquid refreshment. No. Not beer, water in my case, and Dr Pepper in hubby’s. I was parched. We walked past Hot Topic, chatting away and I turned.

“Ooh lookie. Doctor Who stuff!”

Of course, we went in, and this is what we ended up with:WP_20140825_006WP_20140825_004

A tee-shirt and a pendant each. As you see, the one I chose is a T.A.R.D.I.S. (Of course it is).

Hubby chose a Weeping Angel, but it did not manifest onto the camera so well. Perhaps it’s for the best, because every Whovian knows that you Don’t Blink when a Weeping Angel is in your sights!

Onward and moving past Spencer’s. We decide to enter and I find a tee-shirt with a skull. WP_20140825_003Now, anyone that knows me is aware of the fact that I like things with skulls on. Hubby bought the tee for me and then we noticed what it actually said.

THE WALKING DEAD.

One of my favourite TV shows. Double Delight! So. We head home, safe in the knowledge that I had enough birthday presents for the next ten years…

I planned to post this blog yesterday, the day after my birthday, and that is another story, which I shall briefly impart:

The other week we bought a TracFone. On the 24th, I took photos, (those above), with the article. Yesterday I attempted to move them to my computer. Simple job, right?

WRONG.

My computer kindly allowed me to install driver software for the new phone, when I had plugged it into a USB port. Then refused to recognize either one…three times. I messaged our T-Mobile “smart phone” with the photos, only to have the “not so smart phone” accept the text, but refuse to show the pictures. Somewhat frustrated, I phoned customer support, who were little to no help, and decided to try the email option. That didn’t work either!

Close to giving up, I noticed a Bluetooth option on both phones. The Trackie and our T-Mobile. Once I got it working there was success! However, it was far too late to do anything about it. Hence, I am posting this blog today.

Cover 1 TEL fourth draftThe whole farce left me so annoyed and lost for time that I didn’t have time to work on THAT ENGLISH LADY, my W.I.P., yesterday at all. Better get a wriggle on with it today…

That way it can, hopefully, soon, (or soon-ISH),  join my other books and become available for all you lovely readers to buy.

On that note, toodaloo, until next time :)

An excerpt from The Blue Door.

In The Blue Door, Katie wears a black dress.

Here is one of my favourite excerpts from the Blue Door Trilogy.

A tastefully decorated, still lavish, room surrounded me. The walls were a dusky pink. The customary chandelier and fireplace were both unlit, and the pink drapes were open in here.

I decided I should really look in the cream wardrobe. I expected to find some more modern clothing than I had seen him wear…but his charade, apparently, stretched to his sister’s closet too. The black dress he mentioned was evident immediately. It stood out as a black Onyx set among a cluster of Diamonds. It was indeed beautiful.

Black lacy sleeves tapered to fit close to the arms; a long skirt of black lace and velvet panels flowed out and away from the legs; and a velvet bodice, fitted and flatteringly shaped. At the back of the waist sat a large, floppy bow of black velvet. The whole was completed by a ‘sweetheart’ neckline. I liked the dress, which he had chosen for me…I liked it a lot…I liked him.

Next to this dress was a peculiar looking article indeed! It looked like a skirt, of sorts, but was made of some kind of ‘wire’ and seemed far too large to be what it seemed. I decided to leave it where it was and put on the dress.

To find out more about The Blue Door Trilogy, please visit http://alicewhiteauthor.com/ where you can read sample chapters, find out a little more about the author (me), and follow links to purchase books.

It wasn’t me, it was her!

I had been hesitant to drive of late, and thought it was me being a wuss. My driving confidence has never been high anyway, so I assumed it had just gotten worse.

Last week, I took my beautiful George Girl, my 1995 Jeep, to the Jeep doctor, when it became apparent there was something wrong with her steering. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAIt turns out that she needed new power steering, it had completely gone. No wonder it scared me to drive her!

Various other replacements and repairs were made, including re-attaching the wire to the back of the heater switch, which had been stuck in the on position since spring.

Driving her back from the Jeep doctor, I was happily amazed. She drives like new, which is something she never did before. Better than when we bought her. Of course, this restored my (limited) confidence instantly, and although I will never be the most confident driver in the world, (at least on four wheels), I am now very pleased to state:

IT WASN’T ME, IT WAS HER!

 

THAT ENGLISH LADY. Draft One Complete!

The first real draft of That English Lady, my new book, is complete. I actually typed “THE END” after chapter fifteen and the Epilogue.

Cover 1 TEL fourth draftAnd, as you can see, I have a “provisional” cover. This likely won’t be the final cover, then again…one never knows :) I really just wanted to put a picture in here, truth be told ;)

The much appreciated and continued assistance of my critique group, Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop, is invaluable to me, especially during the next stage. Cleaning up/editing/polishing. A lot, up to chapter four, has been done, (first time around anyway). I have been trying to keep up with it as I go, so that perhaps it isn’t so daunting to go through the entire book and have to do EVERYTHING all at once. I had to do that with all three Blue Door books and found it rather overwhelming.

I do have a couple more things I would like to add to the first two chapters, (more fore-shadowing, hints, and magical happenings – but NO spoilers for later events!). I am already in the process of that, though. The rest is tweaking and polishing.

So, I think I must crack open a Boston Lager this evening in celebration of completing the first stage :) Long way to go still, but the biggest hurdle is out of the way – finishing the first draft. The editing, I really don’t mind. In a lot of ways I find it as much fun as writing the story, and I get to see my work come even more to life through the process :)

Thanks to everyone who has stood by me in my madness of being an author. Especially my husband, Huey. I love you, Honey.