Thursday, October 31, 2013

My portrait of Kate

I'm not a terribly good artist, but sometimes I'll draw my characters so I can get a clearer look at them. I did that for Kate soon after I finished "Fairy Godmothers, Inc." (headshot only, sorry - when I'm feeling braver I'll try a color version of those wonderfully horrible outfits). It's a photo of a rather messy pencil-and-paper portrait, but I thought you might be interested to see it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fairy Godmothers, Inc. short story: Paperwork

by Jenniffer Wardell
Kate had thought the one creative writing class she’d taken in college would prove completely useless. Then she’d started writing Fairy Godmothers, Inc. assignment reports.
She hesitated over the mirror’s keypad, weighing her words.
The client, Yvette Longhorn, had not been told of the Fairy Godmothers, Inc. package her parents had purchased. When I informed her, she appeared excited by the prospect of working with the company.
Technically, it wasn’t even a lie. One of the definitions of “excite” was to “increase the activity of something.” Throwing a chair was definitely an increase in activity.
Apparently, Yvette already had a boyfriend, a fine, upstanding dwarf who worked as a jeweler a nearby town. Her parents, who apparently had strong views about inter-species dating, did not approve.
We had a lively discussion about her personal preferences for the assignment.
Translation: there was a lot of shouting, and even more of Yvette flatly refusing to listen to any of the very sympathetic and rational things Kate had to say. She had valiantly restrained herself from either hitting Yvette with her wand or turning her into a fashionable hat.
But it had been close.
Before a second meeting could be arranged, however, the parents requested an alteration of the original contract. Per Fairy Godmothers, Inc. regulations, they paid an additional 50 percent of the package cost as a change fee. Neither of the Longhorns stated a reason for the alteration.
Once Yvette had shouted herself hoarse, Kate had dragged her to her boyfriend’s shop and explained the concept of bribery to both of them. Luckily, the boyfriend was far more sensible than Yvette, and had a grandfather who had done very well for himself in mining before the family moved down to the city.
The Longhorn’s compunctions, it seemed, weren’t quite as strong as their desire to have enough jewelry to blind all of their neighbors.
The Longhorns and Yvette all report 100 percent satisfaction with the resolution of the assignment. Their client statements are attached below. Yvette also stated that she would recommend the company to all of her friends.
Particularly, she would point out that certain Fairy Godmothers were good at handling difficult parents. Kate thought it best not to mention that part.

She had, however, been invited to the wedding. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Fairy Godmothers, Inc." extended scene: The Statue Incident

Welcome to the “Fairy Godmothers, Inc.” special edition! Under this tag I’m going to roll out some extended/alternate scenes that didn’t make it into the book. When we get to the longer scenes, I’ll even give you guys the option to experience the scene with or without author commentary.

For this one, however, I can get the commentary out of the way before the scene starts. This is an extension of the scene that starts out chapter 5, specifically between pages 56 and 57. I snipped this bit due to protest that Kate is more emotional here than she usually is, and I will admit that it’s probably not necessary for the scene. But I think it gives a glimpse of Kate that I’m not sure we see anywhere else, and I still mourn it a little.


“Possibly, though that depends on how much emphasis you’re placing on the ‘you.’” John hesitated. “I might have some vague chance in getting the Queen to ask for one, but with this little lead time I’m not even sure she’d be enough to persuade Madame Stewart to marshal her forces and get everything pulled together. For something like this you’d have to go straight to the Madame herself, the Queen’s personal entertainment organizer, and she won’t even give me the time of day after that unfortunate incident with the ice archer.”
Rellie stared at John for a second, then giggled. “You’re really weird.”
“He is not weird,” Kate snapped instantly, whipping around to glare at Rellie. “Those ice sculptures are absolute menaces anyway, and you don’t even have any idea what happened in the first place.”
You could have heard a wand drop in the resulting silence. Horrified, Kate barely resisted the urge to clap a hand over her mouth as she saw Rellie’s eyes widen in surprise. Slowly, she slid her gaze over to John, who was staring straight ahead and looked like he was fighting the urge not to … what, she didn’t know. But knowing the way her life usually went, it probably wasn’t going to be something she wanted to hear.
Kate took a deep breath, making herself ignore the lead weight that had suddenly dropped into the pit of her stomach. “So,” she began, not quite meeting John’s eyes. “You were telling us about the possibility of a fancy dress ball?”
“Yes.” John very deliberately cleared his throat, still not quite willing to look at Kate. “What I was trying to say is that I doubt I’ll be able to convince the woman of anything on my own. But she loves Rupert, both because he’s pretty enough that he matches the statuary and he actually enjoys eating those disgusting canapés she makes. If I can convince him to persuade her we need a last-minute ball, we should be fine.”


And later, on page 59….


She felt a tug on her skirt from Rellie. “I’m not sure about this whole dancing thing, but if I trip I might tear the skirt of the really neat dress you made me.” The girl made her eyes go big and plaintive as she batted her lashes up at Kate. “Do you really want to have to go through all the yelling it took to make it all over again?”
“Besides,” John said quietly. “It’s not every day I find someone willing to defend my honor.”

Kate stared hard at John for a long moment, feeling something inside her chest catch. “Thursday night, then? Ten o’clock?” she asked finally, still waiting for him to say no. It was absolutely ludicrous to expect someone to have their schedule open with only two nights advance notice. “Just across the street?”

Friday, October 11, 2013

Poetry confessional

So… I was really into poetry in college, as I’m sure many of you were/are (I’ll have to tell you about the depressing poetry contests, sometimes) but I hadn’t written in years. As Mark Twain said, “Contentment does not lend itself well to verse.”

Then… I kind of went through a super stressful time lately, and my first poems in years suddenly fall out of my fingers. And, since you’re a captive audience, I’m subjecting you to them.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned
But no one thought to ask
If it was he who struck the match
If the slide of bow across strings
Was a mock of the city he’d felled
Without an army at his back
A celebratory dance
For the destruction he’d conjured

Or if he saw the flames
Only when others did
Tasted death as it was carried on the wind
And reached for the fiddle
So he could spend his final moments
In song


Somewhere, the world is ending

There may be warning signs
Arguments in the night
Whispers of disappearing money
The slow fading of the light in their eyes

But that final morning
Always keeps its silences
Never admitting
That this will be the last moment
Before your own private apocalypse
There will be no time to mourn
No companion with you in the bunker
Only blue skies
That seem a thousand miles away
And the memories of a world

That lies shattered at your feet.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

High School “Fairy Godmothers, Inc.,” volume 2

Unfortunately for me, there is a good deal more of my original, “high school” version of “Fairy Godmothers, Inc’ than what I had previously posted. Because you are kind and I abandoned shame a long time ago (there was no longer any room for it in my apartment), here’s another excerpt.


Now that we had dealt with the dress, on to step two. I had to find out if she could dance. Since it was more important in this society for girls to be taught how to dance than how to read, I thought that I would have no problem. I had no idea how I could have still thought that, given the rest of the night. I was probably in denial.

So I asked the question, and got the answer I should have expected. She broke down sobbing (an act that she would continue on and off for the rest of the night). Then I proceeded to ask the very stupid question, “Didn’t your father teach you?” That only made her bawl harder.

When she finally calmed down, she managed to get out, “He died in a terrible cliché.”

“Don’t you mean accident?” I responded, unwilling to believe that bad writing could kill someone (though there have been cases of William Shatler’s books making people ill.)

*** Note from the author: Clearly, I meant William Shatner – yes, he also writes – and I like to tell myself it was simply a typo. If it was a genuine attempt to alter his name in some sort of parodic sense, I am embarrassed for myself.***

“No, cliché,” she barely managed to respond. “He died in a carriage accident while rushing home from his office, in the pouring rain, trying to make it home for my eighth birthday party,” she responded, which started a fresh round of tears. How does someone respond to that?

***It wasn’t until college, at least, that I realized how inelegant it was to use the same word so close together. Three times in one paragraph, though, is a little much even for high school me.***

***Though I have to admit, I do love the cliché line. I may have to figure out a way to use it later.***