Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Follow Me to New Adventures!


After much debate, I am switching blog sites. 

As I get more serious about turning my writing hobby into a career, I'm also looking for ways to streamline my internet visibility. Wordpress offers me a few more options than Blogspot, so (after they bribed me with lots of promises of chocolate and other yumminess), I decided to make the transition.

If you wish (and I really hope you do), would you hop on over to:

and click on the little button at the bottom of the page that says, "Follow Tamara Shoemaker, YA Fantasy Author."

I even wrote my first blog entry on the site, which you'll find on the right-hand side of the page. Looking forward to seeing you over there!

Lots of love!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Girl-Next-Door vs. . . . Burnt Muffins?

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to add a gladiator. Whaaaaaat? 

It took all my creative powers, plus an excess of caffeine, and a little head-to-desk thumping, but I finally managed something. Here are TWO stories, widely varied, based on the prompt.

Sorry, No Breakfast Today, Kids

The scarred muffins shatter charcoal across the counter as I dump them from the pan. Their blackened tops are cracked; white, mealy breading peers through the fissures.

I’ve spent an hour and a half waging a losing war,
Encumbered by heavy odds that thicken as the batter swirls beneath the whisk.
The range ticks past the required temperature, and all my efforts to forestall it fall short.

Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt,
Roil and stir and swirl and shake—
I throw up a shield to block the flour that explodes in my face,
spearing the blueberries as they tumble from the box,
purpling the counter in splashes of dewy blood,
their stains evidence of the battle that rages in my kitchen.

Like a mystified kitten, I poke at the recipe,
batting fluffs of white flour from my nose,
scrambling after a runaway egg,

Until at last, the sodden mess slumps into the tins,
And I turn away to survey the remains of the battle,
the field of warfare dotted with chocolate-pasted spoons
and icing-crusted toothpicks.

I toss my spatula to the counter, where it clatters across the burned muffins
In a last, ragged, dying gasp.

I apologize for the above. ;) It was . . . fun to come up with, though.

Next attempt, and a whole 'nother animal.
Over the Fence
The yard next door is empty until your family moves in.
The “for sale” sign tumbles, and the picket fence whitens.
Flowers line the porch, and the front windows light at night like laughing eyes. 

The crisp autumn evenings echo with shouts, leathery thumps refracting from the glove on your hand as you pound your fist into it, waiting for your dad to toss the ball.

The heated steam of summer bakes your bronzed legs. An open book nestles below your shaded eyes while the blazing sun roasts above.

In winter, your parka fluffs around your pinked cheeks like the warm fuzz of a kitten’s fur, and your blue eyes snap with cold and fun.

They think they know you, the girl-next-door.
Button-cute, they say.
Daddy’s girl, they say.
Tom-boy, they say.

They don’t have my vantage point from beyond the fence.
They don’t see the losing battle where you’re alone in your field,
Arrayed with useless weapons
And harmless nets,
A dull spear
And a cracked shield.

The cancer spreads like warm blood,
Soaking your cells with poison and dulling the warrior’s glint in your eyes,

So that one day I wake up,
And the yard next door is empty.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The End

What a gorgeous picture that invites so much imagination! I'm judging this week, so my participation in the Flash! Friday contest is completely ineligible, but I couldn't resist at least posting an attempt at a story.

Story element to include: "A Fleeting Moment." Here's my attempt:

The End

You see the way it should have been.

The breath-taking portrait of happily-ever-after
Shatters painfully beneath the black-and-white photograph of what-is-now.

You are my soulmate, you should have said. You are the other half of me.
But the words hang empty, bereft of breath,
Deflated before they are even uttered.

A thousand reasons teeter on the edge of the silence,
Crowding in, pressing my thoughts into a whirl
Of panicked need.

It takes only a moment,
One second of shrinking courage,
One fleeting gasp of meeting-eyes,
And it is over.

All the excuses you could offer her,
She can foil with the other side.
For all your beginnings,
She can weave the ends.
The story is already written.
There is nothing left to do.

You should have had the courage to tell her then.
But you didn't.

You should have begged.
But you didn't.

You should have done anything but what you did.
Instead, you stare at her as she slowly shakes her head.
When she turns from you,
You rotate the other way,

Two backs, facing each other,
Two directions, opposite sides of the same picture.

Just . . .
Mirrored reflections in the rain.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

In Which You Discover A SuperHero

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to include a superhero in a story, using this photo as a prompt.

Here's my heroic attempt:


Mirror, mirror,
What do you see?
Scars and pockets,
When looking at me?
A twisted nose that’s broken twice
Sagging jawline, eyes of ice?
Lips that hide a chipped, black tooth—
One dark loner in a beer-stained booth—
Freckles that dot a sun-burned face,
Flesh and flab and sweat and trace,
Feeble or fat, heavy or thin,
You think you know what lies within.
Your smooth face reflects with glee
Every foible that you see.
All you show is lines of dust,
Black, dark windows covered with rust.
No one sees, not even you,
The superhero that hides from view.