Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New On-Shot: "Weeping May Endure for a Night..."

Back in April during the first Camp NaNoWriMo 2014, I was scribbling a couple of stories in a notebook while also typing away on Only by Moonlight. While one of these stories was the beginning of the sequel to Evening Star (still unnamed as yet), the other was written for a TwiFic Doctorward Contest. But I didn't have time to finish the story before the June 4 deadline, so I shelved it for a while, allowing it to simmer on my mind's back burner as I worked my (rather generous) behind off teaching both online and in the classroom in addition to homeschooling two teenaged boybarians. 

When this month's Camp NaNoWriMo came around, I dusted off Doctorward and typed him up, adding a bit here and there. This past week gave him real substance, and by the time I sent him to the brilliant ladylibre, he was nearly ready for posting. She adored the story, giving me some great revisions where I got too wordy (naaah, never happens! <grin>), and stating that this one-shot was among the best stories I had ever written. Even my husband, who rarely reads my fiction, read it and really liked it, too. 

So here is the beginning of this Doctorward tale entitled "Weeping May Endure for a Night...":

Weeping May Endure for a Night…

by Cassandra Lowery

            It was nearly midnight when I finally got home. Only the darkness greeted me as I entered and locked the door of our flat behind me. By force of habit, I dropped my keys into the ceramic dish on the small entryway table. Loosening my tie, I peered into the mirror hanging over the table, barely able to see myself in the glow of the city lights shining through the open windows.
            I looked like crap. Dark shadows encircled beneath my eyes, and my face was paler than usual, bordering on haggard.
            That’s the kind of word she would have used if she were here…”haggard.”
            I turned away from the mirror and paused in the kitchen doorway. Although I had managed to skip both lunch and dinner, I knew that there was no way that I could eat tonight; the knot of pain and grief in my stomach made the mere thought of food seem repulsive. Trying to ignore the slight dizziness that accompanied my lack of sustenance, I dropped onto the sofa—our sofa. Bella had loved it at first sight, choosing it for its comfort and for its rather shabby, “homey” appearance.
            She was so wise in such things.
            Most of my colleagues’ wives were focused on spending their physician husbands’ pay as quickly as it was earned, frittering away huge sums on designer clothing and spa treatments, decorating and redecorating their expensive homes as their main occupation, and sporting the latest model BMW, Audi, or Mercedes-Benz.
            Not my Bella.
            God, I missed her.    
            I rubbed at the persistent ache in my chest.
           She had decorated our home with estate sale finds, getting up at ungodly hours nearly every Saturday morning to comb through the eclectic neighborhoods of Chicago, dragging home a bureau, a bookcase, an end table, an armchair, or some other “amazing find”—along with stacks and stacks of ancient books that she “just couldn’t resist.”
            When I objected to the number of books she trundled home, she’d grin unrepentantly and declare that it was the price I had to pay for marrying a writer.
            How I adored that mischievous grin….

I hope that you'll enjoy reading "Weeping May Endure for a Night..." on both and on

I also updated Only by Moonlight last night as well, adding Chapter 14. I'm currently working on a draft of Chapter 15, and I hope to finish drafting Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 before the close of Camp NaNoWriMo. I know that I won't reach my goal of 30,000 words being written this month, but I have written, revised, editing, and polished two pieces of writing which add up to nearly 9,000 words, revising and polishing them at least four times each. 

During August, I'll be preparing for Year #18 of home education in which I'll be teaching our high schoolers in grades 9 and 12, plus preparing for three online Brave Writer courses (two of which are new Literary Analysis classes), and two courses for our home school group's co-op Class Days, one of which is a new Shakespeare class that will require a lot of preparation. But I'm still hoping to tuck more raw writing into the corners of my days (and nights) so that when fall arrives, I am hoping not to leave you hanging for two months again! :) 

Happily writing,
~Cassandra :)  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fan Fiction Class Begins July 7!!

I am greatly looking forward to teaching the Fan Fiction class at Brave Writer this month. This will be the third summer I've taught this class, one that I proposed to Julie, the founder and owner of Brave Writerafter I started writing fan fiction novels and stories myself in late 2010. 

I have completed two Fan Fiction novels and several short stories. I have revised one Fan Fiction story into an original novella that I entered into a contest on one of the sites where I post my writings serial-style (chapter by chapter). And my third Fan Fiction novel (now in progress at 70,000 words) will also be revised into an original novel when I complete it. Many Fan Fic authors have revised their works into original fiction, several of which have climbed (and even topped!) The New York Times Bestseller List.  

Currently my Fan Fiction novels and stories have garnered nearly 3.3 million reads/views between the two sites on which I post my work. I hope to someday turn my Fan Fiction writing into true novel writing, perhaps gaining an agent and/or publisher based of the extensive platform and readership I have built through Fan Fiction.

The Fan Fiction class has been a nice size of 8-12 students in past summers; this month I have eight students thus far, but I always get a few more joining in the fun as the date for the beginning of class approaches. 

But all that aside, Fan Fiction is a wonderful way to encourage young writers in their first attempts to write stories. They already know (and love) the characters and the world(s) these characters inhabit, so it's not difficult to come up with the plot alone. 

As Julie wrote in today's Brave Writer Daily Writing Tip:

Writing tip of the day:

Dabble in fan fiction.
Pick a favorite novel or series you've read and create a fan fiction story for it. Fan fiction is a good way to start writing stories because you already know the characters and the setting; all you need to create is the plot. Also, if you choose a well-known story such as the Harry Potter series or Jane Austen novels, an eager multitude of fans is waiting to devour your story and give you helpful critique.

Don't get caught in the trap of always writing fan fiction, though! Fan fiction is a good  starting point for learning to write an action-packed story or witty dialogue, but it's not a final destination. After all, making up your own characters and setting stretches your imagination and builds your confidence. Once you've given fan fiction a try, write your own story using the skills you've learned. 
So writing Fan Fiction is a wonderful way to encourage a young and/or reluctant writer to get writing--yes, even over the summer!! The students in this class read and critique each others' stories and then are free to post their work on one of the many Fan Fiction websites (with permission of their parents, of course). 

Join us for the fun and excitement of writing our own stories based on our favorite characters from books, movies, TV, video games, etc.!! Hurry--the class begins Monday, July 7!!

Fan Fiction class at Brave Writer

Have a terrific summer, and I'll see you in the fall with new Brave Writer classes, my courses in Expository Essay and Shakespeare at Heritage's ECII Class Days, or here as I grade essays for you!! 


PS I've also joined Camp NaNoWriMo with the goal of writing 30,000 words this month--mostly for Only by Moonlight! My newest chapter is nearly ready to send to my pre-reader, so keep a look out for it soon!! Thank you for your patience!! xxxooo