Saturday, April 30, 2011


ash covers her body even the
lining of her nose. someone has placed four
roses, dark as
ebony: one for mother, one for father, one for sister,
and one for – her

dry bones, crumple inward,
yellowing, fading to so much more
dust covering the resting ground,
every inch piled
ankle-sinking-high, where four
dearly departed trudge eternally

Friday, April 29, 2011


bubbles up
pressure grow-
ing until my body
cannot contain it
and it bursts out,
spraying up over my
head like a cork was
just pulled from a
champagne bottle

Thursday, April 28, 2011


drip, drip, drip
from her mouth
to my ear
like a faucet
to a sink
and her smile
to my eyes
is like
glaring lightbulbs
off a bathroom
and her theft
of the love
that made my life worth living
is like
the hand that sent
all my joy
down the tubes

Michael - Illustrating Author

After fifteen years of modeling in New York, I spent the past six years as an interior designer in Chicago. I decided to take my creative talents and write/illustrate my first y/a novel, AMBER AND THE WHISPERING WILLOWS. I've been editing for the past year and have started the second in the series. I never knew how wonderful it could be to write a novel ... I'm addicted.

1. In your fantasy works, do you often make up completely new worlds or interweave your ideas into the existing world?

In my first novel I did make up an entire fairy world inside a willow tree grove which so happened to be on the outskirts of a NYC suburb.

2. Do you have any projects outside YA fantasy?

Yes. After I finished AMBER AND THE WHISPERING WILLOWS, which is the first in a series, I decided to write something else. I wrote an edgy Y/A contemporary.

3. Where do you sit when writing? Do you use the computer or regular old pen and paper?

I don't sit generally. I stretch out on a bed or sofa, with my laptop on a computer table that adjusts. So I work between the bedroom (usually at night) and the living room during the day. The only time I jot things down is when there are many characters so I'm able to keep them straight.

4. What is/are your favorite blog(s) outside of the group?

Oh, that's a tough one. I have several I really love. Critique Sister Corner... they give excellent advice on writing and the publishing industry. Nathan Branford for the same reasons, erica and christy, because they are funny and good friends. There are so many more. I hit at least fifty a day.

5. What is your favorite fantasy creature (elf, dwarf, werewolf, etc.)?

I would have to say fairies.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In the Dark

In my house,
you can’t
walk around
in the dark
for the
some with
eight legs
and all with

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


                  dirt beneath                                           love? Who are you
              like                 your                             can                                    to
            feel                      shoes?                     I                                             say
          and                       The                    who                                          it’s
        cry                              truth?           me                                                     just
       me                              You            tell                                                     lust?
       make                                are              to                                                    How
         to                                     no          you                                                         do
           you                                one.     are                                                          you
         are                                           Who                                                                know
           Who                                                                                                                 how
       things.                                                                                                                        I
             worse                                                                                                               feel?   
          done                    ELSE       AND       COURTNEY                                       Who 
              you’ve                                            4EVER                                                     are
                sure                                                                                                                 you
             I’m                                                                                                                   to
                   wrong?                                                                                                       tell
                   it’s                                                                                                            me
                   say                                                                                                       it’s
                             to                                                                                         unnatural
                                  you                                                                               when
                                         are                                                                      her
                                             Who                                                          soul
                                                        fits so perfectly with mine?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jail Time

daydream about what it will be like, what it will feel like when
The                        The                        The                        The
sound                     grunt                      sun                         air
of                            from                       shines                    that
my                          the                         straight                    is
footsteps                guard                     down                      owned
follows                   gives                      on                           by
me                          me                        me,                         (me)
down                      the                        escape-                   the
that                         go                         proof                      free
booming-               ahead                     walls                       fills
with-                      and                        absent                     my
curse-                    doors                     from                       lungs
words                    swoosh                  bodyguard              like
hall                         open                      duty                       home
they tell me it will never happen, not if I live to a hundred

Meredith - Client of Rubin Pfeffer

I was born on a cold spring night in Michigan. Well, never mind, I won’t go back that far, but I will say that I was definitely born a creative spirit. If I wasn’t dancing, acting or drawing (even though I was pretty much crap at all of those things), I was thinking up stories in my head and writing down the good ones. I majored in magazine journalism at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) but decided my senior year that journalism wasn’t my passion and that I wanted to pursue something a tad more creative.
So naturally I went to law school. I chose Boston University and then chose to move back to Florida after I graduated because Boston is very, very cold. I embarked on a career as a commercial litigator, a career which I discovered involves a lot less making impassioned pleas before a jury while wearing designer Italian stilettos, and a lot more sitting in an office for months at a time reviewing tens of thousands of documents. True story.

I took a hiatus from my legal career in late 2009 when my daughter was born. I’m very grateful to be able to stay at home with her full-time and squeeze in as much writing as I can when she naps. I’ve always been something of a history buff, and my favorite books are those that take place at some point in the past but have a twist, be it a supernatural element or a dash of fantasy. I eat those up! Not surprisingly, those are my favorite kinds of stories to write too.

I live in South Florida with my amazingly supportive husband, my lovely daughter, and my hyperactive wheaten terrier. I’m represented by Rubin Pfeffer of East/West Literary Agency.

1. In your fantasy works, do you often make up completely new worlds or interweave your ideas into the existing world?

Nope! Everything I write is firmly entrenched in the real world. I love playing with the idea that magic could happen all around us and at any given point in history.

2. Do you have any projects outside YA fantasy?

I have several contemporary ideas floating around in my brain, but everything I've written so far has been historical fantasy.

3. Where do you sit when writing? Do you use the computer or regular old pen and paper?

Computer. I tend to think in rapid fire, and I can type a lot faster than I can write by hand

4. What is/are your favorite blog(s) outside of the group?

Oh, man, there are too many to name. I have a whole list if my favorite blogs and websites on my site.

5. What is your favorite fantasy creature (elf, dwarf, werewolf, etc.)?

Hmmm...I must admit I've never written about standard fantasy characters. So I'll just pick one I like. Unicorns!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Missing Piece

Puzzle of Life           =           dancing           pets

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Egg

Someone is
missing from that wicker basket
Someone is
not nestled in that plastic grass

Someone who has
aqua skin
Someone who has
been on this shelf for hours

Someone who is

Prompt #16: Women are like a different species or something.

            “It is a pleasure to have you visit us, Dr. Rufus,” though her sour face told another story.
            The short man pushed his glasses up his long, thin nose. His magnified eyes reminded her of the occasional bug that wandered in. Her lip curled in disgust. He tapped the clipboard in his hand, every bump driving a steel pick into her brain. “Unfortunately, I am not here for a purely social visit. I hope to enjoy myself none the less.”
            “Then let’s get started,” she spun, placing all her weight on her tall, fragile heel, not missing a step.
            Every word uttered out of her mouth from then on was emphasized by the scratch of pen against paper. She clenched her jaw, clicking forward, pointing out various windows behind which women scientists were hard at work. His questions fell on deaf ears; her voice just growing louder if he persisted.
            “The tour is over, doctor,” and a genuine smile sprouted on her face. “Let me lead you out.”
            He jabbed his pen at the door behind her, “You haven’t shown me what’s behind there.”
            She remained silent.
            “I must inspect every bit of the facility or else we may have to staunch your funds.”
            A quick glance over her shoulder made the decision for her. An urge to giggle built up in her throat but she shoved it down, her face didn’t even twitch. “This way,” and she disappeared through the pink door.
            The sanitized hall smelled faintly of lavender perfume. Her nostrils widened, capturing as much of the scent as possible. His nose wrinkled up and he glanced to the sides. She watched his reaction as he surveyed the pink and purple walls, accented so beautifully with yellow. A frown crawled over his face, as he examined the innocent eyes of a kitten gnawing on a ball of yarn. More scribbling followed. She started to hum.
            A twist in the corridor left them in the main observation room. The window was covered by a shade that matched the color scheme. Two TVs set up in the corner played silent chick flicks. The conference table in the middle was overlaid by a lace tablecloth.
            The doctor’s cheeks puffed out, a red flush painted over them. His glasses slipped right to the end of his nose and he didn’t bother to push them up. “Just what exactly are you researching in here, Dr. Stein?”
            Her eyes turned sharp, “We are studying how we can increase the slowly decreasing female population.”
            His eyes bugged out, “You’re wasting our money on that? When you’re supposed to be finding cures to world hunger and stripped soil and overpopulation?”
            “I assure you that we are working toward all of those goals. However, we believe that this is a problem that deems attention,” her words were soft, laced with poison.
            “We? Who is we? You and all these girls passing off as research specialists? Don’t think I haven’t noticed that you don’t have one, not one, man working here.” He swept his hand through the air, indicating the whole building.
            “If you would take a moment to look at our research, I assure you, your opinion will change,” she attempted to interlie a soothing tone into her voice.
            “It’s not just my opinion. It’s fact. There are better things to be working on, but I’ll take a look. Just so I know exactly what to say to the board.”
            “After you,” she held open the door to the lab. He stepped through, his eyebrows pushed together. He was several feet in, when she slammed the door, twisting the lock.
            It took a few seconds for him to realize, then the banging started. “Stein, let me out.”
            “I’m just simply showing you my research, doctor,” she said, punching a stream of numbers into the keypad attached to the wall. “Relax.”
            “Let me out this instance.”
            She pulled up the shade, giving view to a room filled with flowers. Green abounded while blue and red and orange and yellow and white blossoms poked their heads through the foliage.
            Dr. Rufus’s face appeared, “Let me the hell out of here.”
            “I assure you I will. All in good time.”
            His face grew contorted, and he started to shout again, saliva stretching with his lips. He hadn’t managed a complete sentence when a confused look passed over him. She watched closely as the muscles in his face relaxed, his lips stretching into a dopey smile. His body tumbled in a heap on the ground; bones and muscles no longer working to support him.
            Her expression remained shapeless as she watched his body being dragged back by a rose vine. Her eyes darted to a new place every second, studying as many of the plants’ movements and reactions as she could before the gas clouded the room.
            She opened a drawer, extracting a thick notebook. Flipping it to an empty page, she seated herself at the table. Her thumb clicked down, pushing the pen point out. It touched down on the first line of the paper and took off.
            The scratching still filled the room when the second scientist stepped in. She didn’t say a word until Dr. Stein glanced up. “How did the inspection go?”
            “All right.”
            “When did he say we were going to get our results?”
            “Why don’t you ask her yourself?” Dr. Stein nodded at the door.
            The second woman stared at the door then she smiled, then she giggled, then she laughed. “You didn’t.”
            “Ah, but I did.”
            “Did it work?”
            A frown line appeared between the doctor’s eye brows. “I don’t know.”
            “You mean you haven’t checked?”
            Dr. Stein shook her head. “You want to peek in there?”
            Her only answer was to fly to the lab door and jerk it open. She stuck her head in, quickly pulled it out. She twisted the handle, locking it back. A disgusted look took up residence on her face.
            “Did it not work?” Dr Stein’s voice was worried, anxious.
            “Oh, it worked all right. But he couldn’t have made an uglier girl.”

Friday, April 22, 2011


Rainy day grey
holds in the rottweiler
squeezing it smaller, smaller
to fit inside the stunted, fragile body.

Show Don't Tell -Crash, Boom, Lightning-

                The air deposits salt on my tongue but it is not nearly enough. I glance longingly at the sky, cradling my elbows, my feet never stopping. The moon behind the thin clouds reminds me of its view beneath the water, a distorted shimmer that could be anything.
                Another gust of sea-scented air washes over me, bringing the slap-slap sound of uneven footsteps. I force my screaming legs to move faster, keeping my head down. The noise takes my ears captive, growing louder, closer. I peek over my shoulder, the saccadic movements of a drunkard meeting my eyes.
                I veered to cross the street, taking enough care to avoid the puddles of slimy unidentified substances settled in the chipped asphalt. A greasy finger trailed down my arm and a soundless scream built up in my throat at his sudden closeness.
                Adrenaline loaned my feet wings and I flew automatically to the place that had always been my safe haven. My body launched into the air, snapping into position. It cut through the water perfectly and I propelled myself deeper; my porcelain legs replaced by a scaled tail.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


cast aside by my mother
I never was her favored child
and it’s nearly a relief when I


To join my spurned brothers and sister below
In listening to our mother’s storming rage

Misha - A Mixture

I'm a lot of things.
I'm a writer.

I'm a fencer.

Sometimes I'm a poet.

Other times I'm a philosopher.

I'm a mixture of very nice and deeply evil. (Insert maniacal laughter here.) But mostly I'm nice.

I'm also a lost little girl in a twenty-two year old body.

I'm my mother's daughter.

But above all:

I. Am. Me...

1. In your fantasy works, do you often make up completely new worlds or interweave your ideas into the existing world?

DOORWAYS is set in a separate world, although it is quite close to this world.

2. Do you have any projects outside YA fantasy?

Yes, I do. I write historical romance and what might become either a YA dystopian or a YA paranormal... But I've postponed them until my rewrite is finished.

3. Where do you sit when writing? Do you use a computer or regular old pen and paper?

I don't really have a specific place to write. I wrote the entire first draft of DOORWAYS pen and paper. Now I'm rewriting it on my laptop. So my preferred spots have some sort of power outlet nearby. My mood music takes a lot of battery power.

4. What is/are your favorite blog(s) outside of the group?

Oh no. I can't pick a single one. Everyone has something special to offer.

5. What is your favorite fantasy creature (elf, dwarf, werewolf, etc.)?

Elves, werewolves and a nation of badasses that I created for my fantasy series.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Credit for format goes to Ellen Hopkins.

“Do you see                                                                       that person in
this room?” I                                                                       glanced over
at his              small                                                            smile, threats
hiding                    behind                                                  his guilty
eyes. I                          prepare                                          myself for
the betrayed                     looks                                         and force
my lips                                        open,                               their clumsy
movements                                    forming                          that horrible
word I                                                          had rehearsed endlessly
in the mirror                                                       for hours upon hours  o

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Take Back

the knitting needles click

strands wrapping around each other

shaping a seamless net, perfect to catch

the words I so wish to take back

Monday, April 18, 2011


me and the subway cup
are having a staring contest
because he has nothing better to do
and it’s a distraction from the disaster around us

he’s just about to give in
when the morning wake-up rings
startling me and allowing him to gloat over the win

the trash carpet scrapes my ankles
but I push onward to the still body
passed out on the dirty kitchen floor

“Mom? Time for work.”
doesn’t even flinch

the cup heaves a sigh as I leave it
with only a drunk for company

Back on My Feet

There is nothing better in the world (besides air, cats, and Lizzie) than having words spill forth effortlessly from your brain onto the page (typed or otherwise). For the past month or two, I have been experiencing a block. I won't call it writer's block because I still had the ideas, just getting the words out was like pulling teeth (and we won't even mention March's goals). The best description I can give you is a dam holding back a river. Thank God the dam burst.

I have managed to write five thousand words toward The Lullaby in the past week (though I will admit a large chunk of it is dialogue; I like dialogue...), more words than all of last month. I achieved one thousand words on last week's short story. Something that hasn't happened since Week Ten. I have stuck with NaPoWriMo and not fallen behind. I've decided on my points of view for HEIRS TO ESIO and finished assigning last names. Things are going great.

Question: Have you had any recent successes lately? Any dams that have burst?

P.S. Here's something else I've managed to accomplish this week. Let me know if you enjoy. :)

Ciara Knight - Mother of Four (And That's Just Counting the Books!)

I'm happily married to my husband, Chris. We have three amazing boys aged 4, 6, and 13. Life is never boring with three sons.

I write Paranormal and Fantasy fiction for Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. I’m actively involved in Romance Writers of America (RWA), my local chapter Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a specialty group of RWA, Futuristic, Fantasy, & Paranormal (FF&P).

For more information on what I write go to the Books section of my blog.

1.  In your fantasy works, do you often make up completely new worlds or interweave your ideas into the existing world?

My young adult paranormal, RISE FROM DARKNESS who I just sold to Turquoise Morning Press, is set in our world, but altered with paranormal elements. Most of the stories I write I create all new worlds.

2. Do you have any projects outside YA fantasy?

Yes, I write adult fantasy, YA paranormal/fantasy/Steampunk, and MG.

3. Where do you sit when writing? Do you use the computer or regular old pen and paper?

I write in carpool line, at sports practices, and music lessons. :) Anywhere I can take my laptop. I’ll take notes on paper, but I always write manuscripts on my computer.

4. What is/are your favorite blog(s) outside of the group?

Oh, so many of them. That is difficult. :) McQueen Knights, Lynn Rush, Laura Diamond, Julia Rachel Barrett, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Hart Johnson.

5. What is your favorite fantasy creature (elf, dwarf, werewolf, etc.)?

I love them all! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


‘shh’ rustles the
willow as I settle
down in its crook
to watch the show

to set the scene: a flooded bog with wanting plants
reaching down to the muddy water, dark

the cast: just
the body floating
with its hair tangled
in hidden, up-reaching
branches, motionless

the first scene:
the first little nibbles
here                      there
slowly                   bone is
revealed              after many
  days, until         bleached polka
dots rein over    the lonely corpse
and they’re not    just dots anymore

the final scene: live bodies
leaving, breathing live bodies
come and turn it over
revealing          the        familiar
structure       of the    face
that was       once     mine
sockets now empty and I
gasp at the unbelievable climax
curtain closes
as my spirit leaves the willow
and I am free