Happy Fourth of July!

Something a little different — today I’m sharing a writing assignment I wrote in a writing workshop earlier this year: 250 words of a Fourth of July memory. I thought it would be fun to post here.

Happy Independence Day to fellow inhabitants of the U.S., and a happy Sunday to international friends.


They say the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, and that’s never more true than on Independence Day.

Sitting in the back of a pickup truck or spread out on the ground, staring up at the vast blue-velvet night sky scattered with diamond stars which are already gorgeous even before the fireworks display. The expectation, waiting . . .

And there—an extra starry burst of explosions kaleidoscope across the night and fill the air with a bang. The colorful fireworks light up the night like memories light up the heart. Laughter and family. Pointing—ooh, there’s another firework—no, over there!

Prickle of grass, sandpaper-sidewalk feel where you sit, concrete still warm from earlier sunshine.

Fingers sticky with ice cream sandwiches, messy in the firework-lit dark, but worth it for the delicious taste filling your mouth with cool, creamy sweetness.

Then up and dance about (yes, safely), spinning with sparklers in either hand, showers of silver-gold sparks falling, writing your name on the dark or swirling fire circles before the flame winks out.

A night breeze cools the remembrance of summer heat, and with it a tang of gunpowder scent on the air, white-grey smoke clouds drifting wispy-faint across stars and fireworks and inky night sky.

Fourth of July, a night filled with stars of all kinds to light the shadows with brilliance.

A night when the firework stars are certainly big and bright, here deep in the heart of Texas.


Thanks for reading! Happy 4th!

July Fourth, Chess Club Style

Well then. It’s July 4th, which means, of course, Independence Day!

*cue fireworks*

(Sorry, non-Americans who don’t get fireworks and ice cream… but I hope you have a lovely day all the same! ;))

Maybe think about celebrating Independence Day not just with fireworks and barbeque, but perhaps even reading the actual texts of the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution and Bill of Rights…! Novel thoughts, I know…

I also wish I was watching Beyond the Mask again… That movie was SO good! *flail*

Today I can’t help but post a snippet from The Owl of Kedran’s Wood, the first book in my Kedran’s Wood series, because the Chess Club celebrated the 4th of July in the story. …And I just realized it’s the only holiday I’ve ever written about. Weird.

Here we go!

KWcover
The week passed with surprising quietness as far as anything having to do with Tare and the Wildlings went, but was anything but quiet besides that. The Fourth of July arrived with a literal bang as the Chess Club celebrated Independence Day along with their families and the rest of the town.

A very overrated parade wound its brightly colored and blaring but cheerful way through town. It was really much too hot to sit around and watch it, but everyone did anyway, even though the line of vehicles, people, and occasional horses seemed to last all day.

Most of the Chess Club members had dared each other to enter the parade itself, but despite that, no one had ended up doing it.

Ice cream flowed rather more freely than the local river did, and the tantalizing aroma and sizzle of grilling hamburgers filled many back yards, parties flourishing everywhere.
The Chess Club also took the opportunity of an impromptu party of their own at Ivy’s house to finish off the famed disaster cake of the Epic Cake-Bakers, and consumed more of what Ivy claimed was the best lemonade to be found for miles.

The snap and bang of firecrackers filled the air sporadically all day long, and toward evening everyone gathered to watch the firework display from the grandstands of the local football field. The deafening noise, general hum of happiness and excitement from the crowd, and the smell of leftover smoke filled the air, while the brilliant and beautiful fireworks themselves lit the sky in dazzling flashes of colored light.

“They’re not nearly as good as Gandalf’s fireworks,” Baz complained. But he had to admit they were okay nonetheless, and that it was still fun.

“I’m trying to imagine Tare having fun,” Lavender remarked over the noise. She giggled. “It’s not working.”

“I should think not,” Baz said with a laugh.

Adrian put in dryly, “I bet he doesn’t understand people who have a good time listening to explosions.”

“Poor Tare,” Ivy said, also laughing. “He’s probably sitting at home reading or something, and subconsciously grabbing his guns whenever there’s a bang, thinking he’s under attack.”

After the public firework display, groups split off and headed variously home to wrap up the night with fireworks of their own, or in some cases watching neighbors or friends setting them off, and ate still more ice cream, getting very sticky in the dark because they couldn’t see the mess they were causing.

And when all was over, everyone finally went to bed far later than was good for them, and didn’t care a bit.

***

Happy Independence Day!

And here, have some gorgeous soundtrack music because I’m thinking of it. (Don’t let Mel Gibson running at the screen with a flag scare you. It’s just music with a picture in the background. XD)

A Writing Road’s Beginning

As I mentioned, March 1st marked my 7-year anniversary of writing. I had actually been writing for awhile before that, but that was when I got serious about it.

I remember it vividly…

On that day, I was at Barnes & Noble, and I had brought along the printed copy of the 45 or so pages that formed my first real “book” at that time, and a pencil to make notes on it while I was waiting.

I don’t know what it was about that day…

Maybe it was the story itself, sitting there all nicely printed in my hands, waiting for me to decide what to do with it now that I was stuck.

Maybe it was the fact of being surrounded by books — all that inspiration, those pages between covers that form magical doorways to other worlds.

Maybe it had something to do with the memory of one Fourth of July when I was talking to a random lady and mentioned a story I had started once and given up on. She said that she too had started writing a story when she was young, about fairies, but had never finished. She regretted that, and told me I should go back to that story of mine and, no matter what, to finish it. (That was what made me return to it in the first place. I’m deeply indebted to her, whoever she was.)

Whatever it was, that first day of March in 2007 was the day I decided to be a writer.

That was when I took my pencil to my printed story-attempt and marked everything I needed to change or delete. I made the decision then and there that I was going to rewrite the story and actually finish it. And I did.

I’ve been a writer ever since.

For all you writers out there, when did you start and why?