One Word Prompt: Remember


This week’s one word prompt is Remember. As always I’d love to see any responses you have!

Posted in General

March Recap

With how crazy March has been around my house it’s not too surprising to learn I fell a little short of getting any serious writing done. One of the major struggles I’ve had is readjusting my daily goals and how I measure my progress.

Perhaps because I didn’t have a set project for the month I took each post on the Written Vixen as a mark of progress. I was still writing, even if it wasn’t on a longer or cohesive piece. And I have done a little work on some of my smaller projects, though sadly I can’t say that I’ve succeeded in actually finishing anything (yet). A lot of what I’ve been able to do has been just a few sentences. It’s been exceedingly frustrating to go from finishing an easy twelve thousand a week to less than five thousand, and I have a lot of respect for the writers who can juggle a full schedule and still write a full story every month.

With the end of March approaching however, I do feel like I’ve learned a little more about what to expect and what sort of goals to set for myself. I’m looking forward to Camp NaNoWriMo in April.

Posted in General, writing

Conflict: Versus Nature

Man versus Nature is another of the six forms of conflict. At their base, these stories include facing down an element of nature. In some cases, the character may seek out the conflict, striving to assert their dominance over an element of nature (i.e. slaying the dragon).

A fairly well-known tale is that of the ant and the grasshopper–the hardworking ant diligently prepares for the upcoming winter while the grasshopper laughs and plays the summer away. Come winter and the ant is fine while the grasshopper ends up dead. Although that particular example is a folk tale, the play of conflict in versus Nature stories is clear: the conflict doesn’t need to necessarily have to have a struggle. The tension of knowing what is coming for the foolish grasshopper can be a powerful tool to use.

Another place to find versus Nature conflicts is also in survival stories. These might be in places where someone has survived attacks by various animals, or days in the wilderness, or in the aftermath of natural disasters.


Posted in Stories

Short Story: Dragons Do Not Make Pets

From the Diary of Dragon Speaker Aurarin

Sometime in early winter

As Duckling has grown, I have been able to leave him for short periods of time. This however, still means that on days when I must be at the College, I customarily take him with me. More than once, I’ve left him under Magi Verai’s care, and thus, under the care of her cat.

Incidentally, this has since given Duckling the impression that he is in fact, a pet of some form. Had I been aware of this, I might have been able to deter him from any of the antics he’d picked up from the cat.

As it stands however, he has gotten quite used to my morning routine and knows that once the sun is up, I try to be up as well (though on occasion I have found myself spending several minutes cooing over him since he insists on sleeping on the other pillow). Since I knew I had meetings with several high ranking officials in the interests of organizing education for several former dragon companions, I made the retrospectively poor choice of bathing, thus leaving Duckling to his own devices for an hour while I prepared for the day.

Afterwards, having dressed in a nice pair of robes and a brand-new pair of silk stockings, I elected to wear my boots since there had already been snowfall even this early in the season.

Upon inserting my foot into my boot, I discovered the squishy, somewhat bloody ‘gift’ Duckling had placed in said boot. The poor mouse was still slightly warm, and his already undignified end was certainly not helped by having his remains molested by my toes.

I did attempt to remain calm while I removed my boot to see what exactly I’d been squishing, but upon finding the blood on my stocking and retrieving the body of the unfortunate mouse, I will admit to screaming, which only brought Duckling running to see what I thought of his gift.

I suspect having the rodent thrown in his general direction along with my boot and the now ruined stocking was not the sort of reaction he’d wanted.

Unfortunately, I did not have the time to do much more than find a clean pair of cotton stockings and a slightly older pair of boots. As of returning home, I’ve thrown out the boots, but I notice that Duckling is still sulking under the bed. Clearly, I’m going to have to explain that he is a dragon and not a cat, and that therefore, he is not supposed to leave dead mice in my shoes.

By A.J. Helms