Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Yelling in Vain

Whew. What a week of television. The Walking Dead had another terrific episode. Thoroughly enjoyed the hijinks with Rick and Daryl. Something tells me it's the calm before the storm.

Well, the X-Files disappointed many fans, but I actually loved having it back for its limited run. That said, what a craptastic cliffhanger. Geez. But, my other shows amped up the goods. The Magicians is truly becoming a quick favorite. And Lost Girl will be so missed, which I say all the time. Then there's Bitten, another favorite I wish would continue onward. *sigh*

The Flash revealed something I totally didn't expect. Now I can't wait to see what happens. I'm totally loving the shared universe with characters popping up on other shows. More on that later. Agent Carter has one more episode, which is awesome! I thought last week was the finale. Sadly, I'm not holding much hope we'll get another season, but fingers are crossed anyway.

Arrow keeps blowing my mind. And it's in a great way. That said, I'm looking forward to Malcolm getting his comeuppance. If that doesn't happen, I'll be sorely disappointed. And, well, other things need to happen, too. Just saying.

Legends of Tomorrow, again, changed things up. I thought it was very cool to see future Star City, even in crazy disarray. Shades of things to come perhaps? Eh, who knows? Arrow may only get one more season after this one.

I watched the Blindspot marathon Saturday. Really like the show. Too bad it's on NBC, my most hated network ever. I pretty much refuse to watch anything on the channel. So, looks like I'll be watching Blindspot when it's on another channel or via Netflix or Amazon Prime.

And that's it for TV this week.

Tonight's post is from Yelling in Vain, a novella that got its start with the prompt challenge of writing a story around a main character that's almost through training when a fellow cadet loses their life. The other main characters comes into the story as an investigator.

Here's the mini-blurb:

After an accident that takes the life of a fellow cadet, Lora Seaves falls back on her combative attitude to keep it together. Jestin Warbly has to decide whether or not Lora is cracking up or okay to fly. He's got one big problem… a powerful attraction for the rookie pilot clouds his judgment.

And a sneaky peek…

Lora Seaves banked her plane in deep space and maneuvered around the obstacle representing an asteroid. Her peripheral vision caught the change before her brain did. Turning, she opened her mouth to call out a warning over comms, but no sound emerged.
The collision happened too fast.
A heartbeat later, she remembered her training. "Base. Whipcord. Badger's KIT. His ship exploded on impact." Into a million pieces or more.
Reaction set in and Lora blinked, trying to clear the visual. Her reflexes sluggish, she followed protocol and fired her thrusters, lifting up and over the crash to mark the site. She couldn't leave until the recovery team launched, but some distance helped ease the churning of her stomach and the shiver of shock she couldn't shake.
"Whipcord. Base. Rec team launched. Return to base when they arrive."
Lora auto-responded. "Copy, base. Return when they arrive." She'd have to debrief and explain what happened.
Except she had zero clue. The collision happened so damned fast; she only caught the flash of the explosion then the aftermath of Badger's ship debris floating in space. A kick of remorse hit hard. She'd liked Brad German, aka Badger. His sense of humor had a wicked twist to it and Lora appreciated the often sarcastic tone he used.
Used. Geez. Her hand shook on the joystick and her ship wobbled.
She straightened it up, getting a grip on her spiraling emotions. "Get a hold of yourself, Seaves. Can't lose your shit now."
"Whipcord, recover ship. Did you say something?"
Damn. She'd left her comms open. Way to go, dumb ass.
Lora responded. "Recovery, that's a negative. Chatting to myself out here."
Lieutenant Rhodes, the lead search and rescue pilot, chastised. "Cut the chatter, Whipcord. Radio silence until we're on site. Two minutes out." She ended the communiqué abruptly.
Lora switched her comms off. "Stupid cow. Not like I've ever experienced something like this before." Or ever wanted to again.
The collision and explosion played on loop in her mind for the longest two minutes she'd ever lived through. The static squawk in her ear indicated incoming comm traffic. Lora blinked, surprised to find tears gathered on her eyelashes.
Switching to an active channel, she replied to Rhodes. "Recovery, Whipcord. Request permission to return to base as ordered." She struggled to keep a jittery tone from her voice.
Rhodes responded. "Granted. When you return, land and secure your craft. Remove your flight suit and leave it with your helmet in the cockpit. Report to the infirmary then wait for further orders. The deck chief will download the nose, wing, and tailfin camera footage. Do not do a post-flight erasure." She waited a beat. "Are you clear, Whipcord?"
A ball of dread landed in the middle of her gut. "I'm clear, Lieutenant. Reporting back to base. Whipcord, out." The whole situation now Lora freaked out more than a little.
Turning her ship, she started the journey back to base, her mind whirling with potential reasons for the change in standard operating procedure. Of course, there hadn't been more than a dozen fatalities on qualification day in the three decade history of the station's flight program. Lora hated reading all the manuals, but she'd definitely covered every page of the flight finals. Being ordered into what amounted to lockdown status had her tenuous thread of control quivering tautly.
Whatever reason the bigwigs had for the shift from normal better be good. And Lora hoped like hell she landed on the right side of whatever came next.

I love story prompts. Getting the creative juices flowing with small little nudges is fun!

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Yearly Vigil

Well… The Walking Dead returned with a killer episode. Holy zombies, so much happened. LOL I didn't know what to really expect and lowered my expectations but color me surprised by how incredible the episode ended up being. Although, why is no one talking about how Carol is pretty much responsible for wiping out a whole family? *grins* Not quite how it went down, of course, but something to ponder.

Forgot to mention The X-Files last week for my Monday night lineup. I, for one, have really been enjoying the six-episode run. Final ep airs tomorrow and I actually rather hope we'll see another six or eight episode arc in the future. Wouldn't mind seeing a few more familiar faces either.

The other Monday shows were suitably excellent. I'm staying interested in The Magicians and kind of love the various sides we're seeing. Also thrilled to see Lost Girl and Bitten. But I watch with sadness, knowing they're each in their final seasons.

Tuesday's The Flash ended up being terrific. I'm kind of amazed the earth two turned out so well. Looking forward to seeing more from that verse, if there is more. Also really want to see what the whole deal with Jay is. Agent Carter's final episode airs this week and the lead up to the finale turned out awesome. I really hope Peggy gets to punch Vernon in the face at least once. Twice would totally make the entire wait for a season three (if there is one) worth it.

Arrow continues to blow my mind. The whole tease at the beginning of the season with Oliver standing by a grave now has so many possibilities my brain hurts from thinking about them. LOL

Legends of Tomorrow keeps getting better and better. I'm thrilled with how the cast is being utilized and the way the teams are always mixed. Snart (or Snark as I like to call him) is a favorite and he keeps growing on me more and more.

Gotham and Agents of SHIELD return soon and I'm looking forward to both being back on my screen.

And, whew, that's it for television this week.

Tonight's post is from Yearly Vigil, another manuscript that originated with a prompt. In this case—a cemetery, one year later. I took the idea and ran with it.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Venessa Broyles makes a yearly vigil to the graveside of her former lover, Hamish Blesdale, where she runs into his best friend, Hogan Baird. What starts out as an awkward stroll down memory lane eventually brings two lonely souls together.

And a sneaky peek…

Venessa knelt in the wet grass, the rain a fitting companion for the anniversary of Hamish's death. She closed her eyes and said the Prayer for Lost Souls, her lips moving soundlessly with the comforting words. So will it be. Her eyes opened and a white rose entwined with a red bloom—the symbol of unity in brotherhood—rested atop the marker. The flowers hadn't been there when Venessa started the long prayer.
She lifted her gaze and scanned her surroundings, catching sight of a swatch of dark hair through the trees. Hogan. She hadn't seen him since a few days after the funeral. They barely acknowledged each other. Especially after they pretty much baited each other into grief sex. Both woke up the following morning full of remorse for trashing Hamish's memory.
But Hogan should be able to spend time with his friend.
Rising, Venessa took off in his direction, calling out. "Hogan."
He stopped, under the cover of the trees.
The rain picked up and soaked Venessa to the skin. "You could've stuck around. I'm done here." She waited a beat. "Or you could've at least mentioned you were here." Instead of being all stoic and silent.
Somber and unapproachable, Hogan shrugged. "Didn't want to intrude." His nostrils flared slightly.
Ah. Prayer. Words to the gods gave Hogan the heebie-jeebies like nails on a chalkboard did her. Venessa wondered if it would always be so awkward between them… after— no, she wouldn't think about their mistake again—now that Hamish was dead. Her heart twisted. She really liked Hogan. They'd hit it off and she'd have been happy to call him friend.
Probably not possible. Especially after… the thing she refused to think about. So, no, Venessa wouldn't be able to call Hogan a friend.
She shivered and not just because of the rain.

Seriously can't wait to finish this one up. I'm pleased with how it's all coming together.

And that's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Yarn Spinning

Happy Valentine's Day and Singles Awareness Day to everyone! My husband and I don't do a big celebration, but we do try to make the day special in little ways. And it's been a truly rough week so we're appreciating the small moments of support.

What a terrific week for television! Monday is becoming one of my favorite nights with The Magicians and Lost Girl, and starting this week, Bitten. I watched the first episode and it rocked. So sad it's the final season of this show.

Tuesday is jammed up with The Flash and Agent Carter, both of which are terrific. Loved the journey to Earth 2 and seeing the counterparts. I'm very curious about who Zoom is, but I have a theory that probably won't shock anyone. LOL Agent Carter doesn't have long to finish up this storyline and I'm kind of excited to see where things go.

Wednesday is still my favorite and Arrow keeps dropping crazy twists into the storyline. I have so many potential theories of who's buried in the grave and who Oliver has to take out, it's not even funny. But I love it! Kudos to the showrunners for keeping me on my toes.

Legends of Tomorrow also makes me happy. I like how the group is coming together and starting to gel as a unit. And they're mixed up enough to keep things interesting. Almost every week a new grouping is featured and I'm totally down with that.

On Friday, I caught up with Teen Wolf and not a bad episode. Gotta say I'm rather thrilled the psycho doctor is no longer of this earth, meaning I won't be shocked if he makes another appearance somewhere down the road. I am going to be slightly disappointed if the beast turns out to be one of Theo's pack because there would have to be a huge bait and switch to make that plausible, in my opinion. I'm also caught up on Murdoch Mysteries, but still behind on X Company. *sigh* Seriously, the past week got completely crazy. LOL

And that's it for the random TV update. The Walking Dead premieres tonight and I'm hoping I fall right back into the show. J

Tonight's post is from Yarn Spinning, a novella that got its start with the prompt of "write something involving a lie". I put something of a spin on the prompt and hopefully will end up with a very cool story when I'm done.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Torrin Becks and Gaelan Van Zant pull duty on the same scout ship, which creates a good bit of tension in the five man crew. Torrin and Gaelan have something of a history and when the yarn spinning—who has the greatest exploit—starts, Torrin has to decide if she'll call Gaelan out on a big fat fib, or let the story stand as the winner.

And a sneaky peek…

Torrin Becks dragged her rucksack across the corridor and out onto the docking station. Her transfer papers dangled from between her lips and she tucked her ident badge into her back pocket. She wouldn't need it for the transport ride over to the Merrymack, the small scout ship she'd be billeted on for the next several months, maybe longer, but she'd need it once she boarded.
Glancing up, she spotted a pair of broad shoulders in front of her. Yum. She might get lucky and have some sexy eye candy to ogle on the flight over. Her gaze dropped to check out the ass that went along with the shoulders and, yep, nicely sculpted, filling out the grey fatigues to perfection. Her mouth watered and her eyes traveled upward again, hoping for a glimpse of the face belonging to her new obsession. She grabbed the transfer papers to protect them from possible drool.
The man angled his head to check the time and her salivating turned to instant dehydrated desert. Son of a bitch.
Gaelan Van Zant.
He definitely qualified as a primo specimen of manhood. Too bad he also happened to be her ex's best friend. And not a big fan of Torrin's since she and Eric Latimer broke up.
So much for her, up until now, great day. Why did the universe put them in the same line for boarding? Wait. Maybe Gaelan had the wrong line? Oh… she could hope.
The line next to hers moved forward and Torrin shuffled ahead, not paying attention. Until she smacked into the hard body in front of her. Dammit. Could she be any more stupid?
Gaelan angled around, glancing over his shoulder, lips curved in a half smile. His mouth flattened as soon as his gaze met hers. Yeah, too much to think he might let bygones be bygones.
Torrin braced for a confrontation, but apologized. "Sorry. My mind was elsewhere." She took two steps back, praying the person behind her saw her coming. "I'll keep the proper assured distance from this point on." She settled her rucksack in front of her, making it impossible to run into him again.
Gaelan rolled his eyes. "Don't tell me. You're on the scouting run?" Distaste coated his words.
She lifted a shoulder. "I go where they send me." At least she didn't tell him what he obviously didn't want to know.
He shook his head. "Yeah, no choice with orders." He frowned. "But let's keep that whole distance thing going once we board. The less we see each other, the more pleasant our journey will be." He didn't wait for a response, grabbing his bag and hoisting it over his shoulder.
Torrin sighed. She admired Gaelan's loyalty to Eric, but didn't relish spending the next several months being judged. Especially when Gaelan only had Eric's side of the breakup. Then again, he probably didn't give a damn she had a good reason for getting out of the relationship. And she could live with him not knowing her side of things.
But being crammed onto a small ship with Gaelan might mean her stock of painkillers would be gone within the first month.
How fun.

Gaelan is going to be kind of a pain but for more than one reason. Torrin puts everything down to his loyalty to Eric, but Gaelan's issues go a little deeper than that. And that's been fun to write. :D

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Yanking the Pipe

Well, the big super bowl game is on tonight and I’m watching a Star Trek Next Gen marathon instead. LOL Don't get me wrong, we still have all the food and trimmings, like WAY more than we need, but with several televisions in the house, the game can be merrily playing in the kitchen and living room while I hunker down in my writing cave and watch something totally different. If anything really exciting happens, the family will let me know. :D

So, next week The Walking Dead returns and I'm not sure if I'm super-excited or not. I think I am, but won't know until I see the new episode. And Bitten is coming soon, February 15 on Syfy. Definitely excited for more of that show.

My usual shows all had great episodes. I completely forgot to mention The Magicians in last week's post, but I'm seriously liking that show. And Lost Girl is in its final run of episodes. I've seen the way it ends and I'm definitely watching the last hurrah. I hope another show with fae-releated characters turns up sometime.

The Flash ended up surprising me, which I'm always thrilled to have happen. Arrow also threw in an interesting reveal and I'm speculating like mad now. Legends of Tomorrow mixed up the teams and I'm down with them doing that on a regular basis.

Agent Carter has such a great mix of humor and tension. I almost wish there could be a longer season, but I'm also kind of happy with the brevity, mainly because the writing stays pretty focused and doesn't dart off on too many tangents.

Last but not least, The X-Files had one of those instant classic episodes that I could watch over and over again. I can't wait to talk to my brother about it. Teen Wolf, again, feels rather choppy, but I've been thinking about that and have come to the conclusion it's supposed to feel that way, especially since the creepy doctors can warp time, or whatever it is they do. So yeah, I just needed to have that last little piece click into place. LOL

And that's it for television this week.

Tonight's post is from Yanking the Pipe, a novella that got its start with the prompt of "pranks gone wrong", followed by the challenge of showing the fallout for the characters.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Sammie Shields and Firth Fairmountain have fun yanking the pipe—pulling anonymous pranks—until one of their fellow soldiers gets injured. Their commanding officer gives them a choice—transfer to a marine unit to learn discipline or get busted down a rank. Sammie opts for demotion, but Firth chooses the alternate and finds a new mission.

And a sneaky peek…

Commander Barnabas Fairmountain cut an imposing figure on a regular day. But when he had a head full of rage built up, he took on a scary visage that took Sammie Shields' back to her childhood. She blinked to clear the bad memories from her brain.
Fairmountain slammed his hand on the desk. "Dammit, you two. I expect better from you." He directed his gaze to the man next to Sammie. "Especially you, Firth. When my own kid pushes things too far, how can the rest of the crew respect me?"
Sammie winced. Ouch. At least she only had to face memory lane when she screwed up. Firth had to live under his father's thumb every day.
The commander crossed his arms over his chest. "You're latest stunt landed one of my pilots in sickbay. I can't overlook this stupid yanking the pipe bullshit anymore." He turned away, putting his back to them.
Firth spoke up. "Permission to speak, Sir."
Sammie's eyes widened at the formality. Usually, when they got in trouble and Fairmountain dragged them into his office, they still had a casual demeanor with each other. After all, she and Firth were notorious for pulling pranks and practical jokes, yanking the pipe in military speak.
The commander glanced over his shoulder. "Granted. I'd love to hear what you have to say for yourself." He faced the back wall again.
Sammie wouldn't mind hearing what Firth had on his mind either.
Firth relaxed, but only a little. "Obviously, you can't let us slide on this one, but you have to know we didn't mean for anyone to get hurt." He slid a Sammie a sideways glance.
She found her tongue and seconded Firth's statement. "Right, Sir. No one should have been around when the—"
Farimountain whirled to face them. "But they were! And that's not the point." He came around his desk. "You two know better and I can't let you get slide anymore. I've got to make an example of you." His face betrayed the difficulty he had with the spot they'd put his dad in.
Sammie didn't blame Firth, but her heart landed in her stomach. The way the elder Fairmountain exhaled on a long, slow breath did not bode well for either her or Firth. When Nabas didn't bluster and blow his stack, the outcome tended to be bad.
The commander cleared his throat. "You have two choices. Demotion or transfer to a marine unit." He stared straight ahead, waiting their response.
Firth closed his eyes, his shoulder slumping. Yeah, maybe he could accept defeat, but Sammie had no plan to do so.
She growled. "Are you kidding me?" Pacing back and forth—without permission to do so—she let her mouth rule the day. "You cannot be serious." She didn't doubt her CO, but she wouldn't go down without any kind of resistance.
Barnabas directed his gaze her way. "Very serious. It's one or the other."

Sammie's path won't be an easy one but she makes the only choice she thinks she can. And Firth's choice throws her into a tailspin.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye