Tag Archives: Online Writing

The Three Blogs of Sandra Bell Kirchman


BLOG IDEAS (Photo credit: owenwbrown)

I read somewhere that blog followers are just as interested in the subject of a blog as they are the author.  Therefore, you may be interested in my other blogs, or you may not.  Heck, you might even want to touch base with them now and then just to see if I can keep up with all three.  I’m interested in that myself. On the off-chance that you are interested in one or more of my blogs, I’ll list them here, including the one you’re reading now, including the linked title and a brief description.

Tilly, Oreo, Ling Ling - picture (c) Sandra Bell Kirchman

Tilly, Oreo, Ling Ling – picture (c) Sandra Bell Kirchman

Puppy Dog Tales – This is my newest blog, started two weeks ago.  It is a casual, somewhat humorous and helpful compilation of true stories about my three little Shih Tzu dogs.  Goal is one tale per week.  Readers are enthusiastically encouraged to share stories of their own dogs.

Guru 4 gurus

Guru 4 gurus (Photo credit: sapojump)

News, Views, and Gurus – This is my second oldest blog, started in 2011.  As a writer and former journalist on the press release list, I get a lot of PR‘s from various agencies.  Some of the stories, although not hard news, are just too good to throw back on the pile.  So I set them up as a post, adding my own comments and experience, if any, with the subject matter.

"Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories" edited by Sandra Bell Kirchman

The unicorn on the cover of “Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories,” edited by Sandra Bell Kirchman.

FantasyFic – This is my original blog, started in December of 2010.  As the blog description states, it is a celebration of fiction writing and especially fantasy fiction.  I love fantasy fiction and write it almost exclusively, although my second love is mystery, closely followed by historic fiction.  This blog contains quite a bit of my writing–flash fiction and excerpts from novels.  It also shares some of my experience from the decades of writing I have engaged in…from character building to world building and anything in between.



The Cave

Image via Wikipedia

We have a guest blogger today who has become fascinated with flash fiction.  His name is Eric Esteb, and he is a screenwriter by profession.  He is also a member of the writers at my FantasyFic forum.  Two of his wonderful stories were accepted as part of the anthology, Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories, edited by me and published by FantasyFic Publishing.
This is Eric’s first foray into our blogosphere, so please make him welcome.
* * *
by Eric Esteb
“There are spiders in there.””So? Are you scared?” Erin asked mockingly.

“No, I’m not scared,” Arnie swallowed hard and looked into the darkness of the hole under the old dead tree. He was smart enough to know that Erin and her friends had brought him here to torment him, but he’d come because he had always fancied her, throw in the fact that she had developed earlier than all the other girls in his class and…

His current predicament was a foregone conclusion. He turned and looked at Erin; she nodded for him to go.

“If you’re just gonna chicken out Arnie, tell us now so we can get out of the sun.”

“I just need to bring out a rock?”

The girl smiled. “Yep! To prove you went all the way in.”

It was dark in the cave, too dark to see after Arnie had gone around a bend in the path. The air was humid and heavy, somewhere, deeper within the cave it sounded like the earth was breathing.

Hands slick with mud Arnie groped his way along the sweating walls of the narrow cavern. After a few minutes the ground evened out and the path widened. Suddenly Arnie’s hand fell upon a sturdy wooden fence. The wood felt old but strong.

He felt his way along the fence until he came to a gate barred from his side. Arnie hesitated a moment at the gate but thoughts of Erin’s T-shirt cascaded into his head. Arnie hefted the heavy plank barring the gate, let it fall to the muddy ground and opened the gate with a creak. He winced, but after nothing bad happened he continued on through.

The breathing stopped but he felt less alone than he did a moment ago. He continued on into the absolute blackness until he found the far wall. He still needed a rock, though now it felt like something was watching him.

He blundered along until his feet fell on stone. He stepped up onto an altar and felt around in the darkness for something to take up to the girls.

“Ouch!” His voice sounded far away in that dank cavern. His hand fell onto something sharp. Something metal. Arnie touched it more carefully and realized it was a sword buried in the ground. He wrapped his hand around the grip and the blade began to glow blue.

He looked about, sensing something had been living there and, with horror, that it was no longer in its prison.

Outside, far away Arnie heard the girls scream.

Something deep down within him told him what to do. Part of him, the reader, the geek, the outcast always knew.

Arnie pulled the sword from the bed rock and rushed through the darkness to the light.

465 words
Copyright (c) 2011 Eric Esteb.  All rights reserved.

How to develop your character from random words and avoid premature grey hair

Not only can staring at the monitor turn your hair grey, but it can turn you into a robot. Really!

Staring at the blank page on the monitor can turn your hair grey early.  Okay, I don’t really know that because I have dyed my hair for a long time now and have no idea what color it really is.  But I can remember sitting and looking at the blank page on my screen and grinding my teeth in frustration.  That can’t be good for you.  Still, nothing was coming; I had a deadline and it was drawing ever closer.  A friend of mine had posted this little exercise on the forum that I manage, and I decided to try it out.  Here’s how it works.

Below is a list of five words.  You take each word and write a paragraph (one paragraph only) about that word from one of your character’s perspective.  You don’t have to use the same character.  If you would rather write a description of a place, do so, but keep in mind the story you are writing and the voice you are using (we will talk about voice in another post).  Note:  You can write more than one paragraph if you are including direct dialogue, since you need to use a new paragraph for each speaker in turn.

1. Air
2. Apples
3. Beginning
4. Bugs
5. Coffee

I know it looks very simple but you would be amazed at what you find out about characters just describing something simple.  Here, I’ll show you (this is right off the top of my head and not pre-written).


I couldn’t seem to get enough air into my lungs.  It was as if something dark and heavy were sitting on my chest pressing me into the ground.  Even my healing powers had deserted me.  My vision was growing dim, with intermittent flashes of light in front of my eyes.  Even so, I noticed that the rest of the group hadn’t noticed my distress; I was being left behind.  I knew they would come searching for me once they noticed, but would I be able to hang on until help came?  I gasped and strained to gulp in the air, but it was no use.  The darkness grew complete and I knew no more.

This is a very interesting little bit.  The speaker is Emerald Verity, the former Battle Cleric of the title and the main character of my WIP (Battle Cleric the Novel).  So far though, I have not written anything about this episode.  I have no idea what has happened, but it is intriguing enough that I might follow it.


Feldspar reached forward and took an apple out of the bowl on my desk.  Holding it delicately, he took a huge bite out of it and started chewing, the sweet juice dribbling down his chin.  It annoyed me that he hadn’t asked permission but just helped himself.

Perhaps he had read my thoughts, for he said, “Sorry, milady, that was rude of me.  I’ve had naught to eat for the past twenty-four hours, and the apple promised to stop those miserable growling noises of my stomach.”

How can you stay annoyed at someone like that?  “It’s fine, Feldspar,” I said.  “Help yourself to as many as you need to stop the hunger noises.”  I found I had to hide a smile as his stomach rumbled like a catapult being winched up.

Same here.  So far there is no episode like this in the story.  However, it is a good character bit for both Feldspar, a rogue that Emerald used in her spy system, and, of course, Emerald.

You get the idea.  Just let it flow, keeping in mind that the paragraph must have some connection to the word.  You don’t have to post your paragraphs here, but it would be great if you did.  I love reading these snippets and people are so creative with them.

P.S. The exercise saved the day, I wrote enough paragraphs to get me going, and I made the deadline 🙂