Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Bees Found Me

Once upon a time, my apartment was invaded by honeybees...

...and Rooglewood Press announced the theme for their next fairy-tale novella contest: Sleeping Beauty.

It seemed only right to connect the two events.

The latest WIP I've been working on sporadically? A project I've affectionately titled Sting Me to Sleep. (It's quite possible this title is as bad as The Shedding of a Star - the original title for How a Star Falls. It sounds quite epic and clever to me, but, um, you can see that I don't always have the best judgment when it comes to naming my work. So...let's just call this a working title for now and see what happens!)

What started as a terrifying experience has turned into story inspiration and an odd sort of fascination. I've even been collecting various bee paraphernalia (some items gifted by my mom): honeycomb-shaped bee dishes for my kitchen counter, bee pajamas, a bee notepad, and, from my most recent trip to the coast, a bee dishtowel, bee necklace, and a nonfiction book called The Beekeeper's Lament.

It's interesting how writing through your fears can be so freeing. A new perspective - a bit of distance to see the size and shape and solutions - can make a world of difference.

(Does this mean I won't freak out again next spring should I happen to hear buzzing in my stove vent? Mm, probably not. But still.)

Sting Me to Sleep has been quite fun to write so far. :) It's a contemporary romance with a slight fairy-tale flair. I don't know if I'm going to enter it into the Five Magic Spindles contest, as I feel it's more a modern "reimagining" of Sleeping Beauty than a retelling. More "inspired by" than strictly following the plot. I'm really not sure how exactly it's going to turn out, but I hope to finish it soon-ish and find out!

If you'd like to see my inspiration board for the story, hop on over to Pinterest. Below you'll find a snippet from the beginning of my WIP and some pictures of honeybees hard at work at a rose garden I visited with my mom and sister on Saturday...

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Unedited Snippet from Sting Me to Sleep

There were two things I feared in life above all others. 

Bees, and inconveniencing another person. 

The latter dread resided deep within me—a calcification built layer by layer, glare by glare, reprimand by reprimand, and solidified with my mother’s disappointed tears. That’s why I didn’t ask for help when the bees came. 

It was just last spring. I lived in a small rental home on the edge of town, where the grass grew a little wild because I had never bought a lawn mower and the nearest neighbors weren’t near enough to care. 

I liked the solitude. Any freelance editor would. And I was proud to have my own space after several years of rooming with strangers while building up my business. 

But the bees found me after only several months of peace. 

I had known they would find me, eventually. The kind of knowing that friends mock but always proves true. Maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Still, I wasn’t prepared for the battle that awaited me in my own home.

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*Note: I haven't forgotten about Morning Glory (Book 3 in The Heart's Spring series) or Where Trains Collide (another NA novella)! I still plan to finish and publish both stories in time, Lord willing. Stay tuned!