Whimsical Wednesday Writings:
My laptop has been an angel today *prays not to jinx it* -it seems ok as long as I keep it stationary on a desk and not move it (I think my laptop is just crying out for a holiday or something -the amount of times it moves around with me, I think it has gone dizzy!). So it is now a permanent fixture on my desk (no writing at my bed; maybe it’s a good thing). Anyhoo, let me get back to the post -there’s a lot to get through; well, there’s my last update for ROW80 (whoopie dooooo) and a special flash fiction (An adaptation of Hansel & Gretel -you guys peeked at the title? That is soooooooo unfair ).
Please feel free to scroll down to the sections that are of interest to you -that is if you do not want to read the next bit (I won’t take any offence –well, I’ll try not to ).
(As always, there is a pdf document at the bottom of the post for those who may find this a difficult read.)
ROW80 Final Check-in
Firstly, let us start with my final ROW80 update… My goodness, it has been an interesting journey. I have been extremely tough on myself -with what I have not accomplished -well that was up until I created my ROW80 – Round 3 Page (<— click here to check it out -it’s a comprehensive ROW80 progress-to-date at a glance), since then I have taken a deep breath and appreciated what I have actually achieved. Ok, I set out to write more words on Becoming – Mystical Realisations however; I had to stop quite a bit to rework the first three chapters (I have ended with adding three extra chapters before my very first chapter -and still I need to do some tweaking). Even though I have outlined my novel, I realised something was missing, so I had to go back and make it work. It was disheartening -and at one point I just left it due to my own annoyance (I’m my worst enemy at times); feedback from my beta-readers helped me see sense and made me realise it is worth pursuing so, I am working on it again -with casual steps. Due to this set-back I concentrated more on blog posts and flash fictions -all was a welcomed distraction. Having said that, this experience has made me see how valuable ROW80 is and so for the next round I am hoping to be more planned, organised and focused. *fingers-crossed* amongst all this, I have still managed to visit blogs (approx 30 a week), do a bit of beta-reading myself (which is going well) and taken time out where needed. I have written in more detail over in the ROW80 – Round 3 page and there’s also an ‘On Reflection…’ part, so please pop over there and see the whole journey from beginning to end, in the meantime here’s my progress since my last update:
Progress Since Sunday 11th September 2011:
WIP word count: 0 words written.
Blog post word count: 6005 words written.
DiRosaYikici word count: 0 words written.
Combined effort word count: 6005 (See the ROW80 progress bar on the side menu.)
That’s like 750 words per day –not bad; dare I say still on target despite the low mood this past week? *cheers*
To check out my progress-to-date-page please click here.
Stories, stories, stories…
I know I promised to update Our Story Begins (over at DiRosaYikici); this has not happened due to my laptop taking regular naps, so I’ll update that for the next Wednesday post. In its place please take a moment and relax (grab a cuppa if you must) and see how my new flash fiction has taken shape.
This flash fiction has been inspired by a few delightful souls:
Sonia G. Medeiros’ challenge A Fairy Tale set my mind in motion, I thought of Cinderella, Rapunzel, The Little Mermaid and Snow White -then I dismissed it all as it has been done before. My brain kept ticking then Hansel & Gretel came to mind; then everything else flowed in freely. I found a way to tie in Billie Jo Woods challenge (Back to School is Cool or Maybe Not…) and Haley Whitehall’ challenge Powers just fell in nicely with the setting. I tried (very hard) to incorporate some Fantasy Comedy -as it’s part of my own challenge (Challenge Issued: Turner’s Tapestries); however, I feel I have not accomplished that task so I will not include it as the challenges set (if you think I should rethink it let me know and I’ll consider that for a wee while). I enjoyed this challenge (though I could not keep it within the required 500 word count -I just had too much fun -shoot me -erm not literally ). I have to say I was writing this story whilst I was at my friends’ house and he decided to talk about Hansel & Gretel (not knowing I was writing a story about them); it was uncanny and in a bizarre way it just felt like it was meant to be… I hope you enjoy it as much as I have had fun writing it.
Hansel & Gretel – Our (Untold) Story
Infuriated. “Hanseeeeeeeeeel!” Wilhelm Grimm’ voice travelled out of his quarters, through the narrow stone corridors, up the labyrinth-like spiral stairways, through the grand hall, the classrooms and abruptly stopped as it found Hansel and Gretel cowering in the third bell tower. He appeared, eyes fuming; arms tightly crossed against his chest, his fingers scratching his skin. Gretel let out a giggle as she watched her fables and magic tutor Wilhelm Grimm’s’ skin sprout pink fluffy clouds of cotton. His eyes fell on hers, “I should have known this was a combined effort…why can’t you put this much effort into your studies?” His eyes left hers and focused on Hansel, “Undo this right now.”
“We can’t…we don’t know how to…” he said.
“Undo this right now –or else Head-Wizard Jacob will hear off this.”
Hansel looked at Gretel, pleading; Gretel shook her head “It’s not working,” she whispered.
“Students like yourselves constantly underestimate us,” Wilhelm said, still itching, “we know what your individual powers are, you cannot erase my memory young Miss,” his look pierced through Gretel, “this calls for detention!”
“-But Sir…” they said.
Wilhelm silenced them with his most potent glare “It’s best if you did not protest, nor test my patience –now undo this.”
“We don’t know how we did it-” Gretel blurted; Hansel jabbed her in the ribs “Owww!”
“I was not the one wanting cotton candy.”
She darted him a look lavished with annoyance “You can’t talk –what was that thing about a hamster before the spell exploded?”
They both giggled.
“Enough!” Wilhelm’ patience wearing thin “Jacob is waiting; take your places in the circle”.
“Why do I ever listen to you,” Gretel moaned as she scrubbed the floor, each stroke bringing up furry-ridden sparks.
“Stop whinging, we are lucky to still have our powers.”
The door creaked “Humph” Gretel looked up to see her -their captor, at the door.
“What powers are you two whispering about?” she hobbled into the room that enslaved them, “well?”
Hansel’ voice urgent “Gretel now would be a good time-”
Gretel glared at Hansel “that’s not helping!”
She tripped over the bucket Gretel had placed strategically between her and the door, caught the soap and skidded ungracefully -finding herself as part of the crevices of the biscuit-stone walls of the gingerbread-house, before ironing herself out and dusting off the crumbs. Fuming, she edged towards the square slab Gretel was working on, her eyes red-raw; she yanked Gretel’s hair “well?” she pressed, her lips thin and threatening.
“Owww! -You’re hurting me…” Gretel held onto her hair, tears flowing freely as she bit her lips.
She tugged her hair some more “Speak child before I cast a spell so great that your brothers’ fate will seem more favourable to what will befall onto you.”
Gretel shivered at the thought and tentatively looked up at the old Witch “I –I don’t know what you are talking about”.
“Well…there was something…you two were talking, something about power-”
“Power?” Strength came to Gretel, “surely you mean prowess?” She willed, concentrating hard, “prowess –you said it yourself; how it requires such prowess.”
“Did I?” The Witch scratched her head then shook it, “-what the hell am I saying! Why am I entertaining this? -Get out of my way girl,” she walked towards the cage that held Hansel captive “boy, reach out you hand.” Hansel’ armed morphed into a skeleton as it passed through the metal bars. “This is impossible! It’s been weeks –why haven’t you fattened up?” Her old eyes and senses failing her, she could not see the magic Hansel used to trick her since their imprisonment. “I cannot wait anymore” she turned towards Gretel “Go see if the oven is hot enough”. Alarmed, Gretel glanced at Hansel; he nodded in encouragement. “I don’t have all day, get a move on girl” the Witch shoved her towards the door.
Gretel dug her heels and stopped in the doorway, she turned back into the room “I won’t be able to tell if it is hot enough”.
“Heavens child –your skills are not something to be desired. Come with me.”
Gretel followed with caution, a few steps back as the Witch advanced to the kitchen. She peered into the oven “see child it’s-” was her last words.
Gretel threw herself onto her father’s neck “promise you will not ever leave us again”.
Tears welled up around the woodcutters eyes, he hugged her tightly “I promise”.
Hansel eagerly pushed the cart and unintentionally hit his father’s knees, “you will not have to ever work again,” the woodcutter rubbed his knee as he peered over Gretel’s shoulder towards Hansel; a sack with gold coins gleamed in the sunlight.
A bewildered smile in his voice “what have you done?”
“We succeeded” Hansel beamed.
Gretel grinned too “Yes we did”.
The woodcutter stumbled backwards and sat on the dew covered grass. He looked at Hansel and Gretel with confusion “hold on a minute –what exactly do you mean by succeeded?”
“We solved the mystery surrounding our stepmother.”
Puzzled. “Your stepmother died a few days ago.”
“Exactly –mystery solved” Hansel said.
The woodcutter looked at both of his children –he looked at them for a long time. “What have I said about liars?”
“Daddy –we are not lying; the lesson’s finally paid off. We’ve been working very hard, all the clues were there –she slipped the night she locked us in our room and gave us bread and milk for supper; her eyes turned red –that was the sign-” Gretel said.
“-Your stepmother was crying all day, that’s why her eyes were red,” he shook his head as he added, “you two have listened to far too many fairytales at the Academy, this needs to stop”.
“They’re true –not stories; we had lessons on how to spot an evil Witch –stepmother fit the bill-”
“Enough! I will not have you disrespect your stepmother like this.”
Hansel and Gretel looked at each other, then at their father. “We killed a Witch a few days ago –she had the same red eyes as stepmother”.
“Witches are not real.” The woodcutter said.
Hansel sighed and dug out a thin, short stick from the cart “Then, how do you explain this?” he handed it to the woodcutter.
The woodcutter shrugged; “it’s a stick –so what?”
“Nooo!” Gretel reached for the stick “it’s a wand-”.
“-I know what it is you fool!” Gretel found herself staring into a deep-set of red eyes; she gulped and took a step back. There in front of them the woodcutter vanished as their stepmother took his place. Her cackle raised the hairs on their skin.
Head-Wizard Jacob Grimm glared down on them “if it takes a whole century for you two to recreate the story as it should be -so be it; I’ll keep you in detention until you both understand how to abide by the rules here at Brothers Grimm Academy.”
Wilhelm smiled grimly and cursed under his breath whilst still scratching his skin and pulling out more pink fluff.
Hansel looked at Gretel; Gretel glowered at Hansel as they found themselves back in the woodcutters’ house for the third time, their stepmothers’ eyes glowing red-raw as they found themselves following their makeshift-father back into the woods.
(The word count excluding the title is 1210 words –with it its 1216.)
So, that’s all for today, I will be back on Friday with a Frivolous Fun post (The next part to A Fun Game – In Your Head -you still have time to take part, just read the post and be prepared for this Friday), I hope you pop back then.
Copyright © Ozlem Yikici 2011 & Copyright © doodllz™ 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Do you love challenges? What challenges tickle your fancy? I would love to hear from you. As you already know, thoughts and comments are encouraged as always -even if it is just a word -as ‘all good discussions start with just one word’.
Pdf document: Challenge Taken – Hansel & Gretel – Our (Untold) Story
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