How to Write an Irresistible Love Triangle


Ah, the love triangle. For the romantically inclined, is there anything more enticing, more gut-wrenching? The passion, the torn desires, the often vastly different futures – it’s simply too much! *back of hand to forehead in fainting gesture!*

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What flower would you choose to best represent love?

Okay, I’ll stop. But in all seriousness, a well-written triangle can have your readers not only emotionally invested in the characters and their struggles, but also in you as the writer. After all, love triangles are so easy to mess up that nine times out of ten, we as readers expect to be disappointed when the possibility of a triangle is presented. But a writer who can pull one off to our satisfaction? Gold.

Love triangles are justifiably difficult to write however and they take up a lot of space, both in terms of actual length and plot. For these reasons, they’re usually not a good idea for stand-alone short stories, which is why we generally only see them fully developed within romance, erotica and YA. That’s not to say one won’t work in a ten-page sci-fi mystery…but you’ve got to understand the basics first, and condense and perfect from there.

Let’s assume you’ve given it some thought and decided that a love triangle will enhance your story. Where do you go from there, knowing how many pitfalls lie ahead? Let’s take a look.

Continue reading

Summoning Pt6


You don’t wait to see how the guardsmen react to the gold now lying unclaimed in the dust. They are each working men, and that single coin could feed a family of four or five for a week. What they do with it is of no consequence to you though, and apparently not to the very grateful farmer ushering his old mare to keep pace with Azure’s energetic gant.

“Thank you,” he says when you’re out of earshot of the gate. “I doubt they would have let me go ‘er they broke a few bones. And for a man like me, broken bones means I can’t work, and no money for a healer.”

“Don’t mention it,” you tell him, reigning Azure in so you can assess one last time that he truly is no worse for wear. “You should be fine from here on, just keep your head down.”

The farmer’s pleased grin droops slightly. “But, um. I’m in your debt, lady. Will ya not at least allow me to give ya proper food at me home? Tis but a day’s smooth ride to the northwest.”

 
The road to your family home is due north from here, several days past where his lands would be. It’s not even high noon yet as the two roads are laid out before you. On the one hand is urgent, impending trouble and the other is the old man’s expectation and sense of honor.

8/22/16


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Royal purple morning glory, late summer 2016

Do you guys know what today is? It’s the end of a life chapter. I’ve known it was coming for almost two weeks now, and up until a couple of hours ago, I was approaching it with a mix of excitement and trepidation, trying to enjoy my suddenly finite free time. I was sure that when I got to today, I’d be nervous and jittery and scared, but now that I’m here… everything is okay. Today isn’t my last day of freedom. It’s the final deep breath before a new adventure starts.

Don’t laugh at me, but the reason for my whimsical mood is that I’ve gotten a new job. Without having actually worked it yet, I can’t say with certainty that it will be everything I hope it will be, but from this side looking it, I’m super excited. Finding, accepting and actually wanting this position is more than a career redirect. This is my next step to finding myself again after Eevee. It’s the newest way that I’m going to remind myself daily that I’m not just waiting anymore, I’m living. This job represents a new Whitney, still scarred and bruised, but pushing back to her feet.

I’m not going to change the world. Just my corner of it. But isn’t that how every one of our stories starts? With someone leaving home or coming to town? Don’t ever forget that we’re penning our own stories, every day.❤

What Do You Want?


A mini sunflower about to bloom. Spring 2016

A mini sunflower about to bloom. Spring 2016

One of the more challenging things I’ve dealt with since losing my daughter has been maintaining motivation. Motivation to get up in the morning, to be productive, to be worthy of the love and dedication my husband gives to me every single day. It’s a continual struggle that requires constant vigilance. I have to be hard on myself a lot – one bad day can spiral into a bad week or two, and then getting back to my feet is even harder than it was before. And every time the exhaustion and lack of will are compounded.

A couple of weeks ago, I fell into another slow, depression addled slump. I explained it away, rationalizing that I just needed a few days and then I’d be okay again. My energy would come back, the headaches would stop. But none of that happened, and I finally decided that I can’t be like that anymore.

Every morning now, I write on a new notebook page: WHAT DO I WANT? And then I fill the page with things that I want – big dreams, long-term goals and little, largely unimportant things. These are my motivation, I tell myself every morning. These are my reason to keep breathing.

What do you want?

Something in the Woods (complete)


#instagramstory #shortshort #microfiction

20160630_204744_001editedNo one ever went back that road. There were houses on either end, but it was the places in between people told stories about. They said there was more to that land than strange noises and walking shadows, more than a mere haunting at twilight. There were things in those woods. Even though I drove home that way every night, I’d never seen anything. Until the night I had a flat.

I wasn’t even supposed to be there. I rarely saw that place in full dark, but driving through that night I could see how people got ideas. Stories about things that go bump in the night are easier to tell when there’s dark isolation and no witnesses.

I must have hit a nail, and at a horrible angle. The POP shot through the air, but the woods swallowed the noise. I threw the shifter down to first, yanked on the old parking brake and turned the engine off.

Always be prepared. Isn’t that somebody’s motto? I wasn’t prepared. No pump, no tire iron, no spare.

I was a couple of miles from home. I could walk it. Continue reading

Dirt, Sweat and Daisies


If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. -Marcus Tullius Cicero

Gardening is an almost spiritual experience for me. The sun reddening my skin is my hymnal; my fingers in the dirt is my prayer; every carefully placed plant is a dream I leave in Mother Nature’s hands. To garden to believe in tomorrow. Continue reading

Summoning Pt5


The guardsman’s mouth drops open slightly as you speak, his gaze quickly reassessing you. Your clothes are commonplace and serviceable though, not unlike his under the chainmail shirt that is the city’s standard issue for its guards. But the head Magister’s name on your lips clearly gives him pause. You raise a single quizzical brow at him, casting your gaze over his shoulder to his companions, who have noticed finally that they are being watched.

He hesitates, but as you kick yourself into gear, beginning to turn the horse back towards the town, his arm shoots out in a pleading gesture. “It won’t nothing but some fun,” he tries to explain. “The man tests us so, crying foul over his flock when there’s nothing there harmin’ none of those sheep. But you’re right, there’s no call to be rough with him.”

He tosses a halting signal back to the others, and somewhat reluctantly they disengage, leaving their victim on the ground. Casting one last displeased glare at the man, you step around him and head for the gate.

As you approach, the other guardsmen fall away. Keeping Azure’s reins in hand, you reach down and bodily haul the wounded and wheezing man to his feet.

“Get back in your seat,” you whisper to him. “Do it now.”

Blood drips from his open mouth as he raises his eyes to you, assessing in that way wounded creatures have – cautious and fearful. His grizzled skin is pale and thin under the forming bruises. But then he takes stock of the men who had just been beating him standing at your back, waiting for the slightest opening to leap back in. He seems to decide that you are the lesser of two evils, and climbs with a suppressed groan back into his wagon seat, reaching for the reigns on his one grey packhorse.

You turn and hoist yourself up on Azure, settling easily into the saddle. Turning her, you find the guard who originally stopped you.