This is Clamillda My Baby Word-Count Dragon…

Photo Credit : mightykatara deviant art

Hello Everyone,

It’s only two days till NaNoWrimo begins and I have decided to find something that would push me to write everyday. I am going to reward myself everyday by doing something for myself. I need to start going to the gym… so, that will be one of the things that I will poke Johan and I to do.

This adorable little creature in the photograph is my word-count dragon. And through out November you will see her glow, glitter, and grow.

I just recently read something on the Nano site about word-count dragons and how you have to keep writing because YOUR wordcount feeds your dragon… and well, we all know what happens when you don’t feed your dragon. You end up with an antsy, grumpy, and fiesty fire blowing or ice blowing dragon, depending on what kind of dragon they are. (who may just eat you, if you aren’t careful.)

I have decided to name my dragon Clamillda. She is a gold-ish pink dragon that lives in the mountains near the sea villages in the country of my story. At the moment she is just a baby (I am sure you can tell… hehe). But her mother has been missing in action. She was the fearless beast that ravaged treasures and ancient lands golden ceremonial ground. The pirates off the coast hunted her down in search for their treasure – they were quite sick of arriving at empty treasures. They found the mother and killed her, but have yet to find her cache of gold or little Clamillda. Will they find her?

Add me on NaNoWrimo and I will be your buddy too.

What about you? What is your Word-Count Dragon’s name? Tell me their story?

 

The Collectibles

The Collectibles

by: Devin Berglund
Four were still needed to complete his collection. He had already collected a few. They looked at him from on top of his desk. He gently tapped each of them on the head with his crooked finger. Their heads bobbed back and forth to life until they weren’t moving anymore. He laughed and grabbed his white phantom mask and his black cape before leaving the house.
****
Earlier Adriana, Justice, and I helped Mom string the fake cobwebs from one side of the room to the other, but some had to be real, because this house had been vacant for a long time. The wooden steps creaked as I made my way down the stairs. The Jack-O’lantern in front of the door reminded me of my last Halloween Party many years ago. One could barely compare it to this party though because my last one was a 5th grade party in our classroom where three of my classmates came wearing the same costume as me.

Most of my childhood memories were of playing with kids we had just met in RV parks and studying on the road. I think that is why Dad decided to have a Halloween themed house warming party. He felt it would be an exciting event for us. He was right, but I think he felt bad we hadn’t had the pleasure of slumber parties with friends and school plays like most other children had. My cat sneaked up and rubbed her head on my leg while looking at me before disappearing down the steps.

I looked over the banister and tip toed down the rest of the steps into the music room where Adriana’s harp and Justice’s guitar sat in one corner. Mom had placed some new furniture in the other corner just to make sure that people wouldn’t think our house was empty. The pumpkin pie scented candles flickered. Where did everyone go? I asked myself. Suddenly loud music started drumming through the door leading to the backyard patio.

Oh, maybe they are outside. I answer my own question. My high-heel shoes clink on the wooden floor as I reach the kitchen. A knock came from the front door.

“I’m coming.” I pulled the door open to find a tall slender man with a black cane in his right hand. He resembled the Phantom of the Opera with a black cape, white gloves, and a matching mask.

“Uhh, hi!”

“Hello Tessa! How have you been” his voice was deep. He leaned in while speaking to me.

“Hi…uhh, good…” I tried to hide the uncomfortable feeling that was rising inside of me, so I bit my lip.

“Who are you?” I cocked my head to the side. His eyes were surrounded by the darkness inside his mask.

“I was the music and choir teacher at Lake County Middle School. Your brother attended many of my classes.” He offered his hand for me to shake. The hair on the back of my neck stood up straight. I was experiencing the same instinctive feeling that I imagined the cave men in my history book had felt when a saber-tooth tiger stalked them. Fight or Flight. I shook his hand. He gripped my hand tightly while smiling, and didn’t let go.

“Yes, that sounds a lot like Justice.” I said while shaking his hand awkwardly. I resisted the urge to rip my hand from his clutches and slam the door in his face. I need to be polite, but something is strange with this man, I need to find everyone else.

“Speaking of which, I need to go find him and my sister.” Chills crawled up my spine as he let go of my hand.

“But it was nice meeting you again. I think they’re on the patio.” I smiled while pointing towards the door. I heard him behind me as I slid the patio door open, my cat ran out.

I escaped to the patio after my cat while covering my eyes from the blazing torches on the edge of the grass. The music was blaring so loudly, that my ear drums were ringing. I hit the power button as silence filled the patio.

“How can you all stand the music this loud?” I said as everyone sat around the table quietly as though they didn’t hear me. I recognized my mom in her Cruella de Vill costume, but something was wrong with her face. Her mouth was gaping open, her cheeks were hallow under her skin. Her eyes were blood-shot and her skin was pale and it wasn’t from the make-up on her face. I ran up to my mother and set my head on her chest.

No heart beat.

“Mom! Come on, you can’t do this to me!” All the others around the table had the same sullen and frightened look on their faces. I wiped a tear from the corner of my eye. No one was moving. Who are all these people, I wondered while I backed away from the table. Someone did this to them. Where is everyone else? I looked around for the Phantom, but he was no where to be seen. I thought he followed me out here.

My heart pounded faster. It felt like the world was shrinking around me, entrapping me like a snowman in a snow-globe. I couldn’t see anyone moving or hiding in the trees, but as I turned my head I saw a shadow run across the yard toward the garden shed – it was my cat. I jumped when I heard the steps creak and ran toward the shed where my cat was sitting.

“Kitty, Kitty…” I called. My cat would have usually responded when I called her, but she didn’t. Instead she sat there with her fur on end, while oddly purring calmly. Her tail went slowly back and forth without shifting her tranced stare from the second storey bedroom window.

“Psst…” a quiet voice from behind the shed called to me. I turned to see who it was.

“Jason? Is that you?” I remembered him, but his face had changed a lot since the last time I had seen him. He became my first crush when he helped me hide my string-beans in my milk container at the cafeteria for lunch.

“Yes, it is me. Come here!”

“What is going on?” I kicked off my high heel shoes and ran toward him, “Do you know where my brother and sister are?”

“No, but someone here can not be trusted.”

“Do you know who?”

“Not really, but he had a white mask and gloves.”

I gasped as the face of the Phantom came to my mind. He was the last person I had spoken to and fit Jason’s description perfectly.

“So what are we going to do now?”

“Escape?”

“What about my brother and sister?”

“They probably already escaped with some of the other people, while I hid here.”

“Do you know what happened?”

“Just a little. I hid to see what was happening, and wish I hadn’t seen it. The Phantom was back here. When he lifted his cane, everyone around the table screamed, but it was covered with the blaring music.”

The patio’s door slid open as I hid behind the shed with Jason. I peeked out and saw the Phantom. He walked to the table and chuckled at the people. He started humming to himself and turned to look the other way. Jason and I ran to another clump of trees when all of a sudden pain shot through my legs and I couldn’t move them anymore. Jason grabbed one of his legs too.

“I can’t move.” He whispered.

“I know… I can’t either.” I felt like I was running in a nightmare, but couldn’t get away from the evil that was chasing me. I peeked to see if the Phantom was still on the patio.

“He was no longer there!” I gasped, “Where did he go?”

“Right here, dearie.” A hauntingly familiar voice responded as I looked back at Jason, who was now in the Phantom’s arms. His white gloved hand covered Jason’s mouth muffling his screams.

“Oh silence.” The man spoke.

“What do you want?”

“You… Tessa. All of you kids.” He stretched his cane out towards me, my head spun. Everything around me became larger. I must have been thrown into my snow-globe after all.

****
His collection was finally complete.

“It’s a pity you don’t know how talented you are.” He spoke to them.

But the time would come for them to know their destiny, but for now they were mere collectibles that sat on his desk approving his future plans whenever he’d bobble their heads. When he’d need them, he’d call on them and they would obey.

© 2012 Devin Berglund 

Writers Can Learn MORE From Television Shows…

Photo Credit : The Walking Dead – AMC

__________________

Writers Can Learn MORE From Television Shows
Than Just Procrastinating From Writing

I am fond of certain television shows.

Do you have your shows that you love watching?

Are you a writer and do you enjoy watching certain television shows?

Do you ever wish you were as good of a writer as some of those script writers?

Do you want to know how to write like those script writers that can pull you into their story as easy as a witch waving her wand?

If you answered yes, I know a few points and hints that may help you!

The shows I have found myself drawn into are The Walking Dead, Switched At Birth, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars.

INTRIGUE & PASSION

There are funny moments in a show where I am sitting on the edge of my seat with my nails tearing the cushion because of the conflict in the writing. I know exactly when more conflict will enter the story. It’s as soon as good things start happening to characters.

eg. 24 – This show isn’t running anymore, but I have been watching it with Johan lately and when ever the characters have a chance of being safe or getting what they want. It is then, at that very moment that something bad happens. (MISSION: What does your character want Most?” In the first season, Jack Bauer’s wants his wife and daughter and when they are one step closer to being back together together what happens?

Something causes them to be seperated for longer. This reminds me of what Best-Time-Selling Author Steven James once told a bunch of writers at a Writer’s Conference, “What does your character want most? When you figure that out – tear that “Wanted” thing or person away from your character.”

“What does your character want most? When you figure that out – tear that “Wanted” thing or person away from your character.”

Television writers are really good at this. I hadn’t always been into tv shows, but it makes me happy that I can see the conflict coming. In your writing you want to make the readers so happy that your father character and daughter character are about to be united again… but then, WHACK you need to throw your readers for a ride. Oh, Oh… She gets kidnapped again? NOooo…

This also is a great way to build conflict and pace your story! AND not to mention it will make your readers continue reading. :)

I have made up a list of some things I don’t like about some screen-writers: (Things that can push a reader/watcher away from a story)

Pushy or preachy (Pretty Little Liars) (Mr. Brooks) Shows and movies like this cause problems in my mind… they deal with things that are not okay in society and make them seem like they are okay. Like in Mr. Brooks, the pov character is a serial killer, and throughout the whole movie it makes you feel like you are the killer…

And with Pretty Little Liars, I have already posted on that one day… I hate how they are pushy with gay stuff. I mean there are shows with gays that I have watched and been able to keep watching – but I think what bugs me so badly here is that I really love the story because it is well written, but then they throw in a gay girl and only have one pair of glasses and that is a fully accepting view. It bugs me because I do not agree with that…

I don’t like watching things that make me feel icky and bad for the next few weeks… I like reading, watching, and writing things that make a person walk away from the show, story, or book with a good feeling.

I have found these are some really important things to stay away from if you want to keep your readers. :)

  1. What are some things that you like and dislike about television shows
  2. What are your favorite shows?
  3. What can watching tv shows do to help you with your writing? 

Be Blessed x

Devin Berglund <- I enjoy walking through gardens, having picnics and spending time with my boyfriend Johan. I find old train stations to be romantic and I love to writing about everything from my journey in Australia, my writing, and life. Follow my blog and twitter. I’m also on facebook! This month I’m working on my 1st novel in a trilogy. I’ll also be participating in NaNoWrimo. Add me as a buddy if you are also participating! I love meeting new people, especially writers. Add me and I will add you back! Can’t wait to get to know you all. Be Blessed! x

Dead-lines, NaNoWrimo, and (my thoughts)

Hello Everyone,

Brisbane has been blooming like crazy! It’s so nice to see all the green shades in the trees and such a huge variety of flowers blooming everywhere. It’s so beautiful, but one thing that has been hard is the freakishly humid weather. It’s hot enough without the humidity, but then when mother nature adds on the humidity it drives me CRAZY in the morning. It’s like a never ending sauna and being a girl from Minnesota – I still haven’t climatized to always being sweaty. This morning I woke in a sweat and rushed to the shower. About 5 minutes after that shower, I wish I could have taken another one. Yes, humid… like that!

Besides writing here and there – I’ve entered a Halloween Writing Short Story, which I am excited about. This week I will continue my search for a job, and will attempt to write 10,000 or so words by Friday. (current WIP word count is 44,730) I am going to find some places I can freelance at and send a few articles in whether to get paid for or just for the experience so I have more to add to my portfolio.

NaNoWrimo

Who all here is participating in NaNoWrimo? If you are please click on the link and add me as a NaNoWrimo Writing Buddy!

This is a Jacaranda Tree… Isn’t it pretty? :)

Purple Trees and Prayer

The picture to the right is of the Jacaranda tree that I was talking about up above. Isn’t it pretty? It’s so beautiful. Johan told me about a tale that most people say which is “If a Jacaranda bloom falls on your head, you will do good on your exams.” He also told me that whenever the Jacaranda’s are blooming people will always say, “It’s getting close to exam time.”

Speaking of a flower falling on one’s head – Johan and I were walking under a Jacaranda Tree and I jumped up and grabbed a purple flower off the branch. I  set it on Johan’s head.

Guess what he got on his exam? A 7, which is an equivalent to an American A!!!! :) Yes, okay I guess I am being a proud girlfriend and bragging a little bit! haha… oh well… he deserves it! :)

This photo reminds me that I have been sorta slack in taking photos lately, so I am deciding that from now on I am going to take my camera on daily walks (since I don’t have a dog or a cat… which by the way, I really miss having a cat.) and I will share a little of my life in Brisbane with you all.

If you all could keep me in your prayers… I want to find a job here so that I could stay longer so Johan and I don’t have to be split by the ocean again. We survived it once and could do it again, but it would be best if we didn’t have to. So please pray for God’s favour and his will. :)

I just got an ebook called the 90-Day Novel, and I found some of the questions in the book to be thought provoking. I will answer some of the questions throughout the next few months.

“One thing I feel strongly about…”

I feel strongly about the truth, about life, blessings, and choosing the life that God created for you, not the fake reflections that we see in Satan’s warped mirrors. It is important for me to tell as many people as I can about the two walks of life that we can choose. There is a ‘narrow-gate’ and a ‘wide-gate” and we have to choose. One leads to life and one leads to death. It’s from a Bible verse. :) That is kind of what my current WIP’s theme will follow. But it is something that I am passionate about. :)

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14

I also feel strongly about this in life, not just in writing. That is why sometimes I share my beliefs and thoughts on political things and current events happening in our world today. There are many people out there who don’t know the difference between world views, candidates, and I know there are some out there who are not going to vote because they believe their voices don’t matter.

I really don’t like it when I post something about the truth and then a bunch of people comment looking for a fight. I want to spread the truth that people do have voices and a reason for living. They can make a difference in the world, in their country, and in their family and friends lives. Even in a stranger’s life.

One day while in the City, I was shopping in a clothing store and saw this woman when I glanced up from a clothing rack. She was working there hanging up new merchandise. I smiled and continued to look around. To tell you the honest truth – I felt like ‘crud’ that day. I had no makeup on and was feeling blagh.
“Excuse me, mam’ I just wanted to tell you, you have a beautiful smile. and it made my day!” It amazed me, because I hadn’t been going out of my way to change a person’s life. But rather, each thing we do – big or little affects us and those around us.

Hope you all have a great day!! :) Celebrate LIFE!

  1. What do you feel strongly about? 

You’re Growing Like A Weed. Reality Is Even Peter Pan Had To Grow Up.

My little brother Tony, Me, and my baby sister

Are there ever days you wish you could go back in time? So you could be a little kid again?

I know I do!

Especially these days when there are so many big huge decisions that will need to be decided. Way back when I was younger I couldn’t wait to grow up, and now I wish I could just be a little kid again.

No cares… just running around with my sister and brother. Playing outside in the snow during the winter time until dark – till we started feeling the snow melt through our snow pants giving us wet butts. Playing Barbie dolls with my sister. Skating outside with Tony and Cassidy. Ice Skating on the frog pond behind our house in the winter.

Today I just wanted to put up a blog post full of pictures and memories since I am giving away those two journals and am announcing the winners today at the bottom of the blog post.

I loved my childhood so much and I think I took it for granted on how lucky I was/am. Being abroad has shown me that even more than ever.

Daddy and I. I am wearing Daddy’s hunting hat.

I think about how lucky I am to have two parents who love me so much they would do anything for me. Telling me I can do anything I set my heart on. Which is so true.

It’s sad though because as I grew up – I found not everyone grew up in the same type of atmosphere as I had. Not everyone grew up in a home with two parents who loved them.

I am so thankful to God that he placed me with MY Momma and Daddy. And that I have such awesome little siblings – I feel that I have been one of the luckiest girls alive. To have a brother and sister who I call my best friends.

Me, Tony, and Cassidy last year at Thanksgiving! :)

Grandma Doris playing the guitar.

Then my mind also gets home sick for people who are no longer on earth with us today. One being my Grandma Doris.

If I squeeze my eyes shut tightly I remember the first apartment building she lived in (that I can remember, which wasn’t her first apartment of course.) I remember walking in the front door of the apartment complex, running up the three sets of stairs, with the unique smell of apartment and amazing food combined. Grandma would always be waiting with the door open. She would be excited with a huge grin and smiling eyes. Daddy would say “Howdy!”…. It was almost like a tradition for him to say “Howdy!”. :) I remember him saying it every time. Grandma would lean down and fill me and my siblings with kisses.

I remember on Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas we’d watch parades on the television. In the morning she would make us the best cinnamon toast. She made it perfect. To this day, I still can’t make it as good as she had.

Her voice is in my head just as though she had spoken to me yesterday. For lan’s sake or Uffda were two big phrases she used. I remember an embroidered sign hanging near her keys in her kitchen reading  ‘UFFDA’… Ever since I have loved that word and anyone who knows me… knows I use that word in an abundance.

It’s just hard to believe today many years after she has passed that I still miss her and that I can’t see her even though I want to. I remember her smell, voice, face, and smile. A face that I know I will see again someday.

Grandpa Dennis and Tony playing with toy guns! :P

Another face I find myself missing a lot of, is my grandpa. (My Mom’s Dad) He was always such a joker and always knew how to make me laugh.

I remember when we would go to visit for Christmas the feeling of “FUN” that would wash over me and my siblings as we got to go stay with Grandma and Grandpa. I remember it just like yesterday.

We pull up in their driveway. Grandpa is at the door looking out. Waiting for us. As soon as my Dad turns off the car, Grandpa comes out to help us bring our stuff inside. After getting everything in he would grab us in hugs reminding us how we were growing like weeds and that he wished he could put a brick on our heads to make us stop growing. (Thinking back… that would have been nice… but I know that Neverland doesn’t exsist and that in reality… Peter Pan had to grow up.)

I remember the adventures we got to go on with Grandpa. And it’s just really hard to think he isn’t here. I miss him a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The journal winners include:

(I need you both to respond to this blog entry in order to win… also I will need your addresses… so please email me at devinberglund(at)live(dot)com and I will send you the journal! :)

  1. Rob Holliday
  2. Abby (I don’t know your last name or blog address…) but you posted on my blog on the 28th of September

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  1. What do you miss about your childhood?
  2. Is there a moment in your life you wish you could go back to? Would you go about it differently?
  3. If you never had to grow up, which age would you like to be forever?

A pointy hat + magic wand + flying broom = A Cliche Witch

Halloween is coming upon us soon. I have been writing and searching for jobs lately – so, I haven’t been able to update my blog and actually write something other than the contest updates for the October short story contest here. But today, I want to write about something that has been on my mind a lot lately… During Halloween you see them dressed with pointy hats. They are flying on brooms with their black cat side-kick and are yielding a magic wand. We see them having warts on their faces like the witch in the cartoon Snow White. And others we see with completely green faces like in The Wizard of Oz. 

Thinking back as far as I can to my first few Halloween’s I know I’ve always been fond of the story idea of witches. It makes me think of the many years I dressed up as a witch for Halloween and went door to door on crisp October evenings with my brother, sister and our friends. Ah, what a fun time… wish I could go back to that and relive it.

I don’t believe in ‘real’ witches who are practicing things in the occult. But, I do find something mysterious and lovely about the fantasy stories involving witches (a completely different thing than those in real life.), but only when they are done well.

Witches are over rated usually – just like vampires in the latest vampire hype. (and to tell you the truth… I hate that… I hate that some authors copy the author who came up with the idea and then afterwards you see a bazillion like-twilights or like-harry potters or like-50 shades. Like really, what happened to originality?)  I know there are a few well done examples where writers have actually done extremely good jobs.

I want to be like that – to break the cliche witch that many stories have. And instead bring to life some crazy unique witches that have a spell-binding story in the air that they breathe, causing readers to love, but hate them at the same time.

In my novel The Mason of Hearts, There are  three witches. These three girls are all quite different, but yet are all in it together. Three sisters start out their journey innocently.

One thing I have found tricky while writing my witches to life is dealing with today’s story witches. The magical powers that you find all over fantasy stories from Disney, The Sword in the Stone, and even Harry Potter.

Finding an actual model of this type of witch is hard to do.

Two witches done well – Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter and The White Witch from The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. Those are the two witches I think that actually spell-bind their readers in the way that I want to do to my readers. I think they were written wonderfully. Another one that I can think of is the head witch from Roald Dahl’s book The Witches. She frightened me so much as a child.

Photo Credit : Ebay

While writing the witches in my story I want to create something that hasn’t been done before.

I want to make them out side of the box witches unlike any others.

I don’t want their powers to be repeats of the authors before me. I don’t want to use the witch that makes all enemies weapons steaming hot or the witches that melt after water is put on them. I want them to stand out. Just as Bellatrix and The White Witch stuck out to me.

  1. Do any of your stories involve witches? Or magic? And how do you avoid the cliche ‘witch’ or fantasy creature that are all over the publishing world today? 

The Contest

Day 9 – October Writing Contest                                                                                 Photo Credit : http://pinterest.com/pin/190136415488813133/

Join the Fun!

The Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza

All you have to do is:

  1. Use the photo to break through the surface and give you echoes of a story
  2. Write a smashing hauntingly amazing short story.
  3. When you finish the story, send it to Devin at devinberglund (at) live (dot) com.
  4.  And the winners will win something and don’t worry – I think up awesome surprises. :)
  5. Are you ready to join us in this journey??

To see the winners from last year, check out these links.

Emily Kunkel – The Farmhouse 
Abigail Anderson – The Monster Inside of Me

Everyday I will upload a new hauntingly beautiful, slightly creepy, and enchanting photograph to my facebook page for your inspiration. Please check it everyday and see if you are prompted to write a short story that has something to do with the photo you picked. It doesn’t have to be word for word what you see – it just has to be creative and creepy since October is the month of Halloween.

I really enjoyed this last year! Once you have written it you may send it to my email with the Subject Box filled in as “Short Story Extravaganza” You have the whole month of October to do this. Have fun!!

Slaying The 7 Deadly Sins…

Hello Everyone,

I have been really busy writing lately. Blog posts and my book. Check out Blue Monkey Writing to see my latest post on how writers can slay the 2 twin witches (Gluttony and Sloth) which is the first of a blog series on how writers can combat the 7 deadly sins.

Since it is October, I have 3 months left in Australia and it is really scary, because I don’t want to have to go and be away from my boyfriend. I really like being in the same city as him and to have the kind of choice to be able to see him whenever. So, please keep me in your prayers as I will be doing some major job searching in the next for weeks.

Other than writing, I have been holding an October Writing Contest called ” The Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza Writing Contest”

 

Rules:

Check out new pictures for the Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza Writing Contest!!! It isn’t too late to join! All you must do is use one of the pictures or a few to prompt you in your writing. And then write a short story. :) You have until the end of October and then send it to me at devinberglund (at) live (dot) com to have a chance at winning the contest! :) I have prizes! :)

http://pinterest.com/devinberglund/the-haunting-october-short-story-extravaganza/

 

Also, Sometime this week I will have the journal winners up and announced. :)

Well, I better go! But talk to you all soon!

God Bless,

Devin