Writer In Motion: Week 4 Final Draft

Time has just been going so fast. It has already been four weeks since I met Quinn and Alex for the first time and started to figure out their story. What I do know is even after WIM is over, I want to continue to explore them possibly in the context of my superhero project or as characters in my Happily Ever After Inc. series.

Last week, I was matched with Carly Hayward with Book Light Editorial. I can’t even begin to thank her enough for her amazing and helpful comments. I feel like she really helped me bring Alex, Quinn, and their cute meeting to life. Like my CPs from last week, she really helped me see the things that were getting lost in the print for me. I feel like she really understood my story and her edits were completely on point. I would love to work with her again!


The Right Wrong Path

It was supposed to be an hour-long hike—keyword supposed to. Quinn had managed to stray off the well-marked path and climb a completely non-beginner friendly hill. That was what her quads were screaming at her, at least. Lifting her phone, she checked for a signal. No luck. It had the same lack of bars as when she had tried two charlie horses ago. At least it wasn’t summer. She paused to rest her legs for a second and get a picture of the sun through the blanket of trees. It would make a good post on Instagram when she found her way back to the correct path, or at the very least, it would make one hell of a last one.


Quinn came out of the thick blanket of trees. It opened into a field of grass that someone kept neat. The sun beating down did little to cut the chill in the air. She made it to the summit—the wrong summit, but the top nonetheless. There was a small field of flowers tucked away from the world below, which surrounded a small house. There were no windows that Quinn could see, but there was a door. Curiosity getting the better of her, she crossed through the flowers to get a closer look. The walls were grey like concrete and had a carved wood door. As she put a hand on the door to knock, it caved in.


Surprised by both the door opening and the floor’s softness that broke her fall, Quinn lifted her head to brush away a mop of hair and saw worn black leather shoes. Shoes that were attached to legs.


“Do you always wander around strange houses on top of hills, or am I special?” The owner of those shoes sounded amused to find a grown woman on their floor.


“Only on days I’m supposed to be hiking, it seems,” Quinn said, taking an offered hand. Their palm was rough, reminding her of sandpaper.


“I’d ask if you had a name, but I’m not convinced you aren’t a fairy here to steal mine,” Blue eyes danced with mirth. Their mocking nature sent heat up Quinn’s spine.


“I’m not a fairy.” She scoffed. “I’m human, but barely before coffee. And it’s Quinn.”


“Well, Quinn, what are you doing on my mountain?”


“I was hiking to Rosewood Peak from Eastwick Point, but I think I took the wrong path.” They looked at her with amusement, which Quinn did not find funny.


“The wrong path is an understatement. If you had been any more wrong, you would have ended up in a different state. Come sit down while I get a sweater and take you back down the better way.” They motioned to a well made wooden table. The inside was much bigger than she would have guessed from what she had seen outside. The lack of windows gave a dark, almost fantasy-like atmosphere with a lit hearth and candles casting soft light as the door was shut. It was comfortably warm despite the crisp fall air on the other side of the door.


“Can I ask you a question?” Quinn said, sitting on the log bench watching the homeowner as they moved to a carved coat rack.


“Is it my name?” The smile was back, making her heart do a barrel roll in her chest. Quinn would not have been in such a good mood had someone fallen in her doorway.


“Yes, but also, what is with the Merlin set up? Why don’t you have windows?” Quinn motioned around the one-roomed dwelling. She didn’t see any electricity or plumbing at all.


“If I want to see outside, all I have to do is open the door. And it’s Alex.” It was a start, at least. “Place keeps plenty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I find that the things you really need are always right in front of you.” Alex pulled on a dark-colored sweater looking right at her. From how rugged everything else was, Quinn would not have been shocked to find out they had knitted it themself.


Alex was the perfect guide to get Quinn back. They knew the woods surrounding their hilly home and could point out things Quinn hadn’t seen on the way up. She hadn’t even noticed that the trees leaned toward the peak or that rocks created natural stepping stone paths. The company of someone was nicer than trying to stop and take pictures for Instagram every five steps. That had been the whole reason she had strayed off the easy hike path completely unprepared. Only she could have gone so far off course that her legs would be reminding her of the error any time she tried to make the mistake of moving for at least a week.


“So hiking doesn’t seem to be your everyday sport,” Alex said, looking sideways to Quinn. “Do you usually get into this much trouble?” That made Quinn laugh.


“Kind of? I have a habit of getting into crazy situations.”


“You can’t just say something like that and not give me an example.”


“Okay, so this stays between us,” She shot a sideways glance at Alex, who held up a mock scout’s honor salute in agreement, “but freshman year, I had to take a bio lab. I get partnered with this guy who was really squeamish about the idea of dissecting a frog. I didn’t think it was a big deal, so I agreed to do the cutting. Apparently, I misjudged how hard I was pressing down on it and tipped the tray backward. My partner screamed like a little girl, and in goes the dead frog.” Quinn shuddered, not from the wind this time but from the mental image of that day. “I wasn’t allowed to touch a scalpel or a tray again for the rest of the semester.”


“Yuck! Poor guy” Alex wrinkled their nose. “Guess that traumatized him a little.”


“Never spoke to him again. He switched partners.” She wrapped her arms around herself a little tighter.


“You really do get yourself into some interesting situations, Quinn.” Alex said, peeling the sweater off and holding it out to her. She smiled, warmth spreading from her chest.


“Thank you.” The sweater felt soft and surprisingly light. It was like Alex was hugging her, and she didn’t want it to stop. “So I told you a crazy story of mine. What is your story? Why are you out here?”


“In the woods?” Alex paused, offering her a hand to step over a tree branch.


“Yes. Why do you live in the middle of nowhere.” The hand she had thought of as rough sandpaper now felt secure and strong.


“Never felt like I belonged, honestly. Out here, no one judges me for using my hands in whatever way I see fit. Animals are much better companions than a lot of people I’ve met. You are probably the first exception I’ve had in a long time, Quinn.” Alex said. Quinn looked down at the hands that were still linked together.


“You know, I have to admit, of all the crazy things I’ve ever done, this has to be the new number one. Even higher than attack frogs. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t tripped into your floor,” Quinn said, trying to laugh at her embarrassing first impression.


“I don’t know. Probably kept going until you ended up in Tennessee or ran into a bear. One of the two” Alex flashed their grin at her. Oh, that smile made her so happy she met Alex even if it had taken a bit of an adventure to meet them.


“So do I send a smoke signal or try to get lost to see you again?”


“Might not have a phone, but I promise if you meet me back here on Saturday, I’ll be waiting. Possibly with food.” Alex said, brushing their hand back through their hair.


“That sounds like a plan.”


As Quinn walked away, she knew that she was looking forward to Saturday. She would be climbing that mountain very often to see Alex, the hidden cabin, and getting lost in eyes as blue as the sky.


Writer In Motion: Week 1 : The Rough, Rough Draft

This story really started flowing from no where and slowly I felt like I was being allowed to peek into this moment. The last time I went hiking was probably 4 years ago and it was to the top of Kennesaw Mountain. It was not particularly big but it had various different peaks you could hike to based on what trail you took all starting at the same base. This was where the idea sparked of a lost hiker.

One of my big drafting methods is to let the characters tell me their story through the words. This is probably why I am a pantser! I try to set a plot and they will decided they want to do something completely different.

So here is my story!


The Right Wrong Path

It was suppose to be an hour long hike. Key word. Suppose to. Somehow, and Quinn had no idea how, she had managed to not only stray off the well marked path but had also managed to climb a completely non-beginner friendly hill. Or at least that was what her quads were screaming at her. Lifting her phone, she checked for a signal. No such luck. It had the same lack of bars as she had as when she had tried two charlie horses ago. At least it wasn’t summer and at least she saw light through the trees.

Quinn came out of the thick blanket of trees. The trees opened into a field of grass, neatly kept. Judging by the hills in the background and lack of more hill to climb, she had made it to the summit. The wrong summit but the top none the less. The top had a small field of flowers tucked away from the world below which surrounded a small house of some kind. There were no windows thst Quinn could see but there was a door. Curiosity getting the better of her, she crossed through the flowers to get a closer look. The walls were grey and the door appeared wooden with knots almost forming long lines about a few inches long. She reached her hand out to touch one. The door swung open sending her forward off-balance.

The floor was worn wood which given the owner lived in the middle of forest covered mountain made sense. Quinn was surprised by both the door opening and the softness of the floor that broke her fall. Lifting her head to brush away a mop of hair, she spotted shoes. Shoes that were attached to legs.

“Do you always wander around strange houses in the top of nowhere or am I special?” The owner of those shoes sounded more amused than annoyed to find a grown woman on their floor admiring the polish job.

“Only on days I’m suppose to be hiking with friends, it seems” Quinn said, pushing herself up and away from the floor. The stranger offered a hand which she gratefully took.

“I’d ask if you had a name but given where we are you might be a fairy bent on taking my name” The stranger said, dusting off Quinn with a hand mindful not to brush any delicate areas.

“I’m not a fairy…I’m hardly human before coffee. And it’s Quinn.”

“Well Quinn, what are you doing on my mountain?” They still did not give a name. This didn’t bother Quinn since she was tresspassing.

“I was hiking to Rosewood Peak but I think I took the wrong path.” They looked at her with amusement which Quinn did not find funny.

“Wrong path is an understatement. If you had been any more wrong you would have ended up in a different state. Come sit down while I get a jacket.” They motioned to a well made wooden table. The inside was much bigger than she would have guessed from what she was seen outside.

“Can I ask you a question?” Quinn said, sitting at the log bench watching the homeowner as they moved to a wood carved coat rack.

“Is it my name?” The smile was back. Quinn was positive she would not have been in such a good mood had someone fallen in her doorway.

“Yes but also why does this house have no windows?” It was true. The inside of the grey walls were lit by candles. In fact, Quinn didn’t see any electricity at all inside.

“I like living off the grid. If I want to see outside, all I have to do is open the door really so I don’t see the point in windows any more. And it’s Alex.” It was a start at least. “Place keeps plenty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I find that the things you really need are always right in front of you.” Alex pulled on a light weight sweater. From how rugged everything else was, Quinn would not have been shocked to find out they had knitted it themself.

Together, Quinn and Alex left the grey shelter with no windows and started walking back down past the pretty flowers and out of the fairy ring protected from the woods and technology. Quinn realized just how out of the way she had really taken herself. Alex was the perfect guide. They knew the woods surrounding their hilly home and was able to point out things Quinn had never stopped to realize in her panic to find her friends. The trees leaned toward the top, big grey rock patterns created natural stepping stones, and the company of someone was nicer than trying to stop and take pictures for instagram every five steps. the last had been the whole reason she had strayed off the easy hike path. It had been a hard and painful, at least painful to her thighs, lesson to learn.

“Well, here we go. The path should be marked from here.” Alex said, once they had gotten back down to nearly the summit. Quinn had to admit, it was probably one of the best experiences out in nature she had ever had.

“I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t tripped into your floor.” Quinn said, trying to laugh at her embaressing first impression.

“I don’t know. Probably kept going until the next hill hoping someone built a house on that one?” Alex flashed their grin at her. Quinn felt completely comfortable. Despite the long, thankfully not hot day, she was very glad she met Alex.

“Nah,” She flashed them a smile in return. “Then I wouldn’t have met you. I’d ask for your number but you’re off the grid and the whole no signal.” She motioned to her phone.

“Might not have a phone but I promise if you meet me back here on Saturday, I’ll be waiting. Possibly with food.” Alex said, brushing their hand back through their hair.

“That sounds like a plan, Alex.”


Follow along with Writer In Motion on Twitter or the website

WIM: the Prompt

First Impression

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Unsplash

Oh my Goodness! This is an amazing picture to work with. The atmosphere speaks to me!

Like most of my projects, a scene played out in my head when I was looking at the prompt. I have an idea of where I might decided to take this and it falls right into my usual witchy vibe.

My first thought was who is the owner of the house and why are there no windows on the front wall with the door. Are they hiding from the world in the hilltop haven they have carved out from the woods? Why would someone isolate themselves? Who would seek them out? I have so many questions! That is what makes this such a perfect prompt.

I look forward to seeing how I can answer these questions!

Writer In Motion Project

While I haven’t been too active lately within the writing community outside of NaNoWriMo last year and a sad attempt at participating in the Writer’s Games (Thanks Covid and Fiance Deployment!), I have decided to dip my toes back in to the writing pool with a fun project!

I heard about Writer In Motion on Twitter last year when a friend of mine, CoffeeQuills, was posting about it. I didn’t feel strong enough about my writing to try and play along. This year, I have decided to give it a whirl.

So for the next 5 weeks, you will see an original short story based on a prompt given to us and then I will do revisions here on my blog. I was lucky enough to get one of 25 spots for a professional editor to help with the process. I have always been a messy editor so I am looking forward to seeing how this looks.

Want to follow along with the project?

Follow @WriterMotion on Twitter and the hashtags: #WriterInMotion and #WIMGames

May the Muses be ever in our favor