Writing and Me, Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter Q

Another crazy amount of time has passed between my writing exercises, but that tends to happen when you have two WIPs on the go. However, I want to crank out some new characters- I just can’t help myself.

I have scheduled writing exercises up to the letter S. Keep your eyes peeled on Wednesday and Friday of this week for the other two. These shall be in the form of letter communications as I had great fun writing the previous letters, and received great feedback.

The ‘Q’ name randomly selected from the first Q page of my naming book is:

Quentin: A masculine first name meaning ‘fifth’ in Italian. A variant form of Quinton.

 Letter to Quentin

Dear Quentin,

How the hell do I start this letter? Well, I’m not dead. I’m sorry I had to keep you in the dark, but it was for the good of both you and your mother. I hope you can forgive me once you hear what I have to say- that is, if you havent burnt this letter already. I pray to God that you haven’t.

I have been hunted for many years, and when I met your mother I thought I’d finally had an identity that allowed me to remain hidden, but they found me, and I had to leave before they learnt of my life, of my family. It was hard, but necessary. If I’m being honest, and needs must now, I wouldn’t have come back into your life if I didn’t have to. I know the damage I have caused- am causing, but you need to take heed of what I’m going to say, Quentin. You need to get your mother and head for your Aunt Sabine’s. I think my phone is being monitored, so I had to write this letter. You’re already running out of time, Son. Please, go now.

You must hate me, but I love you. Believe me when I say that this is life and death. I’ll be waiting for you. Tell no one where you are going and destroy this letter.

See you soon, Son.

Dad x


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Writing and Me, Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter N

After last week’s post, I selected a ‘N’ name ahead of time. I had good reason for this- I needed to sign off last week’s writing exercise with a name, and that name would be used in this week’s exercise, linking the two.

The name randomly selected from the first ‘N’ page of my naming book is:

Naomi: A feminine first name meaning ‘pleasantness’. (Hebrew).

Naomi

Naomi,

I bet you thought I’d never find you, but you know me- persistent. You were right, you know- about me being consumed. I wasn’t going to stop until I found you. But you were wrong about things too. I never hated you, Naomi. I loved you so much, so much that I lost sight of myself, and passion can bring out the best and worst in us, right? I know you saw the worst- a lot, but I need you to know that it wasn’t out of hate.

You were a damn coward. A letter? A fucking letter was all I got? Did you seriously think that would satisfy me? It was almost as if you were begging me to come and find you. How could you not know that was exactly what I’d do?

And then to see you and him, and that brat of yours. He looks like you- I hate him- just a kid and I hate him. He is yours and his, and he should have been ours. I heard you call his name- ‘Oakley.’ Fuck, Naomi! Why that name?

This isn’t a letter to beg you to come back to me, or to confess my undying love for you. It’s been five years too long for that. This is a letter of warning. I’m going to break your heart just like you broke mine. I want you to know what it’s like to have something snatched away from you. Hold your family tight tonight, Naomi, because it may be the last chance you get. Once I’m done ruining your life as you ruined mine, I might just leave you letter- would that suffice?

I will take the best of you.

M x

In the same fashion as last week, I pre-selected an ‘O’ name for next week’s ‘What’s Your Name?’ post. I want to continue these letters for one more post, and as you can probably  guess- Oakley takes the spotlight.


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Writing and Me, Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter M

The first ‘M’ name randomly selected from the first ‘M’ page in my naming book is:

Mackenzie: A surname meaning ‘son of Kenneth’ (Scottish Gaelic). Used as a masculine and feminine first name.

The following letter is based on an idea I had for another series, but one that I’m no longer persuing…well, not at the moment. I wanted to use this exercise to pad out an idea, and see what the result would be. I like the dynamics of this relationship and that’s why it keeps niggling at the back of my mind.

Mackenzie

Mackenzie,

First, let me say that this letter isn’t me taking the coward’s way out. I knew that if I tried to talk to you about this, things would have gotten out of control, just like they always do. I just hope that you read this, otherwise you’ll never know the truth. You deserve to know the truth.

I’ve left you. By the time you find this letter, I’ll be in another country, living another life.

I won’t say it’s not you it’s me, because I’m not willing to take 100% of the blame. You have to grow up and accept your own faults, just as I have done. You were always the burning flame, and I was the gasoline. It’s just how we worked I suppose- destructive. There’s only so many times that you can turn me to ash before the wind picks me up and carries me away. And there’s only so many times that I can ignite your flame before you burn out. I don’t want to see you burn out.

You and I are a brilliant disaster. That’s not how this should be- I know that- I’ve always known that, but I punished myself time and time again. I knew that if I didn’t distance myself from you this time, that I would be drawn back. As for you, how do you love and hate someone equally, both with fierce passion and commitment. I don’t mind if you wholly hate me now, I only worry that it will consume you. Everything consumes you.

I want you to take this decision as my gift to you. Use it wisely.

You’ll always have the best and worst of me.

Naomi x

I have already randomly selected the ‘N’ name for next week. Can you guess what it was? Yep, Naomi. I might return a letter to her from Mackenzie, so keep your eyes peeled.


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Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter L

Today’s ‘L’ name randomly selected from the first ‘L’ page of my naming book is:

Lacey: A surname meaning ‘from Lassy in the Calvados region of Normany’. Used as a masculine or feminine first name (Old French).

Lacey

Owen stood on the balcony, staring down at the dark patch that stained the concrete below- blood.  The police tape had been left in place, but he paid it no heed. They had rang him in the early hours of that morning to tell him that Lacey had jumped to her death whilst holidaying with friends. Not suspicious- a suicide- a troubled drug addict. He flew to Spain on the next available flight, needing to see for himself, to play detective if need be.

Just the thought of Lacey balanced on the thin railings, contemplating ending her own life, was a hard pill to swallow. He tucked his hands back into his pockets to avoid touching anything. Disturbing a crime scene was the last thing he wanted to do. It was undoubtedly a crime scene. He knew it as soon as he arrived. Lacey would never have committed suicide; knowing what it would have done to Owen would have stopped her. He was sure of that much.

Ryan placed a hand on his shoulder. “Come on, mate. It’s no good for you to be here. It’s not helping-“

He rang his best friend as soon as he got the call. Ryan was at his house in mere minutes with a holdall and booked flights. They had known each other since childhood. Ryan knew Lacey as well as anybody.

“Don’t touch anything. This is a murder scene.”

“If she was in trouble she’d have called you? Did you check your voicemails? What about your email? ” asked Ryan.

Ryan’s reluctance to accept another scenario irritated the crap out of Owen. Why would he even come if he thought it just a suicide?

“Of course I checked them,” Owen snapped.

Ryan held his hands up in submission. “Sorry, silly questions.”

Owen’s eyes found Lacey’s keys instantly. His heart missed a beat as he crossed the room, and his hands shook as he picked up the ornamental keyring. “Not silly,” he whispered. “She would have let me know.”

The miniature Russian doll felt cool against his sweating palms. “We’d write messages to each other as kids and tuck them inside this.” He showed Ryan the keyring. “I didn’t know she still had it.”

He unscrewed the top and retrieved a small, rolled up piece of paper. Ryan was at his side in a split second. They both caught their breath as Owen unravelled the note.

The black scrawl spelt out three words: ‘Don’t trust Ryan.’


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Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter E

After the amazing comments in regards to last week’s ‘Letter D’ writing exercise, I am extending the story into this week’s ‘Letter E’ exercise.

If you haven’t already read it, you will have to catch up on last week’s story here.

The name randomly chosen from the first ‘E’ page in my name book is…

Eavan: (pronounced ay-van) A feminine first name meaning ‘radiant’. Irish Gaelic.

For the purpose of this story I shall bend the name conventions a little and use it as a surname.

Eavan

 “Who has threatened my life? Why?”

“I shouldn’t be here, Eva. I was brought before the court three months ago, and I swore an oath to stop returning to Earth, to you. It is forbidden for us to associate with humans.”

“But why?” Eva steps back a little and Daire grips her wrists, not allowing the distance between them.

Daire looks to his feet, clearly unsure how to broach the conversation. “Because we are seen as superior. To associate with a human is a dishonour to my kind.”

Eva pulls from his grip, wrapping her arms around herself in an attempt to keep his words at bay. “A dishonour?” Her voice comes out little and weak.

He pulls her close again, tilting her chin to look into her eyes. “That is not how I feel. You know that. Meeting you has been the greatest privilege of my life. It is an honour to know you, my Eva. But someone has betrayed me, and the court knows of my growing… feelings toward you.”

“Can you not just stay here? Live here?”

Daire shakes his head, his long white hair falling in front of his golden eyes. “They will never let me live out my days here. I’m important to them.”

Eva tucks her hair behind her ears. “I don’t understand any of this. Why are you important to them? If you’re important they may listen to you. Have you just asked?”

He chuckles a little and it annoys her. “I am an Eavan. That name is the most powerful on my planet. I hold a royal title, and my father is Primary Rule of the nine Kingdoms of Myxon. I am his eldest son.” Eva tilts her head, scrunching her nose in confusion. “Eva, I am Prince Daire Eavan of Myxon. I am next in line to Primary Rule. They will not allow me to love you. You must leave with me right away.”

Eva’s breath catches in her throat. “You love me?” she asks. A smile pulls at Daire’s lips. “Say it again, but properly.”

She waits with her heart in her throat. Daire has never mentioned love; the topic caused her many sleepless nights. She was falling for a man she couldn’t keep, or so she thought.

He takes her hands, pulling them to his chest. “Do you feel this?” His heart beat is strong and sure. Eva nods. “That is yours and only yours. I love you, my Eva.”

The biggest smile breaks on her face. Daire returns the gesture. “I love you too.” Eva launches herself at him again, and he catches her effortlessly. She strokes his hair out of his face and kisses him. “Okay, when do we leave?”

Daire studies her face. “You will come with me?”

“I will go anywhere with you,” she replies. His grip tightens on her hips. “As long as my Papa is safe.”

“They do not care for your Papa. He will be safe.” Daire lowers her to her feet, and straightens her blouse. “I’m sorry to take you from your loved ones.”

“It is what it is, Daire.”

“And we love who we love,” he adds.

Her tummy swoops. “How do I explain this to Papa?”

Daire stops her before she can move. “We do not have time, Eva. Your Papa cannot know the truth.”

She pulls her mobile from her pocket and starts to type. Her hands shake as she types words that she knows will break his heart; words she has said to him time and time before and he made her swear to never fulfill.

‘I’m done with this town. I have to see the world. I will come back- I promise you. Love you. xx’

It’s only when Daire wipes a tear from her cheek that she realises she is crying. “This will keep him safe, right?” she asks again.

Daire nods, cupping her cheek in his hand. “I will make all of this right for you.”

“Where are we going?”

He raises a hand in the air and the green beam of light stretches from the clouds, illuminating the clearing. “To the only person I can trust- my sister.”


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Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter C

Let’s kick off my first writing exercise of the new year. I am on letter C this week, and the name randomly selected from the first ‘C’ page of my naming book is:

Cadence: a feminine first name meaning rhythmic.

Not only do I love this name, but the meaning has offered me some intriguing inspiration…

Cadence

Grandfather slams his hands on the table. “For the last two hundred and fifty years, each generation of this family has birthed a Dancer. Where is our Dancer?” His voice is almost at ear splitting volume. “One of you should have received your markings by now. My mother was thirteen when she was blessed, and I was fourteen when I took my turn.” He turns to me. “Your mother was fifteen when she first felt her fate. You are seventeen, Cadence.”

“Who says it should be me? It could be Lyall or Ivanna. Just because Mum is a Dancer, it doesn’t give me privilege. It can happen to anyone in the new blood line.”

I was told the story of our family destiny many times as a child. The kingdom’s elders were all blessed, or cursed depending on how you see it, by Goddess Irina with the power of magic through dance. The magic kept the kingdom alive and was essential during the rituals. The elders would pass the gift onto a member of each new generation, or new blood line as we call it. My ancestor, whom we call Grandmother Dance, birthed the first of our blood line over two hundred and fifty years ago. She was a married woman with six children to a humble farmer. If she hadn’t allowed Elder Cohl to bed her, who knows where our family would be? In the gutters, fighting for scraps no doubt. When that child came of age, the kingdom knew of her infidelity, and that of Elder Cohl, but the child was worshiped for that child meant life.

My mother was the last to be blessed as a Dancer. Just like myself and my cousins, she and her sisters were vigorously trained from a young age in the art of dance  in preparation for a possible marking. Grandfather was a dictator of dance; a cruel tutor.

Over the past year, all five Dancers from the other bloodlines have gained there markings; intricate, black patterns that cover their entire bodies. The kingdom is surviving, but without the sixth Dancer the magic will only last so long. This length of time without a sixth Dancer taking the markings is unprecedented.

“I have no idea what this could mean. The kingdom needs a Dancer and you are all of age. If you bring disgrace to this family I shall disown you all. I shall ensure your own mothers spurn you, and you shall be cast out into the gutters.”

Ivanna starts to cry. At thirteen, she is too young to deal with this pressure. We’ve all felt Grandfather’s wrath, but lately he’s focused on her. He never really had her pegged as the next Dancer, but now that it is a real possibility, he is training her for at least twelve hours a day. Her toe nails were bleeding last night and I had to tend to them.

“I shall be happy to leave this house,” I blurt. “You make out that it is our doing. We are not marked, but that is the will of the Goddess.”

His hand meets my face with a resounding slap, and I clutch at my tender cheek. “How dare you blaspheme in this house. You, child, better hope you are marked, because if not, you will be cast out- you and your mother. She never wanted the markings anyway, perhaps that’s why we have been cursed with this shame.”

“Mother didn’t want to be marked because she wanted an escape from you,” I scream at him. I’ve never stood up to Grandfather before, and now, I can’t control myself.

Another blow to my head sends me toppling from my chair. The air is knocked from my lungs, and I splutter through the blood spilling from my lip. “You are an ill-tempered man with a loose fist. If anyone is to blame it is you. It is your sickening behaviour that has cursed this family. The Goddess is ashamed of you.”

With that, a light bursts from my chest. Grandfather and my cousins shield their eyes with their forearms. My body soars into the air, hanging like a rag doll in a child’s hand. My hands sear with an intense heat as more light emits from my finger tips. Black and gold scrawl appears on my palms and stretches the length of my arms. The power coursing through my veins is all consuming and I could burst with the energy.

I drop to my feet, examining my new markings. I have never seen anything so beautiful. No one has been marked in such a way. Grandfather snatches my wrist, his nose just centimeters from my skin as he studies me. I wrench my arm free. “Do not touch me,” I snarl.

A scream outside cuts through the tension. I rush into the street to see Matteo on the ground, his mother screaming his name over and over. Matteo was the fourth Dancer marked. At just thirteen he is the youngest of the new bloodlines. I race closer, the blood seeping like tears from his eyes is horrific, but that’s not what stops me- his markings have disappeared. When his mother sees me she recoils. Other passers by stare at me with both fear and wonder etched on their faces.

“What is she?” calls one man. “What has happened to the boy Dancer?”

Another man runs towards us, flailing his arms in the air. He’s the one they call ‘The Seeing Eye’. “Two Dancers dead! Two Dancers dead! Vaughn and Taya have perished.” His screams stop when he sees Matteo’s lifeless body. “It has begun,” he whispers.

“What has?” I ask.

As soon as he sees me, he clasps a hand to his mouth, and drops into a low bow. “Goddess,” he announces.

“No, I’m Cadence. The sixth Dancer marked.”

The Seeing Eye, gingerly approaches me, taking my hands like I’m made of the most precious metal. “You have been marked, my dear one, but not as a Dancer. The Goddess herself has made you a deity. You are the living Goddess written about in the old texts. You must dance, my dear one. Quickly, quickly.”

I don’t question him; the fear in his eyes speaks volumes. As I extend my arm, spindles of light reach from my fingers.  Each move feels blessed, magical. The onlookers gasp as the light envelops them, and I dance until I can feel the softness of their souls. What a glorious sensation.

Matteo takes a deep, gulping breath. I watch his mother cradle him in her arms, and still I dance. I dance until I can feel all the souls of the fallen Dancers return to their bodies. This is the will of Irina. The people bow to me for I have given life.

“Life is not easily given,” says a melodic voice in my head. “One must be sacrificed.” I don’t say a word. My choice was made when I stood up to the cruel man that called himself my Grandfather. “Wise choice,” says the voice, Irina’s voice, and Grandfather drops down dead.

I don’t feel sorrow for the wicked soul Irina has claimed. All I feel is power.


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