Tag Archives: micro-fic

Third Novel ‘Update’ + Seasonal Micro-Fiction! :-)

Can you believe it’s already December?! Where has the time gone? Well, a good deal of that time (along with lovelight!) has found its way into the final novel of our Lazuli Portals Trilogy … the book currently known (to you, at least!) as LP3.

We do have a title for the book … and, for the first time, for each of its chapters, too! For now (when Jo’s health and Ron’s ‘free time’ permit) we are still working with our beta readers, and on editing and polishing. Then will come formatting, proofreading, and preparing the book for its Kindle and paperback homes.

The artist who designed the beautiful covers for The Cordello Quest and Mosaic of Light (the fabulous Stuart Cooper) is keen to work with us again, but is not available until after the New Year. Designing and creating a cover from scratch – one which clearly represents the essence of the story – takes a lot of time and dedication! So please, stay hopeful that he will be able to create another fabulous cover for us!

What we can tell you now is that the book’s title is three words long. Just like The Cordello Quest and Mosaic of Light. Three books, each with a three-word title. 3 3 3. Hmm, strange coincidence … or is it synchronicity?! Those repetitive triple numbers rear their head again, something Keira finally learns more about in LP3!

  

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So with the newsy bit out of the way, we have some micro fiction to offer you, little stories of fewer than 250 words each which we’ve crafted in response to the snowy image below. (Believe it or not, despite their similarities, Ron and I wrote these stories independently of one another!) We hope you enjoy them!

Winter Theme photo for Xmas News and Blog 2017.jpg

[Image © www.Copyright-free-photos.org.uk]

The Evening Before
As the last of the sun’s offerings tinkle the settled snowy branches, the air stills and silence falls over the ancient walkway. Looking up, the new moon sits there trying to make its own mark on a perfect winter’s scene created by the earlier snowfall. The wonder of this quiet solo walk is lifting the dread of tomorrow, which had pervaded my mind all day.

A wave of extreme cold suddenly shoots through me, hitting my back and exiting my chest, prickling the hairs. Wide-eyed I look around. Nothing has moved. Snow sits securely on the firs around me.
Along the pristine snow path in front of me a series of footprints rapidly appear. Nothing visible to make them. They shoot on around the bend.
I stand in shock. No movement.  No sound.
The light is fading. Nervously I look over my shoulder from the direction I had walked. Nothing.
Wait… Where are my footprints? The path is covered with unmarked snow.

My shoes hold traces of the snow kicked up by my steps and are sitting with snow all around them. As I look down, snow replaces my feet and a warmth spreads up my legs as they disappear. I can not move but do not feel ill at ease as my lower body is lost from view.
The footprints in front of me are disappearing as they retrace themselves.

Tomorrow has come early. I am off to my past again.

[242 words © Ron C. Dickerson]

Cold and Crystalline
The only sound is that of my boots squeaking along the snow-covered forest path, and the soft whoosh of my breath where it puffs into a cloud just in front of me. The freezing air is ice on my tongue, tasting of purity and newness.

I stop walking and hold my breath, listening to the cold, crystalline silence. Right here, right now, it’s just me and this white world.

Behind me, my footprints track my past. Ahead lies a path of unbroken snow: pure possibility. I wait, poised, at the fulcrum of time, glad of this stillness, this pause. I gather it in with all my senses, exploring the shape and texture of it, wishing I could commit it to memory.

But memory is the past, and this precise moment will not be experienced again, for even memory is not a perfect replication. In any case, if I spend time back there, then I miss what is happening now. And look, the moment is already changing, a twig cracking somewhere ahead, followed by a russet blur scampering up the shadowed spine of a tree.

Even here, nothing remains the same. Even here, each moment is impermanent.

Releasing my breath, I resume my walk. My Boxing Day afternoon awaits: young nieces and nephews will arrive soon, faces flushed and eyes bright with excitement, their high voices a tumult. Now, my spirit rested and serene, I am ready to return home and immerse myself in the happy hubbub.

[246 words © Joanna Gawn]

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If you would like to share this blog post, then you are very welcome to do so! The words on this page have been infused with lovelight. Any action you take to share The Lazuli Portals with the wider world is helpful, and a way to offer more love and light!

Also, please feel free to comment below! We love to hear from people who’ve enjoyed what we write. 🙂

With lovelight blessings for a beautiful December, and a New Year full of hope, possibility, and love,

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

~ fiction for the awakening ~

 

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Best Laid Plans: A Personal Update, and a Micro-Fic Story

The title of this micro-fic piece is apt, because my best-laid plans have not turned out as I’d thought they would! December was a challenging month for me in terms of pacing (something which is essential for people with #spoonie health conditions) but I’d expected that after some rest, I’d be ‘back to work’ in early January, as usual. I was looking forward to getting back into things!

The Universe has had other plans. 🙂 My health has forced me to make rest and recovery my primary ‘task’ for the time being. Although this means that working on new scenes for our third novel is pretty much ‘on hold’ for the moment, I have been able to write small unrelated pieces now and then. (Phew!)

While I’m really missing working on the magic of Lazuli Portals 3 (and finding out what happens to Keira and Jason and co. in chapter 27 and beyond!) I have made my peace with it. For those of you who are impatiently waiting for LP3 to be finished, I will return to it as soon as I am able, I promise!

Meanwhile, I’m also having a go at being more laid back about blogging and social media, trying to find a manageable balance. 🙂 ‘Balance’ is a theme which recurs over and over in my life, so I clearly need more practice at it lol.

The tiny story which follows is a piece I wrote many months ago in response to the image, specifically to be shared on the blog. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but we hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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BEST-LAID PLANS

The warning is there, plain to see; I made sure the cleaner left the bollard in open view. According to the steady red light, the security camera is on, so everything will be documented.

All I need to do is to make it look natural: let my feet slide from under my weight, land awkwardly, making sure I break a bone or two.

That should keep me out of the surgical unit for a few months. I need the break (pardon the pun). Maybe the time off will stop the shaking, the trembling in my fingers when I lift the scalpel. The responsibility over life … the damage I might do … I just can’t …

Deep breath. It’s all down to me, now.

But something curdles in my belly. I know this is wrong. It’s fraud, isn’t it? My mother would turn in her grave if she knew what I was up to. I’m sure she’s keeping an eye on me.

And what about me? I’m a good person; that’s why I became a surgeon. My vocation is to help others to heal; to cure, wherever possible. And here I am about to injure myself, deliberately, and to cause hassle and difficulty for others, to apportion blame to the blameless.

I can feel Mum at my shoulder, her flinty eyes ashamed of me, her disappointment like a shadow veiling my eyes.

I swallow, and turn away from the pool and its slick tile surround.

It’s time to own what’s happening to me. To deal with it in the right way. To talk to my boss and seek her help; Shelley will know what to do.

The dark weight which has been plaguing me lightens, the threads of it unwinding and weakening.

My mind is consumed with how to broach this with Shelley, how to tell her that I don’t have the courage anymore.

It’ll be hard to share this with her. Of all the people at the hospital, Shelley is the one with whom I feel the strongest connection. Maybe it’s because she’s so full of life and fun? Because she’s so different from my mother? And now I have to tell her of this weakness, this flaw.

My nape turns ice-cold, prickly, as though there is a mass of energy there. It seems to push at me, nudging me forward. Against my will, I step onto the damp tile, moving closer to the pool.

“No,” I state to the empty room. There is a rough shove at my back and I stumble awkwardly, slipping on the tile. I fall onto the bollard, and my leg twists horribly beneath me. I cry out, my darkening vision pinpricked by silver stars.

Silent words flow into my ear. “Be careful what you wish for, son.”

[463 words – copyright Joanna Gawn;

image by artur84, via FreeDigitalPhotos.Net]

Stains: a micro-fiction piece by Ron

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Stains

Through this closed window is the way to see it all. The lives of those past who left their mark inside.  The rabble who now infest the home of generations.  And, if you look closely, you may see the many futures open to each inhabitant.  

Those there must choose as their ancestors did before. Will their dreams materialise, if dream they still do!  Yet the action each takes, be it Sonic or homework; which food or which wine; to smoke or to not; to leave or to stay, can create a new world in which they then exist.  Though each can then change and move another way.  

The vibration they leave remains as a stain.  Each choice that is made sends ripples around.  Each swell, big or small, will move all it encounters.  Be it little or huge nothing is ever constant. Reactions may be the same: to be buoyed or deflect; to go under or to swim; bob around waiting or speed off under power; look to horizon or to the depths.

The choices they make can drown in the tide of others’ actions.

Where will the rabble be in ten years, or an hour?

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Words © Ron C. Dickerson, inspired by image, by bigjom via www.freedigitalphotos.net

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We’ll be using this image again soon, as Joanna has written a couple of haikus using this picture as her focus. 🙂

Cool, Calm, and Collected: dark micro-fiction

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COOL, CALM, AND COLLECTED

Toast; sausages; freshly-brewed coffee. Those are the scents which greet me as I walk into the restaurant. I have already shaved, my bathroom mirror reflecting a can of hairspray, a bottle of perfume. Female toiletries in my suite … a culture shock, really. But I’m becoming familiar with them.

She is already here, sipping from her cup in that elegant way she has, although I wonder if she is as aloof as she tries to make out. There is a coolness about her, always, as though she considers herself too precious to be touched.

She catches my eye and a slight smile is sent my way. I mirror her expression, wondering what she is thinking. I imagine her thoughts to be already in motion: the day’s appointments, the contracts to be signed.

And yet … I know how her skin glows in moonlight; how her fiercely red lipstick tastes. I know what perfume she wears, what size shoes are cupping those graceful feet.

I know her.

I turn to the breakfast bar but I am aware of her still. She drains her cup. She replaces it onto the saucer. She wipes her hands on a pure white napkin and discards it on the table. As usual, she departs without a backward glance.

Her table vacated, I sidle to it with my grapefruit and my Earl Grey. A waiter swoops toward me to clear her debris. There is confusion as my breakfast things mingle with hers. An apology; an acceptance.

I eat my grapefruit slowly. There is no rush now. She will check out today, move to yet another hotel. Once I have dyed my hair, removed my moustache and my spectacles, I will follow. She will not recognise me.

The clatter and hum of breakfast chatter starts to fade as patrons return to their rooms. My meal finished, I am among them, the napkin tucked into my pocket.

Upstairs, I add the napkin to my tally: the lipstick, the hairspray, the perfume.

I wonder … has she missed them yet? Does she blame the maids?

I laugh softly, and begin to pack.

I know her.

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© Words: Joanna Gawn, inspired by the image, by tiverylucky at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net