Writing and Me, Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter R

Continuing from Monday’s ‘Letter Q’ post, I have prepared another letter, this time in the form of a memo. You may find that this story will carry on past the three letter communications I had planned as I’m finding the different characters intriguing.

Read Monday’s letter here to catch up on the story so far: Letter Q

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

Rae: Scottish surname, perhaps from Gaelic ‘Rath’- grace, used as a masculine and feminine first name.

Internal Memo to Rae

Rae Matthews,

I have been informed that Tait Edmonds has been spotted on CCTV in a post office in a small village in Hertfordshire. If this information is correct we need to act fast. I need you to find the date and time he used the postal service, what he sent, and whether there is a record of the address he has sent it to. This is the best lead we have had of late, and may lead us to Edmonds’ son. If your informant is right, then Edmonds is aware of our sudden interest in his previous life, and we need to get to that boy before he does. If we can’t get to the father, then the boy is the next best thing. If nothing else, it will inevitably draw Edmonds out of hiding.

I’m sure you’ll agree that discretion is required until we find the leak within our organisation, but I have every faith in you.

Ulric Dower (Head of T.D.E.D)

This message will erase within thirty seconds of opening.


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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 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 and Me, Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter K

I’m posting this writing exercise on time for once- shock horror! Miracles do happen- ha!! The last few weeks have been hectic, so here’s to getting back into my blogging swing.

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

Kady: An Irish feminine first name, perhaps influenced by Katie, but the name could stem from Ceadach meaning ‘first’. (Irish Gaelic).

Kady

“Where has that girl gone? Princess- pah. She’s a brat- an unruly, disobedient brat.”

I swing down from the tree, landing steadily in front of Howell in the soft grass. “Were you saying something, Howell, because I didn’t quite catch it?”

“Oh no, Princess,” he squeaks, flushing red. “I was simply asking the guard here after your whereabouts. You really mustn’t wander, Your Highness. Look at your dress, your mother will be furious.”

“I wasn’t wandering, Howell. I was climbing- there is a difference. And my mother is dead. Deidra is not now, and will never be my mother. You needn’t have come along at all. Father never used to mind my being in the gardens alone. Once he returns, he shall tell you so himself.”

Howell sighs loudly, adjusting the stupid sash he wears. None of the other wards wear their sashes day in day out. They only make exception for functions and ceremonies. Howell is a pompous oaf, and would happily crawl up Deidra’s backside if there was room enough.

“I am aware that Deidra wants you to watch my every move. She believes me to be part of the uprising, does she not?”

Howell trips over his robe, pulling at his collar; the tell tale tick of a worried man. “Ludicrous accusation, Your Highness. Your father married the Queen out of love. The stories of magic and sorcery are the talk of simple folk. Why would anyone believe that you would be part of such a charade? The uprising is nothing more than outlaws using myths to destroy the Monarchy.”

“I think it’s all quite fascinating- the adventure- the spirit. Outlaws must live extraordinary lives.” I skip away, swinging the picnic basket as I go. The orchards are beautiful at this time of year. As a child, I would spend hours playing with my father’s ward’s son, Jago. We would even pick apples and help the cooks make crumbles for all of the palace staff. “Do you not think, Howell?”

“Yes, if by extraordinary lives you mean homeless, feral, and unhygienic. Please, Princess Kadlynne, we really must be returning to the palace to prepare for the ball. The Queen permitted you to one hour of freedom only.”

I chuckle. “Freedom? I am not free, Howell. I have your hawk eyes on me every minute of every day.” I carry on meandering through the trees. “Anyway, I thought you’d be interested in the new edition to the vineyard crop. You did say that the exotic berries are the Queen’s favourite. If you would help me pick some, I’m sure the cooks would be more than happy to make up a pie. The Queen would be grateful, I’m sure, and I’d get an extra fifteen minutes of ‘freedom’.”

He rolls his eyes, but takes the basket from me all the same. “Lead the way, Your Highness.”

I allow him to walk two paces ahead of me, eagerly eyeing the crop of grapes. The scent in the vineyard is heavenly. I could get tipsy just thinking about the quality of wine this harvest will produce. Howell continues to search for the infamous berries, but there are only grapes for as far as the eye can see. I use the distraction, and the dense coverage of the vines, to slip out of my dress.

“I think you are mistaken, Princess?” He squats down to examine the leaves on the vine.

“Mistaken about what, Howell? The berries or the uprising?”

His heads whips in my direction, his mouth hanging open in disbelief. I know he eyes my leather trousers and the blades sheathed to my hip, thigh, and calf. My red vest with the infamous black logo, sears into his eyes. I kick my dress away from my feet.

Howell staggers, falling to the ground in a bundle of robes, and calling to the guard. I unsheath my blade, edging closer to the weasle in the grass. The weight on my shoulders lifts, and I can finally drop the act. After seven long months I can stop pretending.

“My father won’t be returning, will he, Howell? He never went away in the first place. You poisoned the King on the Queen’s orders, didn’t you? I know what you did, and I know that my ludicrous accusation isn’t quite so ludicrous after all.” He shouts to the guard again, scrambling away from me in fear. “You’re a smart man, Howell. You know what this logo means, and you know that I won’t let you or Deirdra take what is mine.”

There is movement behind me, and Howell relaxes at the sight of the guard. “The Princess is threatening the Queen’s ward,” he shouts, but the guard doesn’t look to stop me.

“I was going to conveniently fall from the balcony tonight, wasn’t I, Howell? The perfect murder; all those aristocrats to bear witness to the tragic accident of a silly Princess.” I grab at his hair, pulling him right into my face.

“No…no…Your High- Princess, please. I.. I..I’m sorry.”

“This is for my father,” I say, and I slit his throat open. I throw his head back down to the ground and watch the blood stain the grass.

An arm wraps around my waist and I turn into the embrace. My guard- my protector. He kisses me. He still smells the same as he did all those years ago- spearmint and apples.

“This is it. It has begun. Take his sash back to base as proof. I shall meet you all where we agreed.”

He kisses me one last time, and then rips the sash from Howell’s lifeless torso. “Make sure you take care, and I’ll see you at dusk. I love you, Kady.”

“I love you too, Jago.”


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Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter I

I’m falling a little lax with the posting of my ‘What’s Your Name?’ posts. From now on the posts will be over the weekends (this can be anytime from Friday to Monday).

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

Ida: a feminine first name meaning ‘God-like’. (Germanic)

Ida

 The girl climbs the three thousand steps without breaking a sweat. Is she even human? Kerse thinks to himself. The other applicants practically crawled the remaining thousand, groaning and panting from the effort. Of course, after their year long training, they’d soon be like the rest of The Squad.

It takes every ounce of reserve for Kerse to maintain the girl’s pace and that is saying something. He is the best of the best as far as The Squad is concerned. “You are quite something, girl,” he says, wiping sweat from his brow. “Who trained you to such an extent?”

She surveys him with narrowed eyes. The eyes of a suspicious, untrusting street rat. The same look she has given every member of The Squad she has met since Kerse approached her in the street den. She shrugs. “No one. Living on the streets is training enough. Why do you not tell the recruits your names? You ask us to trust you- which I can tell you now is something you earn not ask for- and yet you offer no name, nothing of worth.”

“You expect reward? We are not wealthy, girl.”

“I said you offer nothing of worth, not once did I mention wealth. Because I’m a street rat you think I’m concerned with money? I chose the poor life in favour of the alternative.”

She really is extraordinary. Kerse keeps his awe in check.”And what would that be?”

“Now, that story is something of worth, but seeing as you can’t even bestow a name, then my tale will become something of a secret that I shall keep from you.”

Is that a hint of a smile he sees? She is good- really good. She could fast become an obsession of his if he isn’t careful. “This goes no further. My name is Kerse. I asked you to trust us because we are trustworthy, but I shall let you judge that on our actions if you so wish.”

She extends a hand and shakes his with surprising confidence. “I’m Ida.”

Ida- such a little name. Perhaps, he looks into her eyes for a little longer than appropriate; a teacher must never broach that line with his ward. He could lose his position on The Squad. The Squad is his life- there is nothing else. He shakes himself out of his reverie. Nothing has happened. I’ve have just met the girl, he tells himself. Girl… she couldn’t be more than five years his junior- twenty at a guess. She is no more a girl than he is a boy.

She slips her hand delicately from his grip, blushing from his attention. “Okay, Kerse. You asked for my story, yet I fear you are not ready for it.” She sits on the wall beside him, so close that he can feel the heat of her skin.

“I’m intrigued,” he says. “I am a member of The Squad. I am ready for anything, Ida. I can assure you of that.” She smiles and he doesn’t miss the eye roll.

Ida takes a breath. “I am the illegitimate daughter of Jalennis. When I was seven he discovered the truth, but the House of Sisters successfully kept me hidden for five years. However, he found me at twelve, slaughtered the sisters, and sold me to a Court brothel. Who would believe the lies of a whore, right? I escaped at fourteen and became the street rat you see today.”

Kerse springs to his feet, distancing himself from her. “You are the daughter of Jalennis?” Jalennis is the last known Sorcerer, and self-appointed ruler of the Kingdom. Jalennis is the enemy that The Squad was formed to protect against. Nothing good comes from Jalennis… except… the girl with the little name.

“Why did he not kill you when he found you?” Kerse almost trips on his words.

Ida grins again, this time showing all her teeth. She is pretty when she smiles, he thinks.

“He can’t. The House of Sister’s knew the truth and lost their lives because of it. Why would I tell you just to have your blood on my hands? Make me tell you, Kerse. Give me reason to suffer your blood on my conscience.”

Kerse shakes his head in disbelief. She is telling the sole truth. He has been trained to detect the ticks of a liar. Ida is the child of Jalennis. What did the House of Sisters know that would lead to such a brutal slaughter? He can see why she is reluctant to tell him.

“You will tell me because I will happily die to put an end to Jalennis. He killed both my parents and all four of my siblings because my father stood against him. If you have information that weakens him, Ida, you have to tell me. I am the man who vows to stop him for good.”

She takes Kerse’s hand with more tenderness than she seemed capable. “I am the next in line. I get the powers when Jalennis dies.”

Kerse’s head is about to explode with information overload. “That still doesn’t explain why he didn’t kill you.”

“Like I said, he can’t. A sorceror cannot kill his own blood. The House of Sisters researched the old lores for many years. That is the information that got them murdered.  If Jalennis kills me, he will lose his power and die.”

“Why are you telling me this, Ida?”

“Because I knew of you, Kerse. I know you want the same things as me. I need you to get me into the palace and ensure that Jalennis kills me. No bloody battle- no lives lost except for mine and his- an end to his tyranny.”


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Uncategorized, Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter H

Whoops! This post is a day late, but better late than never, right? The chaos has only increased this week due to our house extension starting. I have zero blog posts scheduled and that is a rarity for me. I’m writing on the fly, folks.

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

Haidee- A feminine first name meaning modest or honoured. (Greek)

Haidee

“Can you fight?” Damon asks.

Haidee looks to her fingers, picking at a hang nail. “Yes. I’ve been trained.”

He exhales loudly. “That’s not reassuring me at all. Training and actual fighting are totally different ball games. We’re not babysitters, we need to know that you can hold your own.”

Wyatt stands uncomfortably close to her, placing his hands on the back of her chair and subconsciously, or consciously from what she knows of Wyatt, brushes her shoulder blade with his fingers. “Go easy on the girl. Look at her, she’s shaking like a leaf.”

“I can fight.” Haidee tries to make her voice sound confident, but the small squeak betrays her fear.

“And this nervous disposition of yours. Is that a permanent feature?” Damon waves his hand at her like she is a smell to be wafted.

Haidee meets Damon’s eyes for the first time. They are a striking blue, unlike her own deep brown, and pierce her with judgment and accusation. She’s not sure what is expected of her, or what the man is hoping to hear from a girl who has just witnessed her best friend’s murder? “I’m sorry. I haven’t–“

Damon growls in his throat. “Now, she’s apologising. Lord give me strength.”

Haidee jumps to her feet, her chair screeching in the process. Grabbing Damon by the neck, she cartwheels her legs above her, wrapping them around is head and using the hold to flip him onto his back. She falls softly onto his body, squeezing his airway with her thighs and restraining him with her whole body. If he moves an inch his arm will break.

“I’m out! I’m out!” Damon splutters.

Wyatt laughs, barely able to catch his breath. “The girl said she could fight,” he says, breezing from the room.

Haidee releases Damon, rolling from him and gripping her knees to her chest. He sits beside her, gasping for breath and rubbing at his throat. He looks set to talk, but her tears stall him.

“Hey, none of that,” he says, softly. “Crying won’t bring her back.”

Haidee tucks a curl behind her ear. “I’m scared. I know you probably don’t want to hear that, but I am. I can fight, but that doesn’t mean I want to. I’m not strong like you and Wyatt. I work in a coffee shop and go to night school. This isn’t my life.”

Damon shifts closer. His eyes have lost all hint of judgement. “Don’t be fooled. We are all afraid, but that’s not a weakness. The minute you no longer fear this world is the minute you lose yourself to it. But we can be protectors and that has to be enough for us.”

Haidee wipes at her wet cheeks with her sleeve. “You’re not so scary when you’re not shouting at me,” she says, smiling.

Damon laughs; a deep, belly laugh that echoes through the room. Getting to his feet, he helps her to stand. “I can be full on, right? I only do it because I care.” She meets his eyes for a little longer than necessary, and he shifts awkwardly. “So, we know you can fight, but can you shoot?”

Haidee shakes her head, looking to her feet.

“Then, we start now. I’ll teach you everything I know. You’re one of us, Haidee.”

“I was one of you the minute they took her life. I may be scared, but I can be brave.”

Damon crosses the space between them in one stride and wipes the tears from her face with his fingertips. “I can see that in you. I reckon having you around will be good for me.” Haidee tilts her head in curiosity, but Damon’s game face is back on. “Pick your weapon of choice,” he says, gesturing to the armoury.


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Writing Exercises

What’s Your Name? Letter G

I’ve just had a crazy thought… I am already on week 7 of these posts! Where have those weeks gone? Anyway, back to business. Today’s name, randomly selected from the first G page in my naming book, is:

Gabrielle: a feminine form of Gabriel ‘man of God.’ Diminutive forms inc Gabbie/ Gabby.

Gabrielle

I stand at the edge of the forest looking into the gloom of the shadows. The voice still calls to me. It sounds like the wind, but it definitely calls to me.

“Gabrielle. Gabrielle.”

It draws me closer still. A part of my brain screams at me to stop, to run away screaming, but that part feels locked away; unable to access my body that is hell bent on following the voice.

“Gabrielle. Gabrielle. Gabrielle.”

“I’m coming,” I reply, taking a step into the black of the woods. The shadows lick at my skin, leaving an icy chill in their wake. ‘Wake up, Gabrielle,’ I scream at myself. ‘This is a bad idea!’

I can feel myself tearing out of my trance like state. Fear consumes me, and the shadows reach out with more ferocity, every touch draining me, sucking the life from me. It’s too much to fight. The chill eats into my chest, squeezing everything warm and good from me.

In the next instant, I’m tackled to the ground, and dragged from the forest.

“GABRIELLE!” the forest voice screams. Birds scatter from the trees, and the cold that was filling every inch of my being retreats and warmth takes its place. The body pinning me to the floor is a welcome source of heat. I hold myself to it, wishing the chill away.

“Are you okay?” says a husky, male voice.

Brown eyes search my own, and then he rolls off of me. The man stands, holding a hand out to me, and helps me up. He has harsh features, and a permanent scowl on his face, but I know he’s a good man. Call it intuition if you must. He wouldn’t be bad looking if he just smiled.

“I think we need a chat,” he says.

“Who are you?”

“Just call me a good samaritan.”


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