“The portals are open,” cried Pom. “The portals are open!” He ran down the flippy-floppy steps nearly tripping over his long fluffy ears.
Along Rony Trail, the flowers were singing their melodious song and the butterflies hummed in harmony while fluttering in a delicate dance. Pom’s heart leaped with joy and ached to join in with the regular forest festivities. Now wasn’t the time! ‘The portals are open,’ he told himself. He had to tell the others in the village.
Past the break in the trees, nestled in the middle of the forest, the quiet village rested.
Pom dashed into the middle of the market square where a tall bell tower stretched, although a bit slanted, toward the blue sky above.
Skidding to a halt at the feet of Humphrey, the town-crier, Pom huffed and puffed and wheezed.
Other than a large peering eye looking quizzically down at Pom, Humphrey didn’t budge. Gripped in his enormous hand rested the long rope that led all the way up to the large bell at the very top.
Pom gulped, his heart racing, pat-a-pat, beneath his fluffy paw.
“What seems to be your hurry, Pom, dear friend?” Humphrey leaned forward, the chair moaning in protest.
“You have to tell the others.” Pom’s throat ached from huffing and puffing. Finally, his breath had slowed.
“Tell the others?” One fuzzy eyebrow raised up.
Pom and Humphrey looked across the open market. Dust swirled through the vacant square. A dog barked somewhere in the distance.
Pom turned his attention back to the town crier. He stood as straight as he could. “Tell them the portals are open.” He grabbed a handful of Humphrey’s pant leg.
Humphrey’s brow arched high. A twinkle in his eyes shimmered. And a smile grew so big his cheeks mounded like hills in the green meadow.
Humphrey stood tall as he yanked on the long rope.
BONG – BONG!
“Hear ye, hear ye, gentle citizens of Rony Village. As of this morning, a notice from Pom the Messenger has arrived. The portals are open! I repeat, the portals are open!”
BONG – BONG!
Pom’s whiskers twitched and his tummy fluttered. He took a hop closer to Humphrey.
“Snuggle closer.” He pulled Pom snugly up against his legs.
“Here they come,” said Humphrey.
Doors flew open and out poured the villagers. With songs on their lips and work in their hands, the village was alive with the hustle and bustle of people, cleaning, washing, and scrubbing. Hammers at work and brooms finding the dust and sweeping where dust must go. Three children rushed past them, giggling as they chased each other.
“It’s been a long while since the portals were opened.” Humphrey patted Pom on the head. “I guess the problem has been fixed, then?”
Joy swelled in his chest as he grinned. “I don’t know about that, but with them being open again then it means we get to serve our customers again.” Pom’s ears dropped by his face.
“Oh no,” he said.
“What is it?” Humphrey tilted his head, his lips pressed together.
“I gotta go help Flora. She will need my help.” Pom hopped away, turning quickly to wave to Humphrey.
“Thank you for bringing the wonderful news.” He waved in return.
Pom dashed away across the market, disappearing around the corner.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Happy New Year!
“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… yet” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.
How are you?
Did you have a good winter holiday/celebrations?
This is a new day and a new year with nothing but the future ahead of us. What will you do with your time? Do you have big goals? Little goals?
Let’s celebrate your wins.
Yes, I am aware of the challenges that we are facing and will face, but in the end, I agree with the quote above from Anne of Green Gables. Every day is a fresh start. No mistakes. (I learned that quote in kindergarten!)
Yet, as I realize, that in Christ, it’s not only a new start but a transformation and relationship. A new creature altogether. Wahoo!
No matter what you believe, every good start and positive step starts in the heart.
I believe you can overcome all obstacles and it’s okay to ask for help. We need each other too.
I am so grateful for you all. Thank you for hanging out with me.
All the love.
What do you have on your TBR list?
(I’m considering adding pics of some of the books from TBR on my IG account @ jtharriswriter, if you’re curious.)
Mine is lengthy, but I have a few titles I would like to finish reading. Are any of you like me where you read multiple books and maybe finish a few, but then shiny new books catch your attention? Then the cycle continues.
I want to give all the books my equal and undivided attention all at the same time. And can’t. But I want to!
So instead of giving a list of books (that I say) I will read, I will have a goal of reading (almost) every night before I go to bed. There’s been a part of me that wants to review books, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll review a few and see how it goes.
What are you reading this winter? Are there other shiny new books to add to my ever growing TBR?!
I’m sure there is.
All the blessings.
For those who write fiction
From Idea to 60k is currently FREE! Sign up before Jan 11th and join the beta crew. I'm excited that my Inkblade Warriors Academy course has been up and running and has new writing resources on the private community network. I'm looking for a few more BETA tester friends before the founders family/friends price begins. There are new ideas implemented and resources being added continuously. I'd love to write with you and help your stories grow into the stories they were meant to be. Let's journey together!
Hello, my friends,
I know the month of October is almost coming to an end, but I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I’m grateful for. (The fall is just beginning!) There’s so much. Even in the time of chaos and hardship, there’s always something to be thankful for. My family, friends, food on my table, warm clothes for when I’m cold, snuggly blankets, and most of all Jesus. I love You!
What are your favorite things to do in the autumn?
Cozy up with your favorite sweater? Eat hardy soups? Go through a corn maze? Read a book with an autumn theme?
Mine would be all the above and more.
What Are You Reading?
I’ve been blessed to be part of Gillian Bronte Adams Street Team, which means first peeks at art, character introductions, and bookish goodies. On top of it, I was able to sign up for an ARC of her latest YA fantasy, Of Fire and Ash. So, I’ll be reading this book and a few others. For an up to date of all my latest reads and newest book finds please follow me on IG @jtharriswriter
(I might even be part of a few more street teams for more amazing stories and I’m so excited for them all! Stay tuned for a few more book spotlights.)
And now the blurb for Of Fire and Ash!
She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction.
Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people.
But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds and looming civil war, she begins to wonder if the greatest threat to the kingdom may, in fact, be her.
With fire before her and ash in her wake, how can she hope to unite instead of destroy?
Flames rage and oceans rise in this explosive first installment of The Fireborn Epic as the exiled heir, a novice priest, and a reluctant rebel wage war against a hidden power that threatens to shake the world.
Inkblade Warriors Academy
Do you like to write with people or alone?⠀
Or perhaps you need an accountability partner?⠀
I like to write with people and alone. (With people, as in, sitting at the same table drinking tea with we silently work beside each other. But don’t get me wrong, I could talk about the writing craft for HOURS.)⠀
And, goodness, do I EVER need an accountability partner. ⠀
In the Inkblade Warriors Creative Network, not only will I be your accountability partner, but I’ll also have fun writing incentives to keep you wanting to keep writing.⠀
Let’s write wholesome yet highly adventurous and thought-provoking stories together!⠀
I have a FREE beta writing course + community, to learn more please follow the link below.
New things are coming to my website!
“By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen” – Heb. 11:3
Hello my friends,
It’s been a while since I made a post. I am very hopeful that you are all doing well. There’s so much that has changed around here I will encourage you to take a look if you so desire. There are more changes coming up and I should be a bit more active than the last year and a half.
I have experienced some life-changing moments in my life with Jesus Christ. I have not experienced this before in all my life. For a more elaborate explanation please read my testimony under my About Me page or click the Testimony link on my Home page.
New stories coming!
I am in the midst of writing a new story. I am really excited and will do my best to keep you all updated as new and fun things emerge.
I am doing my best to make this a single stand-alone book, but if I know me and how I write it’s super challenging to write a simple or short story and I end up writing multiple books worth of story.
I have a working blurb posted at the bottom of my Books page (scroll to the bottom of the page)
New! Author Services
Introducing my author services and Inkblade Warriors Academy course + community.
Inkblade Warriors Academy has been founded with the hope of crushing procrastination through encouragement, lots of writing sprints, writing prompts, and prayers. I believe that our words, both spoken and written, have the power to build or destroy. I hope that we, story warriors, victoriously use our words to crush negative thinking, inspire young minds to have a relationship with Jesus, grow spiritually, and triumph in love, faith, and truth.
Learn more on my Author Services page.
Aren’t these amazing? A huge shout out to my friend Nevin from Hangman comics for making these fabulous logos for me.
His talent for art is amazing. I love it!
Thank you, Nevin.
As for everything I do and make, there’s usually a story behind everything. These are no different. I won’t get into that right now. Maybe someday. But not now.
Thank you, Jesus, for everything you do for me.
And thank you to you all for sticking around. (Even if you don’t stick around I will still care for you)
Much love to you all.
My Latest Short Story Ready for Summer!
Hello, my friends,
My latest short story is here! Hurrah. I’m excited. There’s a chance I’ll expand on this idea, but as of right now this is what I’ve written and will let it swirl around my mind until I feel called to keep writing in the world of ocean kingdoms, empires, and merfolk’s life with the surface people.
The working blurb (as of right now):
“Rory has a secret. A secret very few people know about.
She is the daughter of the Kraken King – a sea monster. Masquerading as a human when on dry land she must keep up the facade in order to protect her family and others like her. On top of it all, she must keep human interaction to a bare minimum – except she has fallen in love with a surface boy.
When her true identity is threatened to be revealed she must decide whether to risk showing her true self in the name of love or break off her relationship with the hope of keeping her family safe.”
‘Beyond the Sea’ is part of a few free e-book group giveaways this summer. Please feel free to check out the other books in these giveaways as it will help out other indie authors like me. Click ‘Beyond the Sea’ cover to take you straight to the e-book download and/or click the giveaway banners below to peruse other titles.
The cover for ‘Beyond the Sea’ was created by ‘Covered Creatively’ and I love it. Please check her stuff out.
Thank you for all your support.
Hello, book and writer geeks,
Before I get to the plotting guide I would like to have a bit of transparency and full honesty: While I do have a few writers’ certificates from correspondence courses and have taken a handful of English and creative writing classes, I don’t have any major writing degree (maybe one day I’ll finish a creative writing degree, but today is not that day.) I am just a simple, geeky person with an inner, blazing fire for writing and creating that has been burning since I was a child. The desire to be forever learning my craft will never cease.
During my ongoing desire to write, learn, and tweak my writing process I have made a list of prompts to aid me in my plotting process. So, in essence, it’s kind of a plotting guide, if you will. If you are a pantser then this may not be for you.
A Simple Plotting Guide (A Working Process)
This outline can be used as your personal cheat sheet or integrated into your own existing plotting guide to enhance your writing experience. If it helps with your plotting and story telling then I’m elated. We are always students and the world is our classroom (so to speak) and I believe in growing together. By helping others we are essentially helping ourselves. I will do my best to share my knowledge whenever I can. Now, on with the guide!
Main Character(s)/ Protagonist:
Main Character/ Protagonists Goal:
Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist:
Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist’s Goal:
First Act: Introduce protagonist and their problem and why they need to solve it – the inciting incident.
Second Act: Add twists, trials, complications, or new problems arise.
Rising action: Increase tention/character(s) make plan of attack.
Falling action: Learning from mistakes, solving clues, surprise defeats, or feeling defeated.
Third Act: Verge of giving up/ all is lost, finding resolve/ pep talk, new look on problem.
Climax: Rising action/ tension peaking. Surprising twists, or reveals using what character(s) learned.
Resolution: Facing fear, great victory, or the world changed for the better, etc.
Chapter by Chapter Outlining (use for each chapter)
Point of view character:
Scene descriptions: Use five sense/ create mood and atmosphere.
And that’s pretty much it! It’s very simple and basic. There are plenty of plotting guides out on the net that go into more detail, but I would like to learn a bucket load more before I attempt something like that. I used an early rendition of this outline for my last novel then decided to tweak it and ended up with this one, which I’ll be using for a new novel idea that I will be writing very soon. (I do have a brief character outline as well, but that will be another post.)
Until next time!
Stay geeky and keep writing.
A Writer's Journal: With Plotting Guide
I love journals, especially for my writing projects. There is often a journal or two hanging around my working area (wherever in the house that may be). Right now, I have four of them within reaching distance. While I don’t mind making up a plotting page on my computer it’s just not quite the same as pencil or pen on paper. Mmmm, stationary… my second biggest love next to books.
Due to my love of journals, I created one that had the plotting guide featured in this blog post to make it easier on me and to help keep track of my story plots. There’s also the short character outline inside which I’ll outline that info in a near future post.
If you like journals as much as I do and like to have a simple plotting guide then this journal is for you! I will be using this journal soon to help me outline a new story idea. (To buy the journal, just click the picture to take you to Amazon!)
I’ve rambled on enough today. I hope you all have a great, geeky day.
Read. Write. Create. Plot!
A Quick Note!
Summer is almost over, (aww) but Autumn is arriving (yeah!) School has now returned and I feel like my schedule is back on track. Though I suppose that I could’ve kept a schedule going throughout the summer but I was either hunched over my computer writing my first draft to my latest novel (Prince Noralv: Edge of Shadows, Book Two!) or I’ve been going on family outings and gatherings. My summer has been full and I am grateful.
Now with Autumn (Fall as some prefer to call it) on the horizon, I am so very in the mood for sweaters, books, stationery, fire in the fireplace, pumpkin spice everything, but most of all Halloween. Soon, my pretty, soon.
My wish for you all is to have a fabulous end of summer and to embrace the pumpkin of autumn.
Do you love journaling? I know I sure do! I love putting pen to paper throughout my writing process whether I’m brainstorming descriptions or working through a scene in my story I always have a journal next to me. Plus, it’s great to be equipped with one while I’m out and about because I never know when an idea will strike next.
For my love of stationery, I decided to make make a few journals. Some of the journals I’ve created have a plotting guide at the beginning and the others are plain lined paper.
Please check them out here:
There are lots of different styles to satisfy many different personality types and I hope to make some more in the near future. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there are other styles or ideas you’d like to see. I’m always creating.
Free Short Stories Coming Soon.
I’ve got a couple of new short stories that are coming together nicely and will be available for free to my newsletter subscribers. If you are already a subscriber, thank you so very much. The new short stories will be showing up in an inbox near you.
Lost in a Dream is still available for free when you sign up for my newsletter but will be retiring soon.
To get it while it’s still available please follow this link.
Until next time, keep creating.
The Stories That Started It All
Every reader (that I know of) all remember that one (or two) story/series that sucked them into the world of reading. For me, it was two series’. The first was The Mandie Mystery series by Lois Gladys Leppard, a light-hearted mystery following the life of Mandie Shaw and the puzzles that she either stumbled upon or her curiosity that got the better of her. She and her friends became determined to figure it out which usually led to some sort of trouble and excitement. For a young girl (like I was) I truly fell in love with all of her lively adventures.
The next series that enthralled me was the Cooper Kids Adventure Series by Frank Peretti. These stories hooked me on the action-adventure types. This story followed the lives of Jay and Lila Cooper as they went on archaeologist exploits with their father. It was like an Indiana Jones story but for kids. The description was phenomenal and just enough to make me feel like I was there. I was truly addicted and could not put these down. I devoured them.
Since reading these two series’ I have been a book (story) fan ever since. I have made it my goal to create amazing stories of my own. Action, adventure, drama, and mystery, mixed with fantastical worlds, these are the stories I fell in love with and desire to create for as long as I possibly can.
What are the stories that you fell in love with that sparked your passion for books and reading?
I’m getting super close to releasing my very first young adult fantasy and in the spirit of my excitement, I have decided to do another giveaway.
The book I have chosen this time is none other than Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling! The reason for my choice is mainly for my love of fantasy but also, it contributes to my love for creative, world-enveloping stories that add to my obsession with books and reading. Amazing fun!
For the chance to win Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling all you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter by February 21st then on February 22nd I will contact the winner via email. I will give the winner one week to respond and if I get no response I will draw another name. My subscribe button is in the sidebar of my website. (Don’t worry. I only send out one or two short emails a month.)
Best of luck!