I'm a half-centennial, aspiring new author in the Houston, TX, area, with a husband who is an over-the-road long haul truck driver. Ultimately, I hope to write three trilogies with my first set of concepts, along with a few short stories.
As a native American English speaker, I believe I have noticed a slow but accelerating decline of the English adverb. (I cannot say whether similar results are occurring in British English.) Authors are advised exclusively to use ‘strong verbs’ and to rely less on adverbial adjustment. Younger generations ever-increasingly accustom themselves to social media shorthand and slang. Many people fall into perpetually repeating the familiar, misspoken phrasings that they grew up hearing and that everyone around them uses, despite being educated otherwise. Prominent among all is the rampant misuse of adjectives occurs where adverbs are needed.
The Secret Admirer
Ambient, late summer sunlight illuminated the high school science wing teacher’s lounge, and birds flitted from tree to tree just outside. “So, now that you know I am a Libra, what is your sign, Laura?” The speaker was the senior biology teacher, Mr. Jenkins, and the only other occupant of the lounge was the young Miss Haley, the junior chemistry teacher. At that moment, in walked the newly-hired physics teacher, fresh from college, Mr. Shaw.
I had helped Mrs. Wickham a few months ago when her children first settled her into our nursing home. A widow now, her four children wanted nothing much to do with her. She wasn’t extraordinarily wealthy, or anything, from what I understand, but she was well-off enough that they could make some sort of trust to pay her way to stay here, and that was that.
A Slice of Heaven
It’s your birthday tomorrow. I know you do most of the cooking, but I want to surprise you. With the kids out of the house for a few years now, I have more time on my hands, and I want to make use of the time alone since you will be working late tonight. I got all the ingredients together as listed from my mother’s old recipe card box, and I made sure I had all the right pans. I picked out my design for the two frostings, using a fudgier, darker version of chocolate for the lettering than the lighter base frosting, and I have all the utensils ready.
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT...
When I was a child, perhaps pre-teen, I had the opportunity to watch a few old horror movies — the black-and-white ones that came from a simpler time cinematically and from an equally pre-adolescent society with now-outdated mores. In these films, there would almost always be a scene similar to this:
The Price of Devotion
Calahendra, the spiritual Keeper of the Oracle Temple, serenely watched her latest visitor from above. He remained unaware of her ephemeral presence hovering at the ceiling while he navigated the three Daises of Communion within the temple’s vast, underground central chamber. The interplay of light through her transparent body reflected back as a shimmering, blue-violet gown against her silvery-white skin before trailing off invisibly upon reaching her feet. The ends of her long, straight, stark-white hair seemingly danced in a constant, light breeze.
The mood atop Irlith Tower, the home of the Irindel Order, was especially somber. Hidden within a grey and breezeless pocket dimension outside of the world of El’Darin, it remained the only safe space left to the group. They had just endured the systematic murders of five colleagues in the past few months.
Soréla stood on a main promenade of the nobles quarter of the coastal capital city of Port Faeldan, its wide avenue paved with cobblestones, flanked with a variety of sumptuous shops, and dotted with well-heeled residents and their occasional entourages. Having newly arrived from Colchesse last night, she marveled at the deeply tan skin the native residents all carried. It lent a natural glow that she found aesthetically pleasing, and it contrasted starkly from the fair to light tan skin of the people from her native country of Relb. She felt slightly envious of the complexion she did not share. She herself received a few appraising glances from the local gentry, but she overheard no comment, and none broke stride nor conversation in response to encountering her. Seagulls intermittently called out in the distance.
So, when I started writing my main (fantasy) story, I had thought about having a cultural bit in my world where lovers in a certain country would say a traditional parting prayer when one went out to sea in order to ensure they get back together.