Restless

F.R.M. President Glenn Masterson was restless.  Usually after a few shots of vodka, he went right to sleep.  Not tonight.  He tossed and turned until he couldn’t take it anymore and gave up trying. 

            The world was about to change.  How could he sleep?

The Red Knot, Chapter 18, The Knowledge of Good and Evil


It is all for the bright!

New subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

41tyaXyWayL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Someone Like Bill

Critique. It’s not everyone’s favorite thing, right? But as a writer, critique groups are necessary for me, a good hurt. Of course, not every circle of writers is a good mix or a constructive influence. I don’t know the secret formula for finding the perfect critique group. Somehow I’ve been super lucky. I attend three amazing groups that suit my location, my genres, my commitment, and my skill level. They accept my writing for what it is, yet challenge me to do better without insulting my ineptitude. Sure, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Critique hurts sometimes, no matter what. And we still debate the common trivialities: the Oxford comma, clichés, and the ever-popular-bad-apple, adverbs.

Today a writer in my critique group lost his battle with cancer.

William Barnes wrote historical fiction. His latest work-in-progress dealt with the sordid history of the Texas Rangers. Before I continue, I must confess—I’m a Yankee. When we arrived at the “Western Expansion” portion of our U.S. History books in high school, our teacher skipped it, claiming this part of U.S. history wasn’t important, as it contained dubious facts and silly folktales. In contrast, my children took two Texas history classes before graduating from elementary school, which I considered suspiciously xenophobic. Bill read his work-in-progress at critique group and shot bullets through my prejudice. In his native Texan drawl, he read his excerpt aloud, a complex tale with Rangers hunting down Mexican-heritage citizens while those in Congress debated boundaries and laws. Conflict, complexity, humor, and action surrounded the historical facts of his story and I was surprisingly intrigued. Funny how a brilliantly scripted “silly folktale” can change minds, huh?   

But I gained more than a new respect for Texas history from Bill. That same night, I shared my piece with the group, a flash fiction horror story. Bill liked it so much he emailed me later and volunteered to beta-read anything I had. I sent him a YA fantasy short story. He sincerely loved it and detailed the reasons. When I lack confidence in my writing abilities, it helps to recall Bill’s words. A Texas grandfather and longtime-writer of historical fiction went out of his way to encourage me, a YA speculative fiction writer.

Though cancer stole Bill from the world, his encouraging words live on. They lend me confidence on days of doubt. Before he passed, I had the precious opportunity to thank Bill for his encouragement. I imagine him riding into heaven on a wild mustang.

Critique is important. Facing tough criticism molds us into better writers. But there’s a flip side. Encouragement also makes us better. If there’s someone like Bill in your critique group, thank them today.

 


It is all for the bright!

New subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

41tyaXyWayL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Focused On The Bump

Nate follows Jaycee’s gaze. She’s focused on the bump lying on a bench that’s shadowed by the longest branch of a huge oak. Their breath forms clouds. Nate aches to ask what they’re waiting for, but Jaycee looks angry.

Tigress, a short story by D. Marie Prokop


It is all for the bright!

New subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

41tyaXyWayL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Happy Lunar New Year!

Shu Rui’s house is not far. There are no sidewalks, but the streets are wide. They’re filled with people because everyone comes home for the fifteen-day celebration of Chinese New Year. It’s The Year of the Tiger, 1998.

I was born in 1989, The Year of the Snake. Everyone says that’s why I talk so much. Grandma always tells me,

Child, you were born under a sign of wisdom. Remember, wisdom is attained by three methods: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.


Find out more about Chinese New Year in The Baiji.


Sign up for the D. Marie Prokop Author Newsletter!

Because You Asked Me To…MLK, Jr Tribute

When it’s hard to believe; remember, it’s been done.

Author D. Marie Prokop- YA Sci/Fi and Children’s Fiction

(Quote used in The Red String, Days of the Guardian, Volume 1)

I adore Patti Griffin’s heartbreaking and beautiful song, Up to the Mountain, which was inspired by MLK’s last speech. I am also proud to feature Houston’s own, Robbie Seay.

Sign up for the D. Marie Prokop Author Newsletter!

View original post

Don’t Be Afraid

She sighed as she looked out over the turquoise water.  Waves crashed at her feet and she felt the water wash over her toes.  This island had been her home soon after she first encountered the Guardian, over ten years ago.  The last decade had been filled with adventure and purpose—and much danger.  Elizabeth had a strong feeling danger was closer than ever.  Closer than the Guardian.

Don’t be afraid, she remembered.

The Red Knot, Chpt. 9, The Job

(Nanowrimo project 2014, published 2015)


All new subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

41tyaXyWayL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Inspection In The Mirror

Li didn’t look much like his father. This inspection in the mirror was as close as Li thought he would ever get to seeing who he really favored– his mother.

The Red String, Chpt. 1, The Boy Meets Girl

(Nanowrimo project 2012, published 2013)


All new subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

41tyaXyWayL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_