Saved by the box

A: You’ve been saved, D.

D: Pray tell, how.

A: Well, I was just going to reblog my post from the Community Storyboard, from Day 10 of the Creative Writing Challenge.

D: You mean that bit of writing I see at the bottom, here?

A: Uh huh.

D: And how have you saved me, really?

A: I was inspired.

D: No, I know you better than this. You haven’t written a word of my book. You are less than inspired, woman. You’re stalling.

A: Okay, busted. I am just stalling. But, watch this space, as the story below actually has an ending, thanks to Green Embers inquiring about the contents of the box.

D: Uh huh.

A: And I’ll get to your story D – we’re heading into the grand finale of Book 1. It’s tough stuff. You want me to do this well, right?

D: After 10 years, I’d settle for a hack job if it meant it was done.

A: The first go was a hack job, remember?

D: Hm. Fine, you’ve made your point. Get inspired. Have fun writing. Leave me to wither and die.

A: And on that note, enjoy “McMurphy’s Little Box!”

The Druid Tells the tale

Because obviously, A is to busy writing things that aren’t my book to do it.

A:  Chill pill, D.

D: Quiet, woman, I’m telling the tale! Stop by Ionia & the Readful Things for some sweet singing of praises–

A: I think that’s some twittering tweets, D.

D: I like my way better.

A: You always like your way better.

D: And . . . ? Ionia has a few tweets (happy, A?) for some fellow scribes and their work. Stop by, and sing like a bird!

For the writers out there, Writers in the Storm has come across tools that highlight how many times you use certain words or phrases. It’s a fascinating article and one I think A should read, with interest. Her overuse of the words ‘eyes’ alone is embarrassing.

A: Cheers, D. By the way, we found the blog (which is fabulous) and the article by way of Melissa Janda, the Buzz on Writing (who is also fabulous).

Finally, both D and I would like to thank the lovely Briana Vedsted, of When I Became an Author, for making us her Blogger Spotlight. Thank you, Briana – we are so pleased to have you as part of our world! You make it a brighter place.

A invites the audience’s participation

I have a confession to make: the story below was inspired, in part, by McMurphy’s Mansion, an old DOS game. It’s a bit of a sideways look, but I think I’m going to have fun with the conclusion. So, question for the crowd – ever play McMurphy’s Mansion, or have another DOS-based game that was your pride and joy?

McMurphy’s Little Box

o1v2rQcN2XENQ7tXvDsQHw“She touched the little box in her pocket and smiled, Mom, I know it.”

Megan waited for her mother to respond, but Jenny Ballard was too engrossed in her novel to do more than nod.

“Mom! Mom, you aren’t even listening to me!”

“Meghan darling, how do you know Mrs. Gregory even had a box in her pocket?” Her mother didn’t look up from the book.

“She wears tight pants, Mom. It was hard to miss.”

Jenny suppressed a sigh.

Meghan grinned. She knew that would get her mother’s attention. She tried not to grin too much as her mother slid a piece of paper between the pages of her book.

“Alright, so there’s a box. But how do you know she was smiling? And what were you doing spying on the neighbors, again?”

“I wasn’t spying! It’s not my fault that I happened to be washing the front windows while she happened to be leaving Mrs. McMurphy’s house!”

Her mother arched a single eyebrow in her direction. “And so the binoculars are. . . ?”

“Dad’s,” Meghan said, glib. “He’s taken up birding.”

Jenny rolled her eyes. “So Mrs. Gregory was with Mrs. McMurphy. She’s her caretaker, honey. I’m not sure how this translates into a tale of mystery and intrigue.”

“Well, she’s either robbing Mrs. McMurphy blind, or they’re setting it up so that the kids get nothing when the old broad dies.”

“Meghan Ballard! What in heaven’s name have you been reading?! You don’t go around calling Mrs. McMurphy an old broad?”

“Dad does.”

“Your father–“

“You know Mrs. McMurphy is wealthier than anyone in town. John Townsend says she has gold bricks hiding in that mansion of hers.”

Jenny sighed. “John Townsend doesn’t know anything about the McMurphys. That family is just sour grapes because they used to work for Old Mr. McMurphy.”

Meghan avoided her mother’s eyes. “So, Mrs. McMurphy isn’t giving all her jewels to Mrs. Gregory now so the kids won’t find ‘em, and Mrs. Gregory won’t have to pay the taxes on ‘em?”

Jenny laughed. “If that’s what she’s doing, then more power to her. Her children are a heartless lot. Mrs. Gregory is the only one who spends any time with her – tight pants or no, young lady.”

“I suppose. But Mom, my story was more fun.”

“Perhaps – perhaps not. Maybe you should ask Mrs. Gregory to invite you to tea with her and Mrs. McMurphy. I think the two of them have some stories of drama and intrigue that really happened. Those may be better than anything you can cook up.”

Meghan scowled. How had her gossip turned into a morality tale? There was no getting around it now, though.

“Besides,” her mother picked up the book and looked at her over the edge. She was smiling. “Now I want to know what was in the little box, too!”


Published by Katie Sullivan

Descended of pirates and revolutionaries, Katie Sullivan is a lover and student of all things Irish. Born in the States, she is a dual US/Irish citizen, and studied history and politics at University College, Dublin – although, at the time, she seriously considered switching to law, if only so she could attend lectures at the castle on campus. She lives in Milwaukee with her daughter, two cats and a pesky character in her head named D (but you can call him Dubh). Her first series, The Changelings Saga, a young adult historical fantasy trilogy is available on Amazon. She can be found writing with said character at her blog, The D/A Dialogues.

16 thoughts on “Saved by the box

  1. I’m trying to picture Jenny suppressing a sigh. I don’t think I’ve heard that one before. Very creative! I’m wondering what it’s sounding like in my mind’s ear. A whimper? A squeak? I’m hearing a squeak! 🙂


    1. I like to think of it as the inhalation for a sigh (usually through the nose), but then just swallowing it, or letting it out so slowly and quietly that it doesn’t really make the full “whoosh” of air. But that’s only when its done intentionally. If someone is forced to supress the sigh, then squeeks are totally allowed.

      PS: I saw Indy as a zombie and cried. I have to go over and read that post, but it looks both scary and awesome!


      1. Ah, so that’s how it sounds. I was missing the part where they’re inhaling air through the nose. And, yes, “whoosh” is totally not in the equation!

        Indy as a zombie…I know, I know… 🙂


      2. Maybe the way I “hear” it is just another way of saying “inhaled sharply” or somesuch… I’m kinda like Clara and the Tardis. Instead of saying it’s bigger on the inside, she says its smaller on the outside!


      3. Ha! I like that. Smaller on the outside–I gotta remember that one. Have you ever seen Everybody Loves Raymond? There’s Robert, he’s Raymond’s brother, a giant of a man. Sometimes he gets so nervous that he has to stop for a moment, bend with his hands on his knees and take a massive breath in, but we never hear him expel the breath out. It’s quite a fascinating study to say the least. And also hilarious! 🙂


    1. It’s a fun one – never won it, but I downloaded a program that will run DOS-based programs in Windows, so if ever I have time (hahahahhaha!) I may try my hand at it. Mine is a sideways look at it!


    1. I gave them a really quick spin. I liked the first one they mentioned better – the information was a little more parsed out (I use Microsoft’s editing tools to see how long my sentences are).

      Of course, I use dialogue quite a bit (go figure! 🙂 ), so names, and honorifics are quite prevalent in the writing. That said, there were quite a few words that I’d like to highlight through the doc to see if they’re really needed. I’m always looking for ways to tighten my writing. So long as I don’t micromanage myself with the tool, I think it might be useful.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: