Alchemy of Story

Transforming Sight, Sound and Thought into Compelling Characters


Hello! Welcome to the virtual corner of my mind where I stash thoughts and ideas for creating unusual fictional characters. It’s not as messy as a junk drawer here but much less organized than a library. You don’t have to be quiet, though, so there’s that. Continue reading “Welcome”

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Flavors – A Tale of Tough Choices

Cold rain drops sting the back of his neck as he rushes from his car to the store entrance. He darts straight to the frozen section and makes the call, hoping she’s still lucid.

“I’m here,” he says when she picks up. “You ready?”


So hard to gauge one word. He continues anyway.

Continue reading “Flavors – A Tale of Tough Choices”

The Candle Who Knew Too Much

Response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt, Candle.

All candles must obey one rule: never look down. Never. This is the story of the candle who did.

Continue reading “The Candle Who Knew Too Much”

The Screaming Boy

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt, Silence.

I watched my teacher save someone in third grade. I did not know it then but I know now. I watched this with eyes that were just beginning to see invisible things like compassion and grace. My third-grader eyes saw friends, Barbies, pizza, roller skates with sparkly purple wheels, Beverly Cleary books and my fuzzy brown and white dog, Candy, licking the window when she saw me walking up the drive. Continue reading “The Screaming Boy”

The Passionate Character Between Excitement and Madness

Writing the Passionate character is exhilarating and scary and one of the funnest things about story telling. Readers understand passion; everyone is passionate about something or someone, even if they do not pursue the feeling. The yearning is there. It can connect them to your characters deeply and personally, whether they like them or not. Continue reading “The Passionate Character Between Excitement and Madness”

The Angry Clock

This response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt, Perplexed, is my stab at a little mad whimsy in honor of Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday yesterday.

The girl in the bed with a cat on her head hit the clock on the table and started this fable.

“SHUT UP!” she said, slapping the snooze, licking her lips, still tasting the booze. Continue reading “The Angry Clock”

First Sentence – Number 2

This is the first sentence of a novel. Does it make you want to read the book? Comment your answer before finding the name of the novel on my First Sentences page, linked at the text below.

“When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.”


Response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt, Melody.

Have you seen death snatch someone? It’s an experience that splits your world in half between now and afterlife, a secret seam that was there all along becomes visible. And frayed. You don’t look at the sky the same or feel the wind on your face the same and you try to remember things with a weird urgency, afraid you’ll forget what made them your person. Continue reading “Rescue”

Moonlight Murder

In response to The Daily post’s writing prompt, Fierce.

She sat alone and happy in the damp grass, enjoying the stars and quiet meadow. She rolled onto her stomach and stretched out, grateful no babies were there to climb on her back and pull her hair. How precious, this time away from her hectic home brimming with siblings. Mom won’t even notice she’s gone, not until bath time, anyway. Continue reading “Moonlight Murder”

Sun and Moon

This is a response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt, Obvious.

Long before you and I were born and long after we are gone, the sun and moon exchange day and night in a loving ritual of enduring friendship. Continue reading “Sun and Moon”

I’ll Teach You, Said the Sea to Me

This is a response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Learning.

The sea talks to me. This is what it says.

You can’t see what is beneath the surface, but come in anyway. Trust yourself to enjoy or endure what you find, maybe an oyster pearl or a jagged coral that slices your foot open. Joy or pain, you will swim back to shore. Continue reading “I’ll Teach You, Said the Sea to Me”

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The Eye Line

This is a response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt Eyes

The fourth floor was colder and more quiet than the others. She held her hands out and waited, breathing fast and shallow.

“Ow!” she said, lifting up her bare foot, the big toe pulsing. Continue reading “The Eye Line”

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