Tangled Tales: The Price of Love

Read Tangled Tales – The Price of Love by Marla Todd, on Juliette King’s Vampire Maman Blog. It’s an amazing story, and I want to share it with you!

Vampire Maman

The Price of Love

a short story from Marla Todd

“He stole my heart,” she said.

I looked up at the pretty blonde woman in the pink silk blouse. She brushed back a pretty curl that had fallen across her big blue eyes. I had no time for her kind.

“I don’t deal in love potions or revenge. If you’d like I know a few other Witches I could recommend. They’re quite good.”

“You don’t understand, he literally stole my heart. I was supposed to have a transplant a few days ago and the bastard stole my new heart.”

She opened the top few buttons of her shirt to reveal a long line of stitches. “I was on the operating table, ready to have this pitiful damaged heart of mine removed, when the donor heart vanished. It literally vanished out of thin air, right there in the hospital, in front…

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IF THE TITANIC HAD SAFELY LANDED ON APRIL 16, 1912 – From Vampire Maman’s Blog

April 16, 2012 is the is the day I started the blog Vampire Maman. It also would have been the anniversary of the docking of the Titanic in New York City, if the Titanic had docked.

I have in my possession a curious bit of history. This one is real. Not fiction. It gave me the chills to read this and copy it for this post.

In a scrap book is a press release that would have gone out if the Titanic had landed safely in New York. 

Rather than throwing it out an executive employee of the White Star line put it in his scrap book. And that is where it still is. And here it is…copied exactly word for word from the White Star Line.


CONTINUE READING HERE

Feeling Sorry For The Bad Guy

For a while now, I have thought I have a twisted brain. I watch movies – and feel bad for the villain. There must be something wrong with me. Of course, I know, a villain is a villain, and all the evil in the story is coming from that end. I know, and I agree, there must be punishment. But my nature keeps considering if there wouldn’t be a ‘better’ punishment than the one they were going through…

Let me explain what I mean by providing you with a few examples:

Movie – Van Helsing

We have one ‘villain’ in that movie that my heart was bleeding for. Prince Velkan, brother to Princess Anna, was turned into a Werewolf to be used for the vampire Dracula’s dark and evil purposes. The Prince didn’t have a chance. He was shot by Van Helsing’s silver bullet and died in his sister’s arms in sunlight when he was turned back into a man.

I know, that Werewolf followed Dracula’s orders, plundered, scared, injured, and killed people! He did, what his Werewolf nature made him do.

But none of that was his fault. He was tortured by Dracula’s servant, hit, abused, hurt, injured, and had to give in to dark magic malpractice. And still, there was no happy ending for him. He died. Wasn’t that worth a few tears?


Movie – The Witches Of Eastwick

We all know him: Daryl Van Horne, bewitching three single women in the small town of Eastwick, Alexandra, Sukie, and Jane. He walks into their world and shakes up their lives. The affair between the four of them ends up in a possessive, controlling relationship that threatens to destroy the happy ‘foursome’, the population of Eastwick, and in particular, the friendship between the three women. In self-defense, Alex, Sukie, and Jane pick up the dark stranger’s dangerous magic and turn it against him in the hope of making him leave and disappear out of their lives as he had shown up. Unfortunately, his powers are far stronger than theirs, and in the process, their former ‘little devil’ shows his true face… the one of the big devil. And he fights back. With the help of a wax-doll and a kitchen fire, the three women manage to win the fight, which ends up in their opponent’s disappearance after he had melted from an over-dimensional monster into a gnarled little ridiculous caricature of himself. The big epic ‘battle’ ends with that slowly spinning, odd little gnome disappearing with a quiet ‘pop’ into nowhere, leaving back only a few sparkles. I had a lot of fun watching these scenes for the longest time, but still, I felt that tiny sting of regret to see the mighty antagonist being exposed to ridicule. I cannot explain it. I have been laughed about too often not to confuse ‘a simple joke’ with malicious exposure to ridicule, apparently even if it’s the one of a villain.


Movie – Beetlejuice

Most of us know the movie. Beetlejuice, who ‘helps’ dead people do whatever necessary to make them comfortable in their afterlife. Of course, he only helps others to gain access to the world of the living. In the movie, it’s the Maitlands he sends advertisements to, calling himself a bio-exorcist. The Maitlands are recently deceased and don’t know anything about the complicated bureaucracy in the afterlife. Desperately trying to get the new owners out of their house, they meet Lydia, the daughter. Finally, Beetlejuice is freed, only to, of course, turn everything upside-down and try to use Lydia for his advantage. In the end, Beetlejuice is sent back to the afterlife, and in the waiting room, he enrages a powerful medicine man who turns him into a shrunken head. Of course, I know how selfish and obnoxious Beetlejuice is. (By the way: what a phenomenal acting performance, Michael Keaton!). But still, I think, in this case, I ‘suffer’ from the same feeling as I do in the former example. I feel sorry for the shrunken head. It’s, in a way, so funny, but also, it’s ridiculous; and ‘poor’ Beetlejuice now has to go through eternity like that, with everyone laughing about him? I feel bad for him, and I’m not sure why…


Movie – Pride & Prejudice

Now, in Pride and Prejudice, I picked Fitzwilliam Darcy’s two proposals mainly. In the 2005 movie, the first one set up in the rain, Elizabeth Bennet rejects him mentioning his arrogance, the destruction of her sister Jane’s growing love connection to his friend Bingley, and his contempt towards Mr. Wickham. Of course, at this point, she doesn’t know the entire truth; she only believes she knows it. Elizabeth overheard Mr. Darcy talking to his friend Bingley at a ball and hurting Elizabeth’s feelings and pride. She had never even taken his timidity and the pressure and high expectations of his family and society into consideration. Without knowing him, she yells his flaws into his face and lets him stand in the rain. Having hurt Elizabeth’s feelings by saying she was ‘barely tolerable, and not beautiful enough to tempt him’ was indeed no masterstroke on Darcy’s side. Still, he didn’t know she was listening. Does that make him a ‘villain’? No, I don’t think it does. Why is he still in this blog? Well, I detested his behavior towards Elizabeth, her sister Jane, and their family (and I’m not saying he wasn’t right!). However, I still somewhat cringe to see him standing there embarrassing himself, drowning in arrogance, smug self-importance, and rainwater. Yes, for a moment, I felt the tiniest string of malicious glee. And still, I felt terrible for him. Elizabeth’s words got him off his high horse, and he was lucky not to break his neck, figuratively spoken. The following events in the movie revealed quite some truth to Elizabeth and also changed Mr. Darcy. He, the second time, carefully considered his words to propose to Elizabeth… and she accepted. ‘Changing the villain’? Maybe, in a way, even though I still wouldn’t use the expression ‘villain’ in connections with Fitzwilliam Darcy’s name. Everyone knows the bad one in this story is Wickham… and a very young, foolish sister called Lydia.


Movie – The Mummy returns

I admit, the Mummy and the Mummy Returns are a couple of my favorite movies, and if I want to be entertained without thinking much, I turn them on. Here we have Imhotep, High Priest of a Pharaoh of the old Egyptian empire, who desired the Pharaoh’s lover, Anck-sun-amun. When the Pharaoh finds out about the affair, he has them both ‘eliminated,’ together with Imhotep’s priests. Imhotep himself was killed with the most horrible of all curses, the ‘Homdai.’ Unfortunately, tomb raiders, under the seal of archeology, find the sarcophagus and bring the High Priest back into the world. All Imhotep tries to do is getting his lover, Anck-sun-amun, back. He kills some of his grave robbers by ‘sucking them dry’ to re-create himself. He brings the old Egyptian plagues back to the world and tries to kidnap Evie, who, together with Rick, tries to get Imhotep back to his grave. That plot is absolutely sufficient for two movies. In the first movie, Evie and Rick fall in love with each other; they’re married and have a son in the second one. Of course, there is a lot of magic involved, re-incarnation, and humor. And then, towards the end of the second movie, ‘The Mummy Returns,’ things get really sad for Imhotep. Remember, we watched two films in which the re-incarnated Mummy kills at will, bewitches groups of people, uses his power to kidnap, torture, scare people, and even steal a child to bring back his ancient lover. For three thousand years, he had loved her. Even in his death and eternity, he never forgot her, and finally, she’s here, with him. He did, what he had to do, what he always wanted! And then the world is crumbling around them. The temple they’re in starts to collapse. He and Rick are held by the Underworld when the ceiling starts to crash. Even though Rick yells at his wife to get out, save herself, Evie doesn’t listen. Under the highest risk of her own life, she crosses the falling temple and throws herself to the ground to pull the love of her life out of the Underworld’s claws. Imhotep has to watch the horror to see his worst opponent being saved, and he desperately calls his only love: “Anck-sun-amun! Help me!” And that selfish, shallow, dumb chick screams ‘No!!” turns around and runs for her life… (Of course, she gets what she deserves only a few seconds later, but that’s only a detail.). What’s far more significant is the immeasurable disappointment in Imhotep’s face when he finds out that his love was far more extensive than hers and that the woman he fought for has shamefully let him down. After a last look at his enemies, he surrenders and lets himself fall backward to disappear forever, where he once raised from. That disappointment, the horror on Imhotep’s face, when the truth dawned on him, that’s what made me almost cry. I know he had murdered and pillaged… and still, I feel sorry for him. What’s wrong with me?


Do you ever feel bad for a villain? Do you feel odd when you see punishments for the bad? What story is it? Tell us about it in the comments!

Submitting to Contests vs. Submitting to Magazines and Anthologies #amwriting – Written By Connie J. Jasperson

One question I frequently see in various writers’ forums, is “how can an indie get their name out there and gain fans for their work?”

WritingCraft_short-story

My answer is simple. We write short stories and submit them to magazines, anthologies, and contests.

Every time your short work is published or places well in a contest, you stand the chance of getting your name out there and it’s nice to have a little extra cash in your pocket.

Despite the changes in the publishing industry as a whole, writing short stories is still the way to get your foot in the door and increase your visibility. Anthology calls from traditional large publishing houses and reputable small and mid-size publishers that are willing to pay for your work are sometimes open to new authors.

Also, magazines that are SFWA approved regularly post open calls for submission, so it pays to check each magazine and publisher’s website for opportunities.

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Submitting to contests is good too. If you have a story that was a contest winner, you may be able to sell it to the right publication.

Writing for anthologies and contests have similar requirements. You must learn how to write to a specific length. Often, you must make use of a specific theme, one that may not be of your choosing.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Medieval Name Generators – Written By Nicholas C. Rossis

You may recall my previous posts on naming your characters (Old Anglo-Saxon Character NamesFree Online Character Name Generators, and Naming your Characters the Easy Way).

There is now a new character naming tool on Reedsy, the Medieval Name Generator

If you’re struggling to come up with your own medieval name, that’s what this medieval name generator is for. Having stood the test of time, these medieval names now stand at the ready for your use.

Here are some tips for you to consider while using this medieval name generator:

  • Experiment with the spelling of the name. The language was changing in the medieval period and what’s exciting is that many forms of a given name might exist. For your reference, this medieval name generator uses the standardized spelling of the name.
  • Consider the meaning of the surname when using a medieval name. Surnames in the Middle Ages were greatly significant and could describe professions, places, trades, nationalities, or statuses.
  • Depending on the background of your character, you may want to explore several regions in the Middle Ages. This medieval name generator will equip you with medieval names from Old Norse, Old Roman, Old Old Celtic, and Old English cultures.

CONTINUE READING HERE

The Why and How of Choosing a Genre – Written By Jenny Hansen

on Writers in the Storm:

Over the last few years, I’ve thought a lot about genre. The differences between them and why and how we choose our preferred genre to write in. Some writers are solidly in a certain genre camp and others straddle two or more genres.

Examples of popular “straddlers” – The Hunger Games series, the Outlander series, books by J.D. Robb.

I believe one of the reasons many authors have moved to genres like young adult (YA) or women’s fiction (WF) is that the definitions of those two transcend traditional genres. For example, in addition to the other straddling achieved by the Hunger Games series, it is also classified as YA because of the age of the main character. (YA protags are usually in the 14-21 range.)

Continue reading HERE

Nods, Smiles, and Frowns: How Can We Avoid “Talking Heads”…and Cliches? – Written By Jami Gold

on Writers Helping Writers:

Context is often an underappreciated element of our writing because when notdone well, a context-filled passage can become a tell-not-show info dump. However, context is essential for most aspects of writing, from attributing dialogue and establishing stakes to evoking emotions and anchoring readers within a setting.

For that last situation, without context to “set the scene,” readers can struggle to visualize and fully immerse themselves in our stories. So let’s dig into this idea: How can we set the scene throughout our story and avoid common problems?

Continue reading HERE