Tag Archives: writing

Nanowrimo Day 3

3 Nov

Stickers I designed for NaNo Los Angeles (our theme this year is fairy tales :)). Come get one at a write-in if you’re in the area~

To go with the last sticker, here’s the prompt for today:

slipper / pumpkin / midnight


[Short Story] The Ugly Duckling

2 May

We’ve been talking about two versions of the same story in my History of Youth Literature class, and it reminded me of this short story I wrote for a test I gave my students last year on transition words. I wrote it after reading the book Ugly by Donna Jo Napoli, so I’m pretty sure her version influenced mine. It’s not complete because students were supposed to write their own endings for the last part of the test, so feel free to write some endings of your own!

Once upon a time, there was a duckling who was bigger and uglier than his brothers and sisters. As a result, his brothers and sisters all made fun of him. The sad little duckling always wanted to be first in line behind his mother, but his brothers and sisters always pushed him to the end of the line. Even though he was bigger than his siblings, he never fought back against them. As soon as the others got big enough, they pushed him out of the nest to make him live on his own. Their mother tried to stop him from going, but he knew that he was not wanted.

The little duckling had a hard time living on his own. No matter how hard he tried, or how far he walked, he could not find a place where the other ducks would welcome him. However, he knew that he had to find water; otherwise, he would die, because not only did water quench his thirst, but it also provided his favorite foods with what they needed to grow. Without water, he was truly lost.

Finally, the duckling found his way to a small pond. There were no ducks in this pond. Instead, there were large, white birds with long necks. “You’re a beautiful duck,” said the duckling shyly.

“I am not a duck,” said the bird. “I,”—he paused for emphasis—“am a swan.” The swan held out the middle of the word “swan” so long that it sounded as if it had two syllables.

“What’s a ‘soo-wahn’?” asked the duckling.

The swan laughed disdainfully. “Why, that is what you are, my dear boy.”

The duckling was confused for a moment, then looked down at his reflection through the reeds and grasses that grew along the edge of the pond. He stepped back in surprise. Looking back at him was a bird that looked just like the other birds that had gathered at the pond. But if all swans were like the one he just talked to, I would rather be alone, thought the duckling to himself.

Meanwhile, his duck family had started to miss him in the months that he had been gone. He had been ugly, but he had done a good job of cutting up grasses for the others to eat. Moreover, he had been so big that the other ducks stayed away from them; consequently, they always had a lot of space to swim and play out on the pond. After talking it over, his brothers and sisters decided to set out on a search for their long-lost brother.

How do you think the story will end? 😉

[3 words] wolf/angel/brush

28 Apr

I’m done scheduling all the Blogging from A to Z posts! Here’s some 3-word flash fiction to celebrate. 🙂

Originally written Monday, February 25, 2013

In the woods, the girl stretched in the moonlight, yawning. Her nose scrunched as she sneezed with a shake of her head. For an instant, small pointy ears popped out of her hair, but they disappeared with another shake of her head. She yawned again and curled up between the roots of a large tree and fell asleep.

A few hours later, her mother came looking for her, finally spotting the small gray wolf sleeping under the tree. She picked up her daughter gently and carried her back to the cabin.

When she felt her mother’s arms around her, she turned back into a little girl. “Mama, are you an angel?” she asked sleepily.

“Shush… Go back to sleep,” said her mother, brushing the dried leaves out of the girl’s hair.

(131 words)

[3 words] king/bath/kangaroo

12 Feb

Sorry for the delay! I actually have a backlog of 3-word shorts and some more Aria that I haven’t gotten around to posting yet, as well as some book reviews I wrote for class, so look for more frequent updates in the next few weeks.

Originally written Friday, December 14, 2012

The king sat in his golden bathtub staring at the bubbles floating around him. He was bored. Every day, he did the same thing over and over again. Over, and over…

The bubbles started to shift on their own. The king jumped up, startled, pulling on his bathrobe.

“Hello, Your Majesty,” said the bubbles, taking the shape of a kangaroo.

“W-What are you?” asked the king.

“I’m here to make your life more interesting,” the kangaroo said.

(77 words)

[3 words] sunflower/jar/bike

11 Dec

Originally written Monday, December 10, 2012

As I walked my bike down the dirt path through the fields, I noticed something behind me, following my every move. When I stopped, it stopped, too. When I started walking, it started again as well.

I bent to tie my shoe, sneaking a look at my shadow. It was a black cat with a white patch on one eye and a white tip on its tail, meeting my eyes unconcernedly with its yellow ones.

When we passed by my neighbor’s sunflower fields, the cat suddenly ran ahead, stopping in front of a tall, yellow flower. Sitting in front of it, the cat met my eyes again, as if daring me to ask what it wanted.

“Do you want to take this home with us?” I asked. My neighbor wouldn’t mind if I picked one or two.

With the flower safely in the basket of my bike, I continued my journey with my new companion. The cat now walked along beside me, no longer hiding in my shadow.

I wasn’t surprised when the cat followed me inside my house once I got home. I put the sunflower in an empty mason jar on my kitchen table and stood back to admire my handiwork.

The cat jumped on the counter and meowed its approval.

I poured a dish of milk and set it on the ground. “I think I’ll call you Sunny.”

(230 words)

[3 words] trapdoor/cellphone/waterfall

4 Dec

Originally written Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ryo brushed his fingertips along the wall as he walked, more out of habit than anything else, not really expecting to find anything.

He was surprised when his fingers caught on something. He stopped to get a closer look. There was a long vertical crack in the wall that was definitely not natural. He pushed next to it lightly, and a hole opened up in the wall. Without warning, Ryo fell into the hole and it closed up again behind him.

Ryo took his cell phone out of his pocket and shined the light of the screen on the wall, trying to see if he could find the door again, but the door was gone.

He had nowhere to go but down the dark hall. He tried to follow the wall in the direction that he was heading before, but he couldn’t tell for sure if he was going in the right direction.

In the distance, he could hear the sound of rushing water. “I thought we were in the middle of the city,” he muttered under his breath.

A moment later, the sound was gone. Maybe I was just imagining it, he thought.

After a while, he came to a stairwell. Remembering that they had climbed up stairs earlier, he headed down.

At the bottom of the stairs was a door with a crack of light shining through. He opened the door and was blinded by the light flooding into the passageway and deafened by the roar of a waterfall less than ten feet in front of him.

He jumped back in surprise and closed the door. The sound was gone, but he was still seeing spots.

He opened the door again, but this time it led out into the hallway, where the rest of the group was waiting for him.

(302 words)

Nanowrimo day +4 update: Happy December! I finished on the morning of the 29th with 57,768 validated words. 😀 (The scene above is actually an excerpt from my novel, slightly edited to make sense and stand alone.) 

[3 words] strawberries/scarf/jellyfish

19 Nov

Her lips stained red from the strawberries she had been eating just moments before, Hana wrapped the gauzy scarf tighter around her neck and held it in place with one hand, her other hand keeping her sunhat on her head. It was a lot windier at the beach than she had remembered.

Still, she was determined to go for her walk along the water. She tied her scarf firmly around her neck to free up one hand to hold her sandals and wriggled her toes in the wet sand. She watched as the tide came in and pulled the sand away from her feet, leaving behind nothing but smooth sand.

As she walked along the shore, she stopped occasionally to pick up a smooth rock and inspect a piece of driftwood. She even saw the remains of a jellyfish that had washed up on the sand.

After all these months away from the ocean, it was good to be back.

(160 words)

Nanowrimo Day 19 update: 53,073 words! (I made it past 51K on the 17th, and I wrote another 2K at a write-in today :))

[3 words] cliff/sponge/monkey

17 Nov

Originally written Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The girl ran to the edge of the cliff after her pet monkey, Bubbles, sponge still in hand. She had been washing dishes when Bubbles got out. When she got to Bubbles, the monkey grabbed the sponge out of her hand.

The girl became unbalanced and lurched toward the monkey. The momentum of the girl pulled them both over the edge of the cliff. Flailing her arms, the girl tried to grab hold of something, but her hands met thin air. The girl shut her eyes and held onto Bubbles as tightly as she could, preparing herself for the worst.

At that moment, she felt a rush of wind as wings unfolded beneath her from out of her monkey’s back, and the two of them floated safely down to the ground.

(131 words)

A flying monkey in honor of Nano. 😉

Nanowrimo Day 16 update: 43,655 words, and I hope to hit 50K tomorrow (today)!

[Aria] アリアの旅 p3

14 Nov

(Scroll down for English. Continued from page 2. Start from page 1. Other pages can be found here.)















Go? Go where?

As a child, I dreamed of making my father’s company the best in the world.

I still feel the same way now.

Since Daddy was the president of a large company, I guess in a way, I did grow up like a modern-day princess.

I didn’t lead a normal life, anyway.

But I was so busy studying every day to take over the company that I didn’t lead what you would call a “charmed life” either.

Daddy didn’t have any sons, so he entrusted me with everything.

I guess my little sister was the one who got to be spoiled.

Not that I was jealous or anything…

It’s just that now that I’m all alone,

even though I know it’s impossible,

I want to be spoiled a little, too…


Nanowrimo Day 13 update: 35,053 (8 days ahead!)

[Aria] アリアの旅 p2

11 Nov

(Scroll down for English. Continued from page 1. Other pages can be found here.)














As if I could be the princess?

My name, my life, everything was different, and everyone in my family was alive and kicking.

I have no memory of a twin brother, so that part was the same as the story, but that was probably just because he didn’t exist in the first place.

Instead, I have a little sister seven years younger than me who doesn’t show up in the fairy tale at all.

I *had* a little sister.


The fairy tale was actually more like a prophecy.

On the day I turned 16,

I lost my entire family.

“Go, Aria–”

These were my mother’s last words.


Nanowrimo Day 10 update: 27,545 (6.5 days ahead, but I have to write a little more outside of write-ins if I’m going to finish by my goal of Nov. 18…)