Free Christmas Story!

cat-christmas-wallpaper_10Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a great holiday season. I am currently curled up on the couch with a mug of coffee in hand and a roaring fire in the fireplace. I ate entirely too much delicious food yesterday, and I will most likely do it again today. That’s what the season is about, am I right?

So, earlier this month, I had the urge to start a derpy little Christmas story about a kitten in outer space. There’s just not enough scifi holiday stories in the world, and everything is better with kittens. SO. Without further adieu, here’s a free Christmas story for you all:

The Christmas Stowaway

This story will only be available on the blog until Jan 1st. Hope you enjoy! And have a great Christmas Day, everyone!

[EDIT – 1/1/14] This story is no longer available. Thanks for reading!

❤ Laura


Fiction Friday #1

Disclaimer: The following is part of a short story/novella I am working on right now that is a modern retelling of The Little Mermaid. Note that it is currently unedited and completely raw. Any criticism or feedback is much appreciated!

PS: Wow, I really sucked at blogging this week you guys. Like, wow. In life news: I started my new job at the library this week so there’s been a lot going on, and lots of new things to adjust into. :/ I’ll try to do better next week.

Also, if anyone is interested – I’m going to start the Sunday Writer’s Circle this week. So please stop by this Sunday from 9-10pm EST for the chat! We can talk about what we’re working on, share feedback; whatever.

And without further ado, here’s my fiction bit for this week:

“Happy birthdaaaaay!” Liz jumped at the unexpected exclamation, and realized she was surrounded on all sides by her cheering friends and relatives. She forcibly transformed the stunned expression on her face into one of happy surprise, and clapped her hands together along with the crowd. Four things were true. It was her nineteenth birthday. She’d just received acceptance letters to three separate ivy league schools. This yacht aboard which her surprise birthday party was being held was only one of several big-ticket birthday presents for the day. And she was absolutely miserable. It wasn’t that she was spoiled, she knew just how lucky she was to have all these things. Her future was bright, and her fiancee was looking across the deck at her with adoration. Life should be great. But something was missing. As the party got underway, she slipped off on her own to the back of the boat, and dangled her feet off the deck into the water. The music from inside the boat boomed, but was somewhat muffled by the walls between them. The stars were starting to come out. Liz turned her eyes to the night sky and took a deep breath. What she would give for more moments like this, just to breathe, just to be. Just to be alone with her thoughts for five minutes without having to plaster a fake smile across her lips. It all just felt more and more like a farce, the older she got. She wondered if things would be better once she went to school. But some part of her knew. She’d never really be free. She would always be the dutiful daughter. What was she going to do at Havard or Yale, anyway? Become a lawyer like her mom? She didn’t know the first thing about law, nor did she care. She found herself wishing there were a pause button for life.

Liz was so lost in her thoughts she almost didn’t notice the smoke at first. Then, as the stench of it grew stronger, and the clouds started pouring out of the front of the boat, she suddenly found the deck falling out from beneath her. She heard someone shout her name, “Lizzie! Lizzie, where is she, where’s Elizabeth?” She turned towards the voice just in time to see the inflatable life raft, with many bodies piled inside, her mother among them. Their sequined party dresses sparkled under the faint crescent moon. She was just about to call out to them, but a loud crash erupted from inside the boat, and she was pitched forward.

She fell as the ship gave way, and stumbled over some rigging, crashing into the back windows. Faintly, she heard glass break as she hit water. The lights had gone out, and she found that suddenly she couldn’t see anything. It was pitch black; they were far out to sea. Her arms and legs flailed, hitting random objects inside the boat as she scrambled for anything she might use to push off to the surface. But then the water was over her head, and something was pulling her, dragging her downwards. Now she started to panic. She was blind, didn’t know which way was up, and she knew the suction from the plummeting boat had to be what was tugging her downwards into the deep. Terrified, she expelled the breath from her lungs, flinging out her arm in search of the surface and screamed, “Mom!” but her voice was lost in the water, and she choked on her own words.

Science Fiction Fans: Read “Analog!”

I’ve recently become really interested in the short story as a writing form. Nowadays it’s easy to forget that there was a time not so long ago that the “tale” was the leading form of published creative writing, and the novel did not yet exist.

In any case, if you’re looking for a great source of sci-fi short stories, here’s a journal for you: Analog – Science Fiction and Fact. Analog offers short stories from some of sci-fi’s greats, as well as up and coming writers. That’s the fiction. As for the fact, Analog also publishes non-fiction articles on topics pertaining to current events in the scientific community.

So go check it out. You can get Analog at Books-A-Million, Barnes and Noble, or subscribe through Analog‘s site to get your new copy delivered directly to you every month. It’s also available as an e-book for Nook or Kindle.

Reading short stories is a good way to get us thinking about writing short stories. If you don’t feel you’re ready to tackle a novel yet, or if you want a small side project to distract you from your novel, maybe try a short story. Too often I think it’s easy to forget that there are other forms out there aside from novels. There is still a place in the publishing industry for short fiction. And getting a few short stories published in journals like Analog might be a nice way to build a reputation for yourself when starting out as a published writer.

I’m alive! Also new job and new stories to come.

My last post to this blog was entered on June 25th, almost a month ago. And I started off so well! Ah, the best laid plans. But, as usual, I have a myriad of good excuses for my lack of writing and posting.

Later this week I will be starting a new job. I am very excited about this! There are, however, some cons. It is part time, and it is a 30 minute commute one way. So, there’s that. I had initially interviewed for a position at a different branch which is closer to me. But of the two positions available, this is the one I was offered, and you’ll get no complaints from me. I get so nervous during interviews, and I honestly wasn’t sure how well I had done. But after a couple of days of anxious waiting, I got the call informing me that, yay! I’m hired! So, anyway. That probably had a lot to do with my lack of updates this month. Job hunting and interviewing is a lot of work. Not to mention I still have my current job to go to every day.

Anyway, starting next week I will be the new Library Assistant to the Reference Department at a local branch of the county public library. I’ll be one step closer to achieving my dream of a career as a librarian. Cue the sexy librarian jokessss… now.

As for my dreams of becoming a writer, not so much. I have been super slacking lately on the writing front. I guess when you’re looking for work and pursuing so many different things at once it is hard just to find the time to sit down and write. This has always been my problem when it comes to writing. I lack BICT, Butt In Chair Time, that is. I’m just so full of energy I have to get up, run around the house, do the dishes, clean up here and there, go outside and hoop for a bit, run to the gym… Anything to get me up and moving and NOT sitting behind my computer writing. And even if I am in front of the computer, that temptation to check Facebook and Twitter or play a quick match of Words with Friends? It’s powerful. But I know that I’ll ultimately end up just wasting time there, so I have to know when to say enough is enough.

Keeping a notebook has definitely been helping. I carry it around in my apron at work and if an idea occurs to me, I jot it down on the spot. I keep it next to my bed at night and when I wake up from a particularly affecting dream, or a bit of dialogue floats through my head, I write it down. It’s good to have that always there, so I don’t forget things.

Right now I am beginning to work on a short story idea for the August edition of Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s a retelling of the original Little Mermaid story by Hans Christian Andersen. In this modern-day version of the fairy tale, the mermaid is a merman, a young teenage boy who is somewhat morbidly fascinated with the human world above. I say morbidly so, because he sees humans as in many ways disgusting creatures, but as he learns more about them, he finds them more and more compelling. They intrigue him. Of course one day he ventures too far into the human world, and thus our adventure ensues. I started toying around with intro scenes a bit last week, and I’m liking it so far. It’s nice not to be writing hardcore sci-fi for once. Here’s a snippet of what I have so far – an opening scene depicting the day-to-day for our female protagonist, Miss Elizabeth Rockefeller.

In the street 47 stories below, she could hear the sounds of the city. Cars laying on their horns, the occasional police siren, and a general hum of activity could be heard rising up from the depths of the urban landscape. It was her white noise. She loved it. She sighed into her pillow, drinking in the beauty of the moment. It was prematurely interrupted by the sound of her bedroom door being swished open and footsteps approaching on the hardwood floor.

“Lizzie. Lizzie, dear! It’s time to get up!” A tall figure in a black blazer and dress slacks bustled from one window to the next, throwing back the drapes and letting in more sunshine.

“Moooommm…” Elizabeth moaned from under the covers and rolled over into her pillow. “I have five minutes!”

“You have zero minutes; your clock is slow.”

“Um, no. It’s not. It’s set to the International… Whatever. It’s a cell phone.”

“We have a full day today. Now get up, Lizzie. Godiva needs her walk.”

Accepting defeat, Elizabeth heaved a sigh and threw back the covers. A pretty Greyhound wearing a chocolate brown collar set with rhinestones pranced into the room through the door Elizabeth’s mother had left open, and tilted its head to one side in greeting.

“Morning, Godiva. You ready for your walk?”

Lady Godiva let out a pitiful little whine and danced on her paws.

If you want to friend/message me on the Camp NaNo site during August, my page is here: PrimordialAstronaut

PS: Also trying a new WordPress theme. What do you think?

Until next time!

An Introduction

Hello friends,

I decided to move my now defunct writing blog to this new domain; trying to make myself a little more professional and all that. I’m working on a short story and still poking at my NaNo novel now and again, so hoping to have some content to share soon.

So I guess a quick introduction is in order, for those who didn’t follow me at the old blog (which will be pretty much everyone, because I was so bad about updating that blog I don’t think I ever gained more than 5 regular readers, but I digress). My name is Laura, I’m 27, and I work in a book store. I recently graduated from college about 5 years too late and am happy to, albeit belatedly, have finished that chapter of my life. Right now I’m applying for library assistant jobs and saving money for my Master’s Degree in Library Science. My dream job, aside from writing for a living, is to become a Children’s or Teen Services Librarian. The biggest joy I get out of my job at the book store right now is seeing all the young teens and kids who are so excited about reading. They are the best.

On the side I make jewelry which I sell in my Etsy shoppe here: and I sometimes travel to trade shows and geek conventions where I sell my goodies as well. I cosplay from time to time and get a lot of joy out of creating my own costumes to wear. I’m a hooper. I love hiking. And I’m a total coffee snob. Also cats. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Until next time!