Since I sent “The World That Forgot How to Dance” into the world, I’ve gotten some good feedback on Denise – one of the secondary characters in the story. People liked her passion. They commented on how a character can be brave in a quiet way. They enjoyed the juxtaposition between her methodical ways and Lester’s rashness.
What most people don’t know is that Denise originally had a much larger role in the story.
If fact, in one of the earliest drafts, Lester didn’t even exist and Denise was the only supporting character to Ellsie. (Hard to imagine now, but that sort of thing happens a lot.) I liked Denise from the start, and going back through my notes, it seems that I considered making her the POV character instead of Ellsie. I even had plans for her to be Officer Grove’s daughter – a fact that wouldn’t come out until the climax, at a moment where Denise’s intervention is what ultimately saves Ellsie. Read the rest of this entry
Merry Christmas, everyone! I put together a quick holiday character meme for anyone in need of some winter-themed chuckling. Just pick five characters (could be either your own, or from fandoms you like), write them down, and substitute their names into the following questions. Feel free to share your answers in the comments or post them on your own blog if you want!
Of the characters on your list, who would most appreciate the following gifts?
– A high-end coffee maker
– A year’s supply of lollipops
– A tree planted in their honor in the rainforest
– A large bottle of whiskey
– A mason jar of fake blood
(5) is given the choice of wearing either antlers and a red nose, or a hideous sweater with blinking lights. Which does he/she pick and is he/she pleased with the situation?
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This post features characters from
The World That Forgot How to Dance
Drabble type – Canon
Timeline – after the book
I’ve had a few people contact me after reading The World That Forgot How to Dance, to tell me that they were curious about what happened to Ellsie and Lester after the book. So, since it’s February, here is a drabble of the two of them sharing their first Valentine’s Day together. Enjoy!
As soon as they saw how lovely the party room was, Ellsie gave a short laugh and skipped inside. Lester lingered at the door, smiling. He loved moments like this, where Ellsie got so excited about something that her feet forgot the process of walking and could only remember how to dance.
She spun around twice, and then looked back at Lester and gestured widely to make sure he noticed that the room was, indeed, pretty.
“I see,” he said. “It’s perfect.” Internally, he was directing the compliment at his girlfriend rather than the room they were standing in, but couldn’t find a way to tell her this without feeling really cheesy, so he let it go. Read the rest of this entry
This post contains the following characters:
Willow from A Book Without Dragons
Lester from The World That Forgot How to Dance
Drabble type: Crossover / Two Character Mash Up
Welcome to another of my Two Character Mash Ups! (Yeah, I really didn’t need to capitalize that… but it makes me feel all important and stuff…) This story is the product of Willow x Lester x Disneyland. Enjoy!
“Hey, buddy, did you see a bunch of kids go by here?”
Willow looked up at the owner of the question, wondering how he could possible word his response so as not to hurt the guy’s feelings. After all, they were literally surrounded by children. “Can you be more specific?”
“Kids. You know…” Lester held a hand at his thigh to indicate the approximate height of those he was so frantically seeking. His other hand clutched a plastic tiara. Read the rest of this entry
“The weirdest thing happened. I woke up last night, and I swore the clock said 9:36, but it was later than that when I went to bed.” (Confused? Click Here)
I’m boosting the signal for my friend, Symphoni, who is a dancer doing wonderful things in her community.
As anyone who has read my book knows, I love dancers. I admire them for their bravery, their strength, and their ability to translate emotions into movements. Symphoni is reaching out to the younger generation by giving them the opportunity to dance, and she is looking for sponsors to help them pursue their dream. Read the rest of this entry
Memo to All Characters: With the approaching winter holidays, I will be providing each of you with a small pine tree. Please submit your proposals for how you wish to decorate it so I can supply the appropriate ornaments.
Your friendly neighborhood alter-ego
~ Hannah Barbeck.
Willow (From A Book Without Dragons)
“I just want lights, please. No ornaments.”
[Hannah: That doesn’t sound like you…]
“And a sophisticated circuit board and programming equipment so I can make the lights spell out seasonal messages and change colors and respond to voice commands.”
[Hannah: Okay, that sounds like you.]
Read the rest of this entry
Hey, guess what? My Dancing Novelette is free on Amazon for the next five days! (Snag a copy here). To kick this off, I thought I’d share a little of my inspiration for the story…
When I’m writing a certain project, I generally have a ‘tool kit’ of inspirational things that I go to when I need to get the juices flowing. Sometimes it’s a song, or a series of pictures, or a passage of fiction, or a physical object… you get the idea.
When I was working on The World That Forgot How to Dance, my primary jump-starters were these two videos. I normally watched them before every writing session, and sometimes in the middle of a writing session if I got stuck, and sometimes right before bed if I wanted my subconscious to keep working on the story while I slept. Read the rest of this entry
Just wanted to let you all know that I’m having a holiday sale for my book on Etsy! Use Coupon Code DANCE to get a dollar off my new fantasy novelette, “The World That Forgot How to Dance.” (It would make a unique stocking stuffer! Also, I’ll sign and personalize them at no extra charge.)
Click Here to go to my Etsy shop
I’ll be running this sale from now until December 31st. Happy reading 🙂
This short story features characters from my novelette The World That Forgot How to Dance.
“Ellsie, will you leave it alone? The pumpkin looks fine.”
Lester’s voice poked a hole in Ellsie’s concentration, so she stopped dancing before she could call the magic into her movements. She gave Lester the stink-eye, which would have been much more effective if he’d been looking at her. Lester, however, was dedicatedly working on carving a jack-o-lantern and couldn’t be bothered.
Sighing, Ellsie frowned at her own pumpkin, which hadn’t even been hollowed out yet. “It’s not fine,” she insisted. “It has this giant lump on it.”
“And it’s a fine lump,” he said. “A glorious lump. The best lump in the whole world.” Read the rest of this entry
This post contains the following original characters:
Lester – from The World That Forgot How to Dance
Harold Snowiks – from A Book Without Dragons
Normally when I write two-character mash ups I try to incorporate a couple of extra elements, but when I started off with Lester and Snowiks the scene just seemed too perfect to add anything else.
Snowiks is from my new project, A Book Without Dragons, and he’s an old and somewhat jaded police officer. Lester is from The World That Forgot How to Dance and is the sort of person who has frequent run-ins with the Law.
So, consider this an alternate timeline of Lester’s earlier dancing days, if Snowiks had been born into Lester’s world. Let the fun commence. Read the rest of this entry
Here it is!! ISN’T IT PRETTY???!!!
The cover art was done by my mother, Susan Kent Berrier, and I am so in love with the way it turned out! She referenced a lot of pictures on my Pinterest board to get a feel for how Ellsie looked in my mind, and I think she totally nailed it! (Don’t you just love that skirt??) Read the rest of this entry
This post contains characters from the following:
The World That Forgot How to Dance
No More Heroes
A Book Without Dragons
Across Silence and Darkness (Featured in the upcoming anthology Coven)
In honor of the glorious month known as August, I asked my characters to choose their favorite Summer activity. (Also, this’ll be by first time letting the characters from my just-announced upcoming novel–A Book Without Dragons–show their pretty faces on the internet. Say hi, everybody!)
(From The World That Forgot How to Dance)
“Stargazing. Or really, anything that happens late at night and outside. Since I normally practice my dancing at night (it’s just safer that way) I associate the night with all of the feelings that go along with dance.”
(From No More Heroes)
“Planning next year’s classes. It’s nice to have the space to really analyze what worked last year and what didn’t.”
[Hannah: Wow. Sounds… fun.]
“I wear flip flips while I do it.” Read the rest of this entry
Hey, remember when I told you I was going to be self-publishing the Dancing Novelette? (No? Its here if you’re curious.) Well, I got a box in the mail. The Box. THE BOX!!!
Yeah, I painted out the cover. *Grins wickedly* Cover reveal is in a couple weeks, guys!! It’s so pretty ❤
I’ve watched YouTube videos of authors getting The Box, and found myself to be (ahem…) less eloquent than the majority of my colleagues. Or rather, I squealed incoherently for several minutes. But the books were just so cute and pretty and… real!
Read the rest of this entry
This post features Ellsie
from The World That Forgot How to Dance
Hey, Everyone! I have another Character Survey for you. This one features Ellsie from my fantasy web serial, The World That Forgot How to Dance.
- Gender: Female
- Age: 22
- Hair Color: Light brown
- Eye Color: Dark brown
- Hair Style: Curly, cut very short, doesn’t cover the ears, no accessories
- Body Type: Medium height, thin, like a ballet dancer, carries herself confidently but modestly
- Favorite color: Baby Blue
- Typical Outfit: Skirt that comes down to just below the knees, flowing but not like the gypsy skirts, plain white tank top, flats, one bracelet, stud earrings
What is your ‘senior standout’ title? Best Dancer. But that’s really obvious, isn’t it? So, besides that, how about Most Likely to Come to a Class Reunion.
Name one thing you have no talent for: Styling my hair. I actually used to have much longer hair, but it was so curly and frizzy and I had no idea how to do anything with it. All of my attempts ended in hopeless disaster, so eventually I decided to cut it short enough that I wouldn’t need to mess with it any more. Read the rest of this entry
I was a late arrival to the Pinterest party. I might have held out forever if I hadn’t attended a very interesting class in the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference which presented Pinterest as a writing tool. With that idea in my mind, my unshakable will power gave way to “Well, if you insist…”
I won’t lie and pretend like I don’t sacrifice large sums of time to ogling adorable crafty things or nail polish designs (Oh man, there are some talented DIY-ers out there…) but I have found Pinterest to be a useful writing tool. Or, I guess more accurately: an inspiration tool.
Read the rest of this entry
You know the fantasy web serial I’m running? The drafting phase of this story definitely took the scenic rout. In the end, there were many scenes that didn’t make the final cut. Most of them were scenes I wrote early on of Ellsie dancing, back when I was still trying to get my head around her as a character.
In the end, these scenes were replaced by other dancing sequences that were actually moving the plot along, but I just wanted to share this one because I really liked the way it turned out.
Reverently, Ellsie lifted the wine glass from her bag, setting it on the grass and taking a moment to admire the way the transparent surface caught the starlight. The grass rose to tickle the underside of the glass, like it knew that this was something unnatural and exotic and wanted to unlock its secrets as to how it could capture the light of the moon which the humble plants could only distantly admire. Read the rest of this entry