Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flutter: A story in Photos by Rebecca Barray

Okay everyone! My photo essay over on The Writerly Life is live!! Go check it out! Right now!! ... I'll wait. ;)

Leave me a comment over there to let me know what you think and show some love. It's always appreciated!

Love and Photo Fun, 
Becca ;)

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Cuppa Kim: The Mug Swap is Here! The Mug Swap is Here!

Okay, so I have a weakness for mugs. I LOVE coffee mugs. Especially ones with hearts on them. ;) Anyway, I just found out about this awesome Mug Swap over on A Cuppa Kim. I can't wait! Why don't you come on over and join me?

A Cuppa Kim: The Mug Swap is Here! The Mug Swap is Here!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August Photo Challenge

Hello, again. Remember me? Maybe, maybe not. It has been quite a while since I've been around. My writing has been a little stifled lately, so I've been spending more time taking pictures. I found a really cool photo challenge and I'm working on that this month. Who knows, maybe it will even inspire my writing. ;)

Go check it out on my photo blog, here and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think it sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can't wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Unwritten: MFF#13: A Child Needs His Father by Rebecca Barray

Hello Everyone!! Go over and check out my entry in Mysti Parker's May Flash Fiction Contest on her blog, Unwritten!! Be sure to leave a comment and tell her how much you LOVE my story! ;)

Unwritten: MFF#13: A Child Needs His Father by Rebecca Barray

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flash Fiction Picture Prompt: Queen Calliope

I was prompted to write this piece of flash fiction for a friend, Katherine Faulcon, who made the picture and requested some writing to go with it. When I looked at her, this just sort of wrote itself. I hope you guys like it. ;)

Queen Calliope

Her newborn laugh resounded like bells and her parents named her Calliope. Golden curls grew around her ivory face. Eyes shone like aquamarines through a thickening fringe of lashes. As a teenager, she hid behind delicate fingers and downcast eyes.
It was particularly this effort to go unnoticed that first drew Charles’s attention. It took him ages to draw up enough courage to speak to her. She was so refined, a princess, no less. He was the son of a nobleman, so he thought himself not hopelessly beneath her, though nearly. He saw her many times before he was brave enough to approach. When he finally did, he could imagine no sound more melodic and pleasurable than her voice. Always soft spoken, her words came forth thoughtful and deliberate.
He sought her out at every social function, monopolizing her attention, though she never seemed to mind. She avoided large groups, though never outwardly uncomfortable, and he sensed that she preferred his solitary presence.
They would sometimes stand on the balcony and discuss a common love of literature beneath the stars. This was where they shared their first kiss. Pale pink lips brushed softly across his, before her cheeks flared with color and his heart nearly escaped his chest.
On their wedding day, she shone brighter than the stars that witnessed their love blossom. Her creamy skin was nearly as pale as her milky white dress. The jewels of her crown made her sky blue eyes sparkle. Her smile revealed her immense happiness at the prospect of spending her life with him. His soul overflowed with love and appreciation at the outstanding luck that he had won her heart.
As time flew by with increasing speed, he found that he loved her more with every passing day, month, year. Their children had children and he was thankful for every second of his blessed life. They still sat on that same balcony, rocking under the stars and speaking of love and literature. They held hands in silence, basking in their shared accomplishments and lives well spent. They gazed into each others’ eyes, content in each others’ arms, even as they shared their last breath, passing peacefully into the afterlife together.

Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can't wait to hear from you guys! Comment! Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and LinkedIn!!! Interaction is what this life is all about.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Photography

I've been pretty busy lately trying to avoid actual writing so I'm posting a flash fiction piece and a poem I've been cleaning up, as well as a few pictures I've taken. The flash fiction story was inspired by a TerribleMinds prompt (from a while back) to write a complete story in five sentences and 100 words, or less. The poem was written in response to one of Robert Lee Brewer's PAD challenges to write a Tanka poem. I had done this one previously (check it out here) and had a lot of fun with it, so I did it again. Photography has become my latest hobby and I've had a lot of fun taking pictures around the house of my flowers and babies. So I decided to share some of the better ones (IMO). ;)

Flash Fiction: KTFO (WC79)

Blood covered my face, but the fight only had thirty more seconds. I jabbed left and she dodged right. I jabbed left then followed with a hard right and she blocked. I leaned back and, when she pursued, popped a straight kick, catching her right under the chin. Her head snapped back just like a Pez dispenser, but no candy came out. As she landed flat on her back, I let rip my victory cry, "KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!"

Baby Girl

Tanka: Baby Girl

Strawberry blonde hair
Wispy, curly, and cowlick'd
Above sky blue eyes,
Ivory skin, and pale pink lips
Little arms reach up to me


Pretty Roadside Weeds

Pete the Garden Gnome says, "Go Reds!"
Hot Pink Rose
Pink Roses

Hot Pink Rosebud

Garden Mushrooms

This looks like it'd be a great photo prompt for a fantasy...

Do you like to write or take pictures? What are your favorite subjects? What do you think about my writing and pictures? Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can't wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

If you're interested in my ROW80 progress... well, there isn't really any.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Appreciation and Feedback: Liebster Blog

Writers, at least most of the ones I know, are always unsure about their writing. Is it good or bad? Will others like it? And the answers I give myself are always changing.

Sometimes I look at what I've written and think, "Wow, this is absolutely genius! I'm gonna win endless awards with my innate ability to put words together in awe-inspiring ways!!"

Then, five minutes later, I'll look at that same passage again, and think, "This is absolute garbage! I'm completely worthless as a writer and I don't know why I ever attempted to put words on a page."

Then, I'll read it through again, and wonder, "What will everyone else think about this? Will anyone like it?" It's so hard to gauge how others will view your work, especially when you can't decide what you think about it yourself.

So, I was absolutely thrilled to find that I'd been nominated by Ann Stanley for the Liebster Blog!! I looked it up and liebster means "beloved". I'm so happy to know that at least one person out there enjoys reading the words I put together. She even went as far as to say this about my blog, " I always enjoy her lightness of spirit and the fun range of topics and occasional bits of fiction." I'm a little in awe. Thank you so much, Ann, for your thoughtful appreciation.

The Liebster Blogger Rules are:
1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate five blogs with less than 200 followers.
3. Let your nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites.
4. Add the award image to your site.

Since I've already thanked Ann, I'm moving on to my nominees. This was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. There are so many fun blogs out there that I wanted to list here. But, alas, I could only pick five, so here they are for your perusal and pleasure.

1. Dana Dampier's Crazy, Poetic Life - Dana writes great poetry and has three kids (like me) so I like her a lot!! ;)
2. Lara Britt's Writing Space - Lara lives in Hawaii and posts about local stuff on Fridays. She also posts about writing nooks, which are my favorite places to be!!
3.Lauri Meyers's Your Imagination is the Limit - Lauri has a great voice and I often laugh out loud when reading her posts.
4. Kelly Williamson's This is Mine...Seriously - Kelly has been writing about tough times with a mental illness in the family. She's in the process of changing up her blog and I, for one, am excited to see where she takes it.
5. Linda Hatton's The Whatnot Shop - Linda posts about lots of different topics, all interesting.

Okay, now I have to go and comment on these sites and let them know. ;)

Oh, and here is my ROW80 update:
This only thing I accomplished last week was my blog post on feeling overwhelmed. Not a very productive week at all. I'm starting off a little better this week. Hopefully, I can keep it up. ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Melancholy... and Overwhelmed

Hey everyone...
Lost in the Fog
I'm not sure why, but I've been feeling kinda melancholy lately. I haven't had much time for writing and platform building. I had a great weekend, though. I got to spend lots of time with hubby, which was a lot of fun. He usually has to work weekends, but didn't have much that had to get done. We went shopping with the kids on Saturday, and then got a sitter on Sunday and did a little more shopping. (Shopping is one of my favorite hobbies!!) But I didn't get any writing done, or even those things that aren't writing, but somehow make me a better writer, like reading craft articles, checking awesome blogs, and interacting with other writers on social media.

So, now I'm 6 or 7 days behind on MNINB challenges, didn't post an update for ROW80 on Sunday, didn't post a blog on Sunday, haven't done any writing, editing, or even reading for almost a week now, and am feeling a little hopeless. I figure the first step in the right direction is figuring out how far behind I am, but when I see the actual list, I just sigh and want to go back to bed. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Okay, I'm feeling a lot overwhelmed. I HATE long to-do lists. I need short, quick tasks so I feel like I'm making progress quickly. Only I don't feel like doing anything today... It's just one of those days, I guess.

Well, at least I posted on my blog... and got my ROW80 updates up, only two days late...

How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed? What are your strategies for getting caught up? How do fight off the hopeless feelings? I appreciate any and all feedback. Interaction is what this life is all about.

Happy Writing and Platform Building!!

ROW80 Update #6: for April 15-21st 

Writing: 1720/1500 words. First time I achieved this one.
Reading: 1/4 books. On track for this.
Editing: 4/10 pages. Still way behind. I should be at page 30, but I'm only on 20.
Blogging: 2/2 posts. Got this one.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Platform Building

Lots of you guys might be aware of the April Platform Challenge going on over at My Name Is Not Bob, a new addition to my Awesome Blogs. It's a great challenge with a new task everyday to help writers get started on building, or maintaining, a platform for their work. If you are interested but not involved yet, you can see all the past challenges in the archives on the MNINB site. It's turned out to be the start of a great community of writers, as well. BONUS!

I even participated in my first Twitter chat last night with the group. That was pretty fast paced and hard to follow.  And one of the reasons I started a Facebook group. Typically, I'm not very good at organizing, but hopefully managing this group will help with that. Because you can't grow inside your comfort zone, right? If you read my previous post Tagged, you know I'm terribly shy when it comes to social interaction. Seems like I've been venturing out of my comfort zone a lot lately.

Lots of writers participating in the challenge have started groups/lists/circles on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Actually, I just started the Facebook group last night. :) It's called MNINB Platform Challengers. Go join up if you are a writer. It's gonna be a place for writers to chat, recommend resources, help each other with any issues/questions, and/or just hang out. I'm hoping it turns out to be a pretty helpful group. If you have any suggestions or things you want help with, comment below or in the group!! It's a writer's group and we're starting off with posting goals and accountability, but I also want it to be a place writers can share resources and support. I hope it will become a place that writers feel comfortable asking questions (about writing and anything else) and just sharing with each other. Post a link to your latest blog or share a craft article you found helpful! Post a piece of your latest WIP in the Docs section and ask for feedback! Just make sure to give feedback and answer others' questions if you know anything about it!! I want it to be a community where everyone can help each other grow as writers and/or social beings!!! (I'm excited about it, in case you couldn't tell...)

What do you guys think about the group? Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can't wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

ROW80 Update #5: April 18th 

Writing: 485 words on this Platform post
Reading: One down, three to go!
Editing: Now on page 20!! WooHoo!
Blogging: Platform post, plus update!

Happy Writing and Platform Building!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How I Write: Description and ROW80 Update

The Senses

The Five Senses

Everyone knows the five common senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. You want the reader to see, smell, taste, feel, and hear what your character does.

Another Two

There are also "senses" that are not physical or neurologically based, but more like perceptions. The two I like to use are time and space. When trying to convey one of these senses, you have to incorporate one (or more) of the main five. Usually, it will be sight. The position of the sun in the sky can give your reader a sense of time. But sound is helpful in showing a sense of space, such an echo in a large room. 

Which Words??

Ask Questions

There are so many words available to get the world you are writing about across to the reader. To figure out which ones paint the clearest picture of your scene, ask yourself some questions about the experience you are trying to give your reader.

Is it good or bad? Lots of words have connotations that help convey a feeling with your description. Be sure to use adjectives that mesh with the overall idea you are going for. If you are trying to show the reader an upper class woman in a good way, for example, you might use words like slender, elegant, and exquisite. You wouldn't want to use words like skinny, snobby, or hoity-toity, since these words give a negative feeling. 

Is it strong or weak? With a weak scent, you might say, "A slight trace of roses lingered in the air." For a strong odor, you might say, "The repugnant stink invaded my nostrils, instantaneously invoking my gag reflex."

What does it remind you of? What is something common that you can compare it to? If you are working in science fiction or fantasy, the thing you are describing may be unlike anything your reader has ever experienced. In this case, try comparing it to something common that your reader will be familiar with, then tell how it's different. Speaking of different...

How is it different than other things like it? When describing something common, like a chair, don't tell us what we already know. Don't say: it has four legs, a back to lean on and a seat for your rump. Everybody already knows what a "chair" looks like. Tell us what's different or unique about this particular chair. Maybe the back was carved from a dark, shiny wood to resemble vines climbing a trellis, or the seat is upholstered in the softest grey fabric you've ever had the privilege of running your fingertips across. 


Personally, I like to use alliteration in my descriptions. I feel a repetition of consonant sounds makes the words flow off the tongue and leaves the reader with a lasting impression. This is especially true when describing sounds: A cacophony of crashes called me into the kitchen. Okay, that might be pushing the limits a little, but you get the idea. ;)

My Example: The Beach

Here are some examples from the beach. I give one sentence for each of the seven "senses" I listed previously. See if you can tell which sense I had in mind when I wrote each sentence. 

The robin's egg blue sky stretched forever, meeting the navy blue ocean at the edge of infinity.
The gritty sand rubbed the skin between my toes raw.
The waves crescendoed, culminating in crashes interspersed with the calls of the seagulls.
Exquisite, lime-tinged Corona slid down my throat, leaving a bittersweet residue on my tongue.
The air swirled around me, bringing with it a heavenly mixture of salt and coconut tanning oil.
The toddler's neon pink bikini was in clear contrast to her pale, ivory skin and butter-colored curls.
The pink dawn and orange twilight were the perfect bookends to a beautiful day.

For practice, make up a sentence of your own for each sense and post it in the comments below. I'd love to see what all of you creative writers come up with. How do you write description? Any great ideas that I missed? Let me know!! I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can't wait to hear from you guys. Interaction is what this life is all about.

Also: ROW80 Update #4 April 15th 

You can see my goals here.
Writing: 233 on my "Tanka" post Friday, and wrote on this a little more before posting.
Reading: One down, three to go!
Editing: Still only at 6 pages overall. Gotta work on this! Seriously.
Blogging: This post, with update!! Plus my "Tanka" post on Friday. ;-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Challenge: Tanka

Challenge Accepted!!

I find writing challenges extremely inspiring. I love a good challenge. They are fun to try, even if you don't submit your entry. I believe anything that gets you to put words on paper (or screen) is a good idea.

Yesterday, I found a wonderful poetic challenge from Robert Lee Brewer from Writer's Digest! Go read it here. A tanka is a Japanese form poem. It has five lines, each with 5, 7, 5, 7, and 7 syllables, respectively. I had never heard of tanka before, and I was intrigued. So I thought I'd give it a try. I went through my pictures for inspiration. Then I wrote a tanka. Enjoy!

Peeking through the clouds
Shining bright, into my eyes
A day is born with
Endless opportunities
If only I accept them

So, I'm throwing down the gauntlet. I challenge you to find a challenge!! Ironic, huh? If you can't find one, write a tanka. If it's short, post it below in the comments. If it's longer, post it on your blog, then come back and link to your post in the comments below. Be sure to tell what the challenge is first and link back to it so others might be inspired. Actually, do that even if you don't want to post your writing practice for public consumption. The more challenges the better!! Good luck and remember to have fun!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tagged: 7 Facts

Apparently, I've been tagged by Juliana Haygert here. I am supposed to list 7 facts about myself and/or my writing and then tag 7 others to do the same.

When I saw this, my first thoughts were, "Oh, no. I hate talking about myself! How on Earth am I going to come up with seven facts about my writing?? And if that's not bad enough, I have to force this horror on seven other people??"

So now, I'm sitting here typing this post, hoping the facts will just appear on the page as my fingers fly across the keys without any conscious effort.


Well, that didn't work, but I'm not one to give up easily. So, let's see what I can come up with.

1. I've always been a seat of my pants kinda writer (pantser), pretty much. I'll have an idea of the way I want a story to go, but I've never really written down any kind of notes or outline. So I went and read up on planning and outlining. Now I can't write. Ironic, huh? All I can think about is trying to figure out my plot points, turning points, climax and resolution. And all I get is BLANK. I've been trying to write short pieces from prompts and it seems to help me write without overthinking it.

2. I'm a perfectionist. This is a terrible hindrance to my writing. Sometimes I will spend all day writing, and rewriting, and rewriting, and then rewriting some more, on a single paragraph. I try to move on and tell myself that I'll come back and edit the whole piece at once later on, but I can't think about anything else until that paragraph is exactly the "perfect" way I want it.

3. Description is my favorite thing to write. I'm working on a post now about how I do it and what I think about when writing description. Watch for it!! ;)

4. I like to write dialog. Pick your jaw up off the floor. I have a lot of fun with it. When you know your characters really well, and you let them do the talking in your story, sometimes it really surprising what comes out of their mouths.

5. I have trouble finishing. I tend to start a project, get distracted by another project, and never get back around to it. I'm trying to work on shorter pieces til I get my project endurance down.

6. I like to write Fantasy, but Romance is my true passion. I crack myself up sometimes, lol.

7.  People who know me find this one really surprising. I'm EXTREMELY shy around people I don't know. Just the thought of public speaking causes me to break out in hives and hyperventilate. Just speaking to people in public scares me speechless (again with the irony, I know). I know this is something I need to work on getting past. I believe it stems from low self-esteem. I just can't imagine why anyone would want to listen to anything I have to say. So I feel like talking to people is somehow forcing misery upon them. I know this is ridiculous. Really, I do. I'm a fairly intelligent person, and I know that I can, occasionally, offer valuable insight and even just be fun to hang out with. I never said this was a RATIONAL fear.

So, because of this crazy shyness, I can't bring myself to force this on anyone, or even imply that they should do it. So, if you feel so inclined (and I hope you do, cause I love reading odd and/or random facts about people, and they are great places to pick up quirks for your characters), post a blog on your site and share seven facts about you and/or your writing. And you can even tag seven others to do it also, if you want. Then, in the comments below, please post a link to your page of answers so I can check it out.

Good luck in all you do. Happy writing!!

Also: ROW80 Update #3 April 11th 

I know, I'm a little early. But I should have posted on Sunday, so really, I'm a little late. Oops.  ;) 
You can see my goals here.

Writing: Sunday/Monday - 666 words on my description post, Tuesday - 747 words on this post
Reading: One down, three to go!
Editing: Still only at 6 pages overall. Gotta work on this!!!
Blogging: This post, with update!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

ROW80 Goals

Hello, all you wonderful people out there!!

I've decided to participate in A Round of Words in 80 Days, Round 2 for 2012. If anyone wants to know more about this program, you can check it out here: ROW80. Basically, it's a group of people agreeing to set a goal (or goals) that's reasonable for them and checking in on their progress twice a week for 80 days. They do four rounds a year, and the second one for this year starts April 2.

I'll be setting weekly goals. I like the idea of weekly goals better than daily since you get a little more wiggle room to fall behind (or get ahead) early and make it up (or chill) later on in the week.

Without further ado, here are my goals for the next 80 days so you can all help hold me accountable.

1. I will write at least 1500 words a week. This may be on my fantasy novel WIP, romance novel WIP, short stories, or blog. Ideally, I will write at least 500 words a day, at least 3 times a week. I know, I'm aiming low, but I've had higher goals in the past and always fall short, get discouraged, then give up. So, we'll start here and see what happens.

2. I will complete a short story and submit it by the end of this round. This is a big one for me. I've just started writing seriously in the last six months or so, and I haven't completed any works yet. (Shocker, right?) I get lots of ideas, and have started a few projects, but have yet to finish a story so I don't really feel like I'm accomplishing anything. Therefore, I will write a short story, 1500-4000 words, and edit it into something I feel fantastic about and submit it somewhere it could potentially get published.

I will edit one chapter, or at least ten pages, a week of a full novel manuscript I'm editing for a critique partner. It's much more work than I first thought. (Show me your shocked face again!) But, surprisingly, it's also much more fun than I had thought. I love going back and reading it after I've made a whole bunch of little punctuation, spelling, or word order changes and seeing what a wonderful difference it's made, how much more smoothly her words flow and how much more easily it is to understand the wonderful story she is telling. And the best part is that she appreciates it!! I've found that helping others is immensely satisfying, when that person is truly happy with and thankful for your help, of course.

This was my favorite thing to do before I started writing and my biggest inspiration. Now, I almost never do it. I have about 50 books on my reading list and haven't read for fun in forever! Ugh! I love to read! Why am I not doing it more?!? I feel like I should be doing more productive things, like writing, cleaning (yuck!), or (gasp) playing with my children. But I need to make sure to give myself some fun time too. I don't really watch TV, although I do waste WAY too much time on Facebook (I know, another shocker). So, anyway, my goal is to waste less time surfing the 'net, and read, let's say, four fiction novels during this round. That's about one every three weeks and should be doable.

Blog/Check In
I just started my blog about a month or two ago, and I've only made a couple posts so far. For ROW80, I'm supposed to check in twice a week on my blog to share my accomplishments. I don't want to just post an update on my goals, though, cause that just seems a little boring for those (few) people who follow it. So, my goal is to post an entertaining, thought-provoking, book-reviewing, website-suggesting and/or absolutely amazing blog, with a short ROW80 update at the end, every Sunday. This seems a little overzealous for me, and I anticipate having the most trouble fulfilling this goal, but we shall see...

I appreciate any and all feedback!! What is your experience with setting goals? Do you aim high and push through? Or do you set 'em low so you don't fail? Or do you aim high, then fail miserably? Let me know! I can't wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about!

Becca ♥

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Description: Faery

Here is a purely descriptive short piece about one of the settings (Faery) of my work-in-progress. Enjoy! (And comment if you have a minute.)


A shiver ran down my spine as my body passed through the portal into the magical realm of Faery. Fantastical scenery surrounded me. If I had been colorblind, it wouldn’t have been half as startling. Many things had familiar shapes: grass, trees, flowers, streams; though with vastly different colors.

Everything shone like it was lit from within. Every few steps I wanted to stop and inspect something. A bunch of garnet-colored flowers swayed even though there was no wind, as though slow-dancing to some melody that I just couldn’t hear. Bright, white light streamed from two suns, one low and one hanging high in a soft pink, cloudless sky.

The air was heavy with a wild mixture of strange, fruity aromas and almost no breeze. My mouth watered as I imagined a plump, burgundy fruit, so full of sweet juice that it dripped from my chin with every bite. A gurgle drew my attention to a small brook flowing with water the deep orange color of sunset back home.

A long line of tiny birds, the size and color of golf balls, marched like ants, high among the feathery, lavender leaves of a tree. When the small leader opened its beak, the tinkling sound of bells erupted and every single bird in line stopped frozen. If I hadn’t just seen them moving with my own eyes, I would have sworn they were concrete statues.

A little farther along, I came to an odd looking tree. The stiff, navy branches seemed to be slotted. As I stood bewildered, a light wind blew through the slots. Suddenly, strange music filled the air and small, furry animals the same cerulean blue as the grass darted around beneath the branches, snatching falling seeds as soon as they touched the ground.

I spun around with my arms outspread, surrounded by wildflowers in every color of the rainbow, trying to take it all in at once. There was such a feeling of peace as I took a deep breath and a smile stretched across my face.

I appreciate any and all feedback, even (especially) if you think it sucks, but only if you tell me why you think it sucks. Let me know!! I can't wait to hear from you guys. Interaction is what this life is all about!! 

Thanks to StoryDam for the prompt.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Princess Esmeralda was walking in the woods, far beyond the borders of her kingdom, the first time she saw him. He sat in a rainbow field of wildflowers, scribbling in a journal. His tawny skin told her that he was an animal fairy from the Kingdom of Fauna, sworn enemy to her Kingdom of Flora. She had spent all day in battle meetings, biding her time, listening while her father consulted with heads of the Floran military. She waited patiently for her escape from their barbaric discussions of how to force the Faunans into submission. She wanted no part of that silly war. She had never even seen a Faunan before that day. She watched through the navy branches of a singing tree while he wrote. He was clearly unarmed, and seemingly unaware of her presence. As she spied, he closed his book and fell back in the cerulean blades of grass and closed his eyes.
A few minutes passed, and Esmeralda gathered the courage to approach, after checking for a third time that no one would see. Even as she came within a few feet, he continued to bathe in the white sunlight pouring down from the soft pink sky.
“Hello.” The music of his voice floated in the air although his eyes remained closed.
“What are you doing?” She reinforced her words with a steely resolve to cover her genuine curiosity. She looked around nervously, not wanting to be seen with a Faunan.
His long, black lashes fluttered open, revealing the lightest green eyes she had ever seen. Blocking the suns with one hand, he smiled up at her. Esmeralda’s heart took off like a rocket, and, simultaneously, her breath stopped.
“I’m resting in a field,” he replied rather obviously, propped up on one elbow. “Has it offended you, Princess?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I was referring to what you were writing.” His use of her title reinforced her confidence.
“Well, you are welcome to sit and have a look.” He pulled the brown leather-bound book from the tall grass as he drew himself up to sitting, looking at her expectantly.
She glanced around one last time, making sure no one would see her, before folding her long legs beneath her on the ground and reaching for the book. His poetry captivated her instantly. She had never been a fan of art, any of the arts, really. Her father had always laughed at such nonsense, with a stern reminder that expanding the kingdom was all that was important.
“This is really beautiful,” the words sprung from her lips without permission. “For poetry, of course.” She covered her awe with a casual shrug. A smirk flitted across his face so quickly that she wasn't entirely sure it had been there at all.
“Thank you,” his low whisper hummed through her. She could feel its vibration deep in her gut giving birth to waves of tingles that shot out to her fingers and toes. She glanced at him and saw a faint blush fade from his dark cheeks. “I get a little caught up in the beauty of nature. The wildflower’s sway, the jingling song of the rock birds. Even the the crisp blades of grass can be endlessly inspiring.”
“The grass?” Esmeralda laughed at the thought.
“Yes!” His enthusiasm bubbled over. “Watch how each blade seems to darken as it bends toward you, but then lightens as it bends away.” His rough hands caressed the grass with such tenderness, she couldn't help but imitate. “See?”
A laugh slipped from her throat before she could stop it, but she was glad. She felt at ease here, surrounded by nature. She needn't put on airs of callousness to show her capability to lead her kingdom. She relaxed as she petted the grass and felt truly at ease for the first time in years. Hours passed as they spoke of the wonders of the wilderness. Esmeralda was reluctant to let it end, but as the suns began to set, they stood to depart.
“Will you return?” she asked hesitantly, ashamed to let hope shade her words.
“Everyday, Princess,” he bent and kissed her hand, his touch lingering. She felt the heat of the blush on her cheeks and her lips spread into a smile. “And you?”
She repeated, “Everyday.” He slipped his hand from hers and turned to walk away. “Wait, I don’t even know your name.”
“Neither do I know yours, Princess, but if you require one, you may call me Jay. Until tomorrow…” The fading twilight swallowed his figure and Esmeralda turned and rushed home, his kiss still tingling on her knuckles.

I appreciate any and all feedback, even (especially) if you think it sucks, but only if you tell me why you think it sucks. Let me know!! I can't wait to hear from you guys. Interaction is what this life is all about!! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Inspiration, a Poem: Springtime Morning Song

Springtime Morning Song

I listen from my front porch as nature greets the coming day:

Roosters announce the impending sunrise
Turkeys bicker in the distance
The songbirds' chorus infinitely repeats
Crows discuss the night's road kill
Dogs argue with the birds
Cows protest the theft of their milk
Doves chatter while pecking at seeds
Woodpeckers provide a drumroll for an unknown punchline.

And the humans drive by, with their windows up, on their way to work, completely oblivious to the musical beauty around them.

This is the view from my front porch.

I don't usually (or ever) write poetry, so I don't know if I've broken any fundamental rules or anything. Or if there even are any?!? I was sitting on my front porch this morning, enjoying my coffee in the hour or so of peace I get between Hubby leaving for work and babies getting up for the day, and inspiration struck. This just happened to be the way the words poured out.

I appreciate any and all feedback, even (especially) if you think it sucks, but only if you tell me why you think it sucks. When did inspiration last strike you? Where were you? What did you see? hear? smell?  How did it make you feel? Let me know!! I can't wait to hear from you guys. Interaction is what this life is all about!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Hey everybody! Just a quick update to let you all know what I've been up to lately. On My Nightstand will be my running commentary on what I'm currently reading. Awesome Blogs, are, you know, blogs that I find awesome.

On My NightstandA Ranger's Tale by Mysti Parker

Once upon a time an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done... 

I've read it through once, for fun, and I really liked the story. Now, I'm reading it again, and taking notes, and will be reviewing it right here soon.

Awesome Blogs: Here some amazing blogs I've come across lately and feel the overwhelming need to share.

TerribleMinds: Chuck Wendig is hilarious. Flat out. I find myself literally rolling in the floor laughing every time I read his blog. The latest one (Transmissions From Baby-Town: "Nine Months") is about his 9-month-old son and is GREAT. I have two babies, 16 months and 3 years, and I could clearly envision every single thing he talks about and I couldn't stop laughing long enough to breathe. Seriously, I think I almost passed out.
He usually blogs advice for writers, and is heavy with the profanity.  So, beware, if that's not your thing. But it fits perfectly with his writing tone and is also hilarious. So, if you don't mind a little constructive cursing and criticism, you should definitely check him out.

Kristin Lamb's Blog:  This is a great place to read about the life and industry of writing. She posts about what's going on in the world of publishing AND why you, the writer, should care. She also posts tips and things every writer should know. Sometimes her posts are about the craft of writing (The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues) and sometimes they show mistakes other writers make and how to avoid them (Don’t Eat the Butt #3–Persistence Can Look a lot Like Stupid). Lots of great stuff for learning writers, so check it out,  you know, if you're a writer. Otherwise, you probably won't like it much.

Okay, so I hope you guys check out the book and blogs. Let me know what you are reading, and maybe I'll check it out and review it. Let me know what blogs you think are awesome and maybe I'll list them next time. Enjoy!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Here's some steam: Rain

Okay guys. Here is my first steamy post. :) This is just an excerpt of one of my short stories I've been touching up lately. Let me know what you think... good, bad and ugly.

Becca ♥


He walked through the door with a hungry look in his eyes, wet from the warm, summer rain. His backward cap provided no protection for his face. Thick raindrops clung to his eyelashes and ran down his face. His grey t-shirt stuck tightly to his skin showing every curve of his well defined chest and abs. His tan arms strained at the sleeves. Those are arms that could easily manhandle her. She waited eagerly for him in a thin, lacy baby doll. Her long dark hair fell in thick curls just past her breasts. Through the lace, the stiff peaks of her nipple signaled her excitement. She walked up to him, pressing her breasts against his chest. Her hands moved tenderly up to his strong shoulders before scratching lightly down his back. With one hand wrapped around each side of her waist, he easily lifted her up onto the kitchen table. Her hands found the bottom of his soaking shirt and lifted it over his head. His wet body glistened in the dim light. He moved his hands slowly up the soft curves of  the small of her back to her shoulder blades, pulling her into a tight embrace. With their faces so close, his heavy breath warmed her lips. Sky blue eyes looked deeply into her brown ones as lips pressed hard against her mouth. His tongue flickered against her lips, begging entry. She opened her mouth just enough to let it pass. Their tongues touched lightly at first, then harder as their passions grew.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hello There!


Rebecca Barray here, but you can call me Becca. I'm a soon to be up and coming writer of romance. I created this blog to talk about lots of stuff relating to my writing: recent readings, what I'm learning about the craft of writing, short writings, ideas, and hopefully your feedback. Super excited about getting started! If you have any recommendations of any romance you've read recently, let me know!!

Stay tuned for some of my steamy writing!!