Courtney S. Barr

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Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breaking the Rules Blogfest!

The wonderful Elizabeth Mueller is hosting a blogfest focused on the rules...well actually focused on breaking the rules...
Yep this is no ordinary blogfest. She has asked us to post something from before we understood certain rules to fiction (course I still like to break a few, like, completely, absolutely break some.. love me some adverbs; seriously ;o) ) Please enjoy a snippet from a story I wrote in the 5th grade (1992)...yep... went into the basement and selected a few journals to peruse. I used to love to buy blank journals and write my own 'novels' in friends & family thought it was so cool. In a way this post is in honor of their support. I would not be blogging today or working towards publication if it weren't for all the rule breaking writing I used to do.
So visit the other bloggers participating here and go find some writing of your own before you became aware of punctuation, adverbs and structure - you may even discover a character or two that you still love!
A breeze lightly touched Anastasia's skin as she walked through the courtyard. Her morning ride on her favorite horse, Whispers, was what she looked forward to every day. She hastened her steps and soon reached the stables.
Quietly she clucked her tongue and to her delight a soft whinny called from one of the stalls. Whispers always answered her with a soft, loving whinny then eagerly would nudge her pockets for a piece of apple or sugar.

"Oh, you've gotten smart. Now you know exactly where your treats are." Anastasia said teasingly.

Quickly she lead Whispers out of her stall, warmed her up with a short walk then adjusted the tack.

By quickly mounting, she eased into the saddle. The two began a brisk walk, then began a full gallop towards the woods. As she neared the trail, Anastasia noticed a small blue scarf-like object on one of the branches of a nearby oak tree. She picked it up, thinking perhaps she would find the owner.

The familiar trail wound around an area of land that opened to a large meadow that was beside a brisk, flowing stream. Whispers knew the trail by heart, so Anastasia slowly slackened the reins and let her go.

Soon the two were at the stream. Beautiful daisies, buttercups, and any other such wildflowers grew bountiful in the meadow along the stream. This was the one place Anastasia relaxed at.

Bringing Whispers to a halt, Anastasia dismounted and slipped out of her boots. Tying Whispers to a nearby tree so she could obtain water freely.

Suddenly the sound of hooves pounding the ground was heard. Curious, Anastasia began to look and see who it was. Worry began to seep into her body. The land she was on was private property. Owned solely by her father, a well-known nobleman.

Fearing that some hunters might have gotten on the land she quickly untied Whispers and led her to a busy area where the two could be concealed. Another frightening thought struck Anastasia, thieves sometimes used thick forests to hide out.

The pounding of the hooves got louder as the horses got closer and closer. Now Anastasia was positive of the fact that there were many horses headed her way.

Anastasia's heart was pounding like a drum against her chest, as the first equestrian appeared before her.

A man of around mid-thirties with red hair and beard, rough looking as of a seaman from the wharfs. Another equestrian of early forties, with a deep brown complexion, short and stocky. The two dismounted beside the stream and before the two conversed, they drank from the stream.

Eager to learn what the two were doing, Anastasia crept quietly towards them.

"Well, Jameson, looks as though we came in undetected," said the red haired man.

"Sure did Curland. Maybe the old guy who owns this land doesn't visit here often." replied Jameson.

"I've heard he's exceedingly wealthy. A nobleman, he is. Oh well, I'm sure the lout will allow us to rest." Curland informed Jameson.

"By the way Curland where are the others?" Jameson asked in an impatient tone."They've got the loot. If they backed out, I'll have their heads!"

"They didn't back out. They know they won't get paid without us." Curland said laughing.

The two stopped talking to get another drink of water. As they were finishing four young men on horseback appeared.

"Well, well, hello!" one young man of his early twenties said to Jameson and Curland.

Anastasia was struck by his good looks. Tall, gallant, muscular, not the type to be a common thief at all! At least not to Anastasia's knowledge. They were always rough, unattractive and burly, like Curland.

"Why, Brontein, didn't know you'd joined our brigade." Curland said sarcastically.

"Well, I just thought joining your little venture might create an interesting time."

"We best be going anyway you two, we'll return tomorrow." Jameson said to Curland and Brontein as he remounted.

Curland, Jameson, and Brontein rode away from the stream.

Anastasia crept quietly out of hiding. Now being able to breathe normally she led Whispers out of the bushes. She kissed her on the nose and said thank you. It amazed her that the horse had remained quiet.

She decided to walk Whispers a little ways on the way home. But she then decided against it. She was too curious as to where the thieves came from. The one called Brontein was still fresh in her memory. His lips, the way his deep blue eyes danced, his muscles. The blue tantalizing eyes played over and over in her mind.

"Augh! I don't even know him! He's a thief!" she reasoned with herself."Just forget him."

She walked towards the area Brontein had gone, a nagging instinct told her to leave. But womanly curiosity urged her forward.

Right then a twig cracked behind her.

Before she could blink the young Brontein was in front of her.
Yep. Forgive my young love of big words and handsome men. lol I hope you enjoyed this - I got a good chuckle typing it exactly as I wrote it. The urge to correct, erase, and burn was deep. My love for my 11 year old self is too great, so it is EXACTLY copied from the book. What I do think is interesting is that even now there are some descriptive aspects that I still love to do when writing, even when the rule is against it. Dang my stubborn streak - I need to work on that.

This is just a small portion of the journals I still have - goodness knows how many total there are. This snippet is from the tan DaVinci covered one-far right.
Don't forget to visit the other bloggers participating here
Have a Fabulous Friday!


  1. What a cool idea for a blogfest and what a great entry for it. So fun to see the 'before' work and then see what the 'after' work has become. Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a great weekend. :)

  2. You wrote this at age 11?! :D

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Wow. That was great for your age. Very well done. My husband is a teacher and its amazing how many stories, poems, etc his girl students choose to do on horses. What is that all about? Great post.

  4. I can't believe you wrote this at age 11! Well done. I love this blogfest. Great entry!

  5. SJ - I know, I love this blogfest. I say that now but typing this out and not correcting anything was difficult; but fun. Thanks as always for stopping by!

    Diamond: Yep - 1992. God help me! It feels like yesterday and so far away all at the same time!

    Raquel - well, I rode cutting horses in competition a great deal as a young girl(Barrel Racing type & Dressage). There is just this spasm of time,especially in the country where the girls I grew up with obsessed with horses. One of them is now a very famous Equestrian trainer (Arabian show horses) in North Carolina. So her love never died. Neither did mine, really, I love to ride when I can. Most of my stories from that year, the year before and after ALWAYS had a horse! lol Thank you for the kind words.

    Renae - thank you! It was really fun to dig through my old stories. I decided to just copy the first pages. the next ones are hilarious. Anastasia is a pretty interesting smart aleck! ;o)

  6. First, hats off to posting something you wrote at 11! That is just plain awesome. I agree, I really enjoyed it. I think you and I were writing similar stories--I still love big words and handsome men!

    Happy Friday~


  7. That was great for your age! I think I can also see the child in the piece, though, in the emphasis on the flowers and the general tone. Isn't it great to look back and see how far you've come?

  8. You sure you didn't sneak some editing in there? Nice job for 5th grade!

  9. Portia - thanks. Yep something about horses and hot guys...oh the young girl's heart is so much older than it should be! Happy Friday ;o)

    Sangu - I appreciate the kind words! Yes, I can see it with the description of Whispers and the meadow...I was a bit scared to go back my older stuff for fear of the laughter in my head but really I love that 11 year old little girl who enjoyed romance and adventure. She still sits with me today when I write ;o)

    Andrew - seriously not a single correction! Thanks for the kind words!

  10. I love your mention of her "womanly curiosity"! So funny!

    I used to write in journals too! I still have all of them, of course, and get a big kick looking through them all.

    I didn't know about this Blogfest--too bad!

  11. What a beautiful collection of journals! And I think most pre-teen/early teen girls go through a "horse" stage, don't they? It's like a cliche. (that being said, I never cared for them myself. hehe).

    I didn't have the guts to post anything from my youthful writing experiments - they were really wild. But Elizabeth had a 2-part rule for the contest, the second part was: current WIP that breaks the rules. So I opted for that. Whew. Thank goodness for loop holes.

    Anyway, nicely done!

  12. Love the name...Brontein...*grins* ...also, horsies are always great. Period.

    And I LOVE the journals (have my own collection) ; P

  13. Ah, love and horsies and love and tall, gallant men and horsies. LOL Cute. =D

  14. Oooh! You were an excellent novelist at age 11! I am utterly and thoroughly and super-de-duperly impressed with your skill!! Whoa...

    I love the handsome and romantic writerly things, too--even at the age of 11, too! ;) (I wrote a book about a stallion that fell in love with a mare) LOL

  15. Wow! That's a great entry. I can't believe you wrote that at 11! You go girl! :)

    On a side note... I saw your NaNo badge. I participated in NaNo last year for the first time! Talk about wild! That's actually where I got the concept for my "No Shame for the Wicked".

  16. I loved that story! I was obsessed with horses when I was 11 too. Still am, though my writing styles don't really make room for the horses anymore. Great story though! It actually sounds a lot like something I would have written! I used to write in spiral-bound, single-subject notebooks. Always ran out of paper. LOL Great entry!

  17. I can't believe you wrote this at eleven.

  18. Nice entry. Maybe I should have posted something from my past after all. hmmm

    I did notice the adverbs, such as "quickly", hehehe. ;-)

    Used to buy those books all the time, the lined empty ones but never wrote much in it. Right now, I'm writing my Sekrit Novel in one, and have a second ready cause it's going to be longer than one book because the one i'm using holds 150 average per page.

    Well done.

  19. Left you something on my blog! :)

  20. That was pretty good, for an 11 year old. You had a thing for "quickly" "began" and "then". (I still use "really" and "just" way too often.)

    This has a young feel to it. Maybe you should keep it out, work on it a bit for editing, but keep the innocent flavor. I bet it'd appeal to young girls. While reading this, I remembered what it felt like to be about 14 and dreaming of adventure and love.

    Aside from the info dump nature of the dialogue, I thought, you did a great job of plot and character development in the exchange. Good descriptive narrative for setting; there is a strong sense of place and time, culture. Strong voice, clear and consistent POV. and the pacing was just right; not to fast, but moved the story and characters forward.

    You had a creative mind at a very young age. I can see you carrying around your note books and pens, you had talent for writing and it seems encouragement to develope your ideas. I haven't browsed your site much, but you seem to still have that sweetness in your writings. Very appealing.

    Thanks for sharing your early work. And an even bigger THANK YOU for being my 100th follower. I'll have to figure out a prize for you. I'll let you know. Now I have to finally set a date for my own blogfest.


  21. Very cute :D I have a ton of journals that I never finished...for some reason I preferred binders and binder paper. On the fact that you find things you still use--me too. So bad. And yet, I think sometimes the younger and more unpolished stuff has its own appeal. Endearing :D

  22. Okay, it is totally unfair that you could write like that at age 11! Bratty princess! LOL! :-)

    Those journals are gorgeous!

  23. For fifth grade work, that was great! My favorite broken rule was the men calling each other by name for the benefit of the eavesdropping girl. LOL. Thanks for posting.

  24. Hey!!! I have that same Desire journal! I love all the quotes in that one. :) Glad to see you're a journal junkie too.

    Oh, and that was good, but you've much improved with age. ;)

  25. Um, yeah I have no idea what I was writing at 11, but it was probably more along the lines of "Once upon a time there was a nice dog." I'm impressed!

  26. Awww, this is adorable!

    I love that you shared it with us...and even your Precious Moments journal! ;)



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