Ashley Wilda

Author

Tag: update

Run: Update and Snippet

Yesterday I completed the first draft of my contemporary young adult novella, Run!  Below is a short sneak peek:

 

Pain.  Light.  Garbled noise.  Warm wetness seeping down my arm.  Gritty asphalt under my palms, my cheek.  Drifting between heady black and greyish white.

Footsteps.  Footsteps on my right.

“Brandon, get over here.”  The footsteps stop.  A presence crouches near me.  A whisper of breath on my hand, my face.  “Hey.”  The voice is soft.  “Hey, can you hear me?”  I force my eyes open, barely.  Crimson trails stain my limp fingers.  I bring the blurred face above into focus.  My mind, emotionless, collects details.  A boy.  Teenage.  Long, spiky blond hair.  Concerned brown eyes.  A hand, reaching…

Reaching?

My heartbeat flies.  My shallow breathing comes faster.  Memories flashing by.  Pain.  Screams.  Dark.  Hurt.  Trapped.  Pain.

His feather-light touch burns me, and I jerk back.  A growl builds in the back of my throat.  I strain to push myself up with energy I didn’t know I had, but fall back, having moved only a centimeter or two.

The boy has pulled back his hand.  “Hey, whoa there, sorry.  It’s okay, you’ll be fine.  I’m a friend, I’m not going to hurt you.”

Boots clomp to my left and stop near my shoulder.  My whole body tenses involuntarily.  My breath rasps, panicked, in my throat.

“My gosh.”  A deeper voice, distinctly male.  I feel a hand on my left wrist and jerk violently, crying out in fear and pain.  I can’t think, I can’t breathe…

The boy half rises.  “Back off, give her space.  She’s scared.”

Understatement.  Terrified, I’m terrified.

He bends close, purposefully making eye contact.  His eyes are gentle.  Pleading.  “Let me help.”

I don’t respond, I can barely comprehend his words… I’m kind of floating, floating, like I’m drifting off to sleep.  Help?  Why do I need help…  Sharp pain lances through my arm, and I cry out.  The sharpness brings focus.

“Please,” he’s saying.  “Let us help.”  He reaches out to me again, but pauses, his fingers hovering over mine.

I close the distance.  “Okay,” I say.

RUN: Update and Sneak Peek

Hello everyone!  The  blog is officially back… a post on my adventures will hopefully make an appearance soon.  RUN is progressing fabulously… although it appears to be morphing into a novella–the word count currently hovering at 20,000 words–the characters are continuing to surprise and entertain.  Here’s a sneak peek of the first page:

 

Pain.  Light.  Garbled noise.  Warm wetness seeping down my arm.  Gritty asphalt under my palms, my cheek.  Drifting between heady black and greyish white.

Footsteps.  Footsteps on my right.

“Brandon, get over here.”  The footsteps stop.  A presence crouches near me.  A whisper of breath on my hand, my face.  “Hey.”  The voice is soft.  “Hey, can you hear me?”  I force my eyes open, barely.  Crimson trails stain my limp fingers.  I bring the blurred face above into focus.  My mind, emotionless, collects details.  A boy.  Teenage.  Long, spiky blond hair.  Concerned brown eyes.  A hand, reaching…

Reaching?

My heartbeat flies.  My shallow breathing comes faster.  Memories flashing by.  Pain.  Screams.  Dark.  Hurt.  Trapped.  Pain.

His feather-light touch burns me, and I jerk back.  A growl builds in the back of my throat.  I strain to push myself up with energy I didn’t know I had, but fall back, having moved only a centimeter or two.

The boy has pulled back his hand.  “Hey, whoa there, sorry.  It’s okay, you’ll be fine.  I’m a friend, I’m not going to hurt you.”

Boots clomp to my left and stop near my shoulder.  My whole body tenses involuntarily.  My breath rasps, panicked, in my throat.

“My gosh.”  A deeper voice, distinctly male.  I feel a hand on my left wrist and jerk violently, crying out in fear and pain.  I can’t think, I can’t breathe…

The boy half rises.  “Back off, give her space.  She’s scared.”

Understatement.  Terrified, I’m terrified.

He bends close, purposefully making eye contact.  His eyes are gentle.  Pleading.  “Let me help.”

I don’t respond, I can barely comprehend his words… I’m kind of floating, floating, like I’m drifting off to sleep.  Help?  Why do I need help…  Sharp pain lances through my arm, and I cry out.  The sharpness brings focus.

“Please,” he’s saying.  “Let us help.”  He reaches out to me again, but pauses, his fingers hovering over mine.

I close the distance.  “Okay,” I say.

Introducing… Run

Today I’m introducing my newest work in progress!  It’s different than anything I’ve seriously worked on before, and I’m excited to share it with you all.

Drum roll please!

Novel Title: Run

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Audience: Young Adult

Series: Stand Alone Novel

Status: First Draft in Progress

Premise:

Seventeen year old Storm, a girl running from her kidnappers, finds a haven in the home of Niken Hollow after being found half dead in an alley.  The two begin to bond as Niken takes her on his escapades with fellow adventure racer Max Kraken, and Storm begins to share shards of her dark past and live free in the wild pair’s presence, daring to hope for a normal life.  However, when tragedy strikes in Niken’s life, Storm must shake off her demons in order to pull him from his paralyzing depression.  But when her kidnappers reemerge, will Storm and Niken ever stop running?

Working Cover:

Run Cover

Introducing… Elemental!

As I have been waiting for feedback on The Hunted, I have begun work work on a new project.  Only a few chapters in, I am still getting to know my characters and setting, but it has been a fantastic ride so far.  While The Hunted has seven different points of view and is written in past tense, third person limited, Elemental has one point of view, only three characters, and is written in first person present tense.   So far, I have enjoyed the challenge of writing a completely different story and putting my imagination to work in new ways.  Because I am writing almost every day, most of the book will be complete by the beginning of May.

So–drum roll please!

Introducing… Elemental.

Elemental

Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Young Adult
Series: Trilogy
Status: In Progress

Premise:

Sixteen year old gladiator Kat Skia has been forced to fight a new opponent every week—and she’s beginning to turn into the cruel panther she fights as.  But when cocky, mischievous Tristan smirks his way into her life and refuses to leave, she is increasingly forced to choose between friendship and her warrior ways.

As Kat trains for the tournament in which she believes she will win her freedom, she struggles with her increasingly electric relationship with Tristan—and the voices that won’t leave her head.  When she finds a mysterious book hidden in her cell in the training complex beneath the arena sands, she races to discover why she was imprisoned… before the final fight when it’s too late.

Will Kat unravel the mystery of the voices and the book?  Will her and Tristan’s relationship survive the arena?  Or will hate triumph over love?

The Hunted–Progress Report 2

As of Wednesday, March 25, 2015, The Hunted became an officially completed fourth draft!  For the first time ever, someone other than myself will read the entire manuscript, and soon other beta readers will follow… and I am more nervous than I had expected.

The Hunted turned out to be an experimental piece–I knew where it was going, but the darkness and intensity of the piece surprised me as I was writing.  I poured everything I am into the first draft, ignoring the sinking doubt that whispered, it’s not good enough, not good enough, not good enough…  During the subsequent drafts, I allowed that nagging worry to help me purposefully shape the story and prose into (hopefully) something beautiful.  I did not allow myself to listen to that nasty, fearful voice while I was writing, but now, waiting for the feedback from my first reader, I am definitely a bit scared.

Although I definitely write for myself, as all writers do, I also write to share with others.  And to work on a story for almost a year to discover that it does not live up to readers’ expectations, that you do not live up to readers’ expectations, is a terrifying possibility.  Although you tell yourself that others’ opinions do not matter, you are lying to yourself.  When you finish the story, let go of this blinding beauty and mighty song that has been building in your head and heart for the last who-knows-how-many months, the truth bleeds through.

You are afraid of failure.

More than that, afraid of rejection.

But you desire honesty even more.

Once you reconcile yourself with this, the feedback process becomes much less painful.  Not completely painless, but bearable, and perhaps even enjoyable.  I desire honest feedback above all else; how I deal with that feedback will come later.  I do want to know if I have achieved my goal or not, or if I have unwittingly achieved a different one.  Daring to fail is part of being an artist.  And in the end, you never truly fail.

I truly am excited to share The Hunted with you all, no matter what the results may be!  The following are a few quotes about art, risks, and mistakes.  I hope you are encouraged as I was.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes.  Break rules.  Leave the world more interesting for your being here.  Make.  Good.  Art.” -Neil Gaiman

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pierce

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” -Bob Ross

The Hunted–Progress Report

The Hunted is the near future urban thriller I am currently editing (learn more about it here).  I am working on the fourth draft and have been surprised to discover how my characters have come alive during the editing process.  A couple months ago, I stumbled upon the song “Better Than I know Myself” by Adam Lambert, which perfectly describes the relationship between two of my favorite characters, Astrid and Nate.  I love their friendship because although they are not siblings by blood, they have become brother and sister through love and circumstance.  Their tenderness and devotion toward each other is wonderfully expressed in the song.  I found pictures of my characters online and combined the images with the lyrics, and I couldn’t resist sharing the result with you.

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Hello, Hello!

Hello everyone!

I am beyond excited to launch this new site.  It is my hope to post at least twice a week, whether that be musings, pictures, creative fragments, updates, scriptures, a little bit about my life, or a short tidbit that I have written–in short, whatever I can dream up!  My goal will be to weave little bits of life into something beautiful, something like—dare I call it—art.

I invite you to explore the site and check back for new posts.  I am always excited to receive any feedback you may have. If you would like to read a little bit more specifically about the blog and its purpose, refer to “The Blog” page.

Thanks for reading!

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