Tag Archives: writing

Fierce Writer: Unlock Your MICE Quotient

Courtesy Pixabay, free

The inimitable Orson Scott Card’s MICE Quotient is a method of looking at stories and creating story structure. As writers our role is to provide a rewarding experience for the reader. Whatever format or master plan you currently use to shape a compelling story, taking a look at your story through the lens of MICE Quotient can help:   

  • Know your characters
  • Better understand your story
  • Avoid the pitfalls of an unsatisfying ending
  • Tighten the work

I came across MICE Quotient via the marvelous Karen Woodward, whose work I was drawn to by our mutual admiration of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. She does a great job of explaining many things for writers.  

This is a brief glance at MICE Quotient to whet your appetite. It is a beginning take on the subject. MICE equates to Milieu, Idea, Character and Event — 4 factors of stories whose emphasis and relationship create types of stories. Keep in mind that an author can create a story geared toward one main factor or toward blended factors. Also, a story can be viewed through different lenses of MICE, by the author or reader, in order to generate ideas or deepen understanding.

 

MILIEU

  • The world is the thing.
  • World building is your main task.
  • You can provide more setting details than in other types of stories.
  • Begin the story when the protagonist enters a new world.
  • End the story when the protagonist leaves that world.
  • Use characterization strategically to support the world but not to overshadow it.
  • Usually the Milieu story type is blended with another type.
  • Example – epic fantasies such as Lord of the Rings (can also be viewed an Idea story), westerns, and utopians.

 

IDEA

  • The problem is the thing.
  • Your main task is to create an exciting, compelling, tricky trek toward solving the problem.
  • Begin the story when the protagonist encounters an obstacle or problem to be solved.
  • End the story when the problem is solved.
  • You can go wild with eccentric characters in this story type.
  • Example – bank heist novels, locked room murder mysteries such as some of the detective stories featuring Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes.  

 

CHARACTER

  • A fully fleshed out character is the thing.
  • Characterization is your main task.
  • Begin the story when the protagonist is unhappy with her role in life and seeks change.
  • End the story when the protagonist achieves a new life, goes back to her old way of life, or becomes hopeless and just plain gives up.
  • Example – romances, women’s fiction. Remember, in romances the hero and heroine should change and grow in order to come together and receive each other’s love.

 

EVENT

  • The out of kilter aspect of the world is the thing.
  • Your task is to show the character responding to and “taking on” an upside down world.
  • Begin the story when the protagonist responds to what’s out of kilter and seeks to restore order to the world.
  • End the story when the protagonist wins or loses.
  • Example – “changing places” stories such as The Prince and the Pauper, dystopian and catastrophe stories such as Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

 

How can MICE Quotient help writers provide a more rewarding experience for the reader? Here are a few ways:

Know your characters – Viewing characters through the parameters of MICE can shed light on goal, motivation, and conflict. You can gain deeper insight about your characters.

Better understand your story – I write paranormal fantasy romances, which are big on world building, and mine are chock-full of action and adventure. Because I love to write that way, to me plot is king. When I viewed the stories through the MICE lens, I realized how fleshed out the characters were, a realization that made me happy.

Avoid the pitfalls of an unsatisfying ending – An important rule to remember is that a story ending must be geared toward the same factor as the story beginning. The beginning is a promise to the reader. The ending is the satisfactory delivery of the promise, for example:

  • If you as author end a murder mystery without telling the reader who committed the murder, big NO NO. 
  • Ditto if you dilute the murder mystery ending with overblown character details.
  • If you end a romance with the heroine suddenly discarding the hero and becoming a nun, big NO NO.
  • At ending time, we also have to be adroit in introducing new characters to clear a path for a sequel. Anything tacked on that is not part of the promise can lead to reader woe. Those characters need to be gracefully woven in earlier in a non-scene stealing way.

Tighten the work – Deciding which type of MICE you’re going with, or if it’s a blend, can help you focus on the most compelling details to include in a story and what NOT to include. Erle Stanley Gardner purposefully omitted specifics of Perry Mason’s private life. The focus had to be on Mason’s professional life. Private life focus would dilute the sheer genius of Mason’s courtroom gymnastics.

 

I hope you’ve found some interest in this brief glance at MICE Quotient. What do you think?

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Rain

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our picture prompt is rain. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s.  Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Branches rustled as a breeze kicked up. Thunder rumbled and rolled from the west.

“Storm’s moving in.” He kept his voice low. Her ear was next to his lips, the way she had nestled against him. Plus, sounds carried in the night, especially in a small town. The last thing he wanted was for her to pay some kind of penalty for spending time with him on the porch after ten at night. “Do you smell the rain, Hannah?”

She murmured in languid agreement.

Fast moving clouds blotted out the moon.

She straightened, peering out into the darkness. “Our full moon’s gone.”

He wanted to banish the disappointment from her tone and keep her beside him as long as possible. “Just during the squall. Do you like Florida thunderstorms?”

His heart picked up speed as she leaned back against him, nodding. “Yes, I love them. They soothe me, as long as the lightning is not directly overhead. How about you?”

“Yep, they give me a kick. Here comes the rain.”

A light sprinkle quickly turned into a torrent. He could barely make out the yellow porch light on the house across the way. A few drops of slanted rain misted onto his face. “Do you want to go–?” Something wet and furry streaked by, brushing against his pants leg. He jerked and circled his arms around her protectively. “What the–?”

“Oh my god.” Her hand flew to her chest. “Taffy, you scared the life out of me.” She patted his arm. “It’s just the neighborhood tabby. Nate, we’d better go inside.”

He stood. “I was about to ask you that when the fur ball attacked.”

“Now don’t grumble. That cat is good luck, so I hear.” 

“Mm, I bet.” He smiled at her concern for the feline, stood, and took her hand to usher her inside.

Lightning cracked, sharp and close. She jumped, and her hand trembled in his.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on a picture prompt of rain. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Firecracker

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is firecracker. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

The aroma of grilling hot dogs and sound of children having fun filled the air. Charcoal smoke spirals perched on make-do stands to keep away the mosquitoes. With dusk imminent, the blood suckers would soon follow. Hannah settled into the folding chair between Meg and Nate. “I didn’t expect there to be so many people here. You rounded down, didn’t you, Meg?”

“Don’t scold. Would you have come out if I mentioned this was the in place for 4th of July fireworks? They’re really spectacular here by the lake.”

Aware of Nate’s attention and his knee hovering a mere inch from hers, she merely offered a noncommittal murmur. She didn’t dare give a truthful response to Meg’s query. She would have come, if only to spend time with him away from their usual work environment.

Laura from the café’ emerged from the crowd, carrying two folding chairs, with little Gwennie in tow.

Meg piped up, cheery. “Made it, huh?” 

Nate and Roy stood, and greetings were exchanged. Roy scooped the chairs from Laura. “Let’s find you a good spot, boss lady.”

Laura looked a bit harried. “Thanks, Roy.”

Gwennie jumped up and down, pointing. “I want to sit by Judy and Sandy, Mommy.”

“All right, Darling. Over by the Smith twins would be great, Roy.”

Gwennie tugged on her mother’s blouse as they set off in a line. “Mommy, can I light a firecracker?”

“Good heavens no. You can have a sparkler.”

Roy soon returned, plunked into his chair, and popped the cooler lid. He passed beers to Meg and Nate. “Brewsky, Hannah?”

“No thanks. By chance any wine in there?”

“Nope, sorry. Hey, here are some cokes though. You sneak these in my cooler, Meg?”

“Of course I did, you big lummox. You know perfectly well Hannah hates beer.”

She leaned forward. “What kind do you have?”

Roy shifted bottles around. “Uh, looks like cherry, grape, and banana.”

“Banana, please.”

Roy popped off the cap and handed her the bumpy glass bottle. Banana scented fizz tickled her nose.

Meg pulled a sad face. “Sorry I didn’t think of wine, Hannah. You’re stuck with the soft stuff.”

Nate raised a brown. “Not necessarily. Go ahead and take a swallow, Hannah.”

Wondering what he was up to, she took a sip of her banana drink, while Nate retrieved a small flask from his back pocket.

Roy whistled. “Now why didn’t I think of that?”

Curiosity had her leaning his way. “What is it, Nate?”

“Gin. I don’t like the stuff, but you do. You game?”

Unable to resist the cockeyed grin that deepened his dimple, she passed him her drink bottle.

Holding his hand around the neck, he carefully poured a jot from the flask, shook the bottle, and used his thumb to keep it from spewing out. Once the concoction had settled, he returned it to Hannah.

She took a tentative sip. “Hmm, not bad. Definitely a kick.” She relaxed into the chair, pleasure tickling her insides. “Thanks, soldier.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt firecracker. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales. 

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Happy 4th of July!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Stone

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is stone. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Meg looked up at her husband as they swayed to the music, her eyes gleaming. It was as if Rod had just done something amazing, like flown to the moon and back. A flicker of sensation tickled Hannah’s throat. Maybe she’d have that someday. Her lips twisted. Probably not. Her course was set. Had been since she left Miami. She had gotten herself into a deep hole. Very deep. All she could hope for was the plan to play out in her favor. Then she’d at least have the promise of a living.

She smiled at the returning laughing couple, thankful she could get out of her thoughts. “Looking pretty good out there, kids.”

Meg plopped into a seat and grabbed Hannah’s wrist. “Ooh, watch out. He’s coming your way.” The whisper made it seem like state secrets were at stake.

Rod gave her a look. “Don’t start your match making. Leave the poor guy alone, honey.”

Meg’s leer was wicked. “I’ll have you know I’m not doing a thing, except praying.”

Sure enough Nate approached their table, his eyes riveted on her. “Evenin’, Rod, Meg.” He never looked their way, but held out a hand to Hannah. “Care to cut a rug?”

His deep voice with that little backdoor rasp made her taste honey. She had never had a guy’s voice do that to her.

She placed her fingertips in his hand and stood. “What kind of dancing do you like to do, Nate?”

He let a beat pass, and then another. “Slow.”

It was a good thing she hadn’t worn a sheath dress. He might notice trembling legs or knees that functioned like jelly.

The band cooperated, or maybe he had put a bug in the head man’s ear for a couple of dreamy tunes. He folded her in his arms as if they’d been dancing partners for years.

She could almost believe she belonged there. She gazed up at him. “You’ve got style I never knew about.”

He flipped her hand over. A tiny furrow appeared on his brow. “Nice ring. What kind of stone is that?”

She eyed her fingers. What had she slipped on? “Oh it’s garnet. My birthstone.”

Courtesy Pixabay public domain free photos

His dimple deepened. When the song ended, he kept her within the circle of his arms.

“Oh, did you want to dance another, Nate?”

He drew her closer. His lips brushed against her ear. “I want more than a dance, but you’re not ready for that, Hannah Ross.”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt stone. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Smart Strategies of Super Writers – Quantum 4

Public domain courtesy Pixabay

She loves books and reading. Put a pen in her hand, and she can turn a pithy phrase. Writing is on her mind at least thirteen times a day. She always dreamed of being a writer. It’s in her blood. It’s her destiny. Her books would be on the bookstore shelves beside those of PickaFamousAuthor.

If only she had more time to write. If only she didn’t have to do so and so. If only so and so didn’t get in the way. If only her day job didn’t drain her down to the bone. If only she was wealthy enough to write full time. If only she had no obligations. If only she felt better. If only she had more energy to write. If only the planets would align.

Who is this? I call her Wendy WannaBeAWriter.

I used to be a Wendy. And then I decided to be an author. With the help of some wonderful mentors and supporters, I dipped my toe into the craft and eventually published seven books. Then I experienced the devastating loss of my husband of 41 ½ years. This was followed by the closing of my publishing house. Slowly, some of my Wendyness began to reemerge.

If only writing was really worth it. If only authors were actually appreciated these days. If only everything wasn’t so darn technical. If only writers didn’t have to spend so much time marketing and figuring things out. If only writers supported each other more. If only there was more time to write. If only the planets would align.

Do you have some Wendy problems, too? Here is what helped me cope with my latest spell of Wendyness. The mindset and daily non-negotiables were inspired by coach Jennifer Blanchard. I call her The Firecracker. She is a great example of living the law of attraction. Kat Laterzo is also a cool and powerful inspiration. I call the regimen I came up with my Quantum 4.

Laws of the Quantum 4:
Pick 4 things that will help you move toward your goals if you do them every day.
Decide to do these 4 things every day, come hell or high water.
See these as non-negotiable.
Do them first thing in the morning or at your first available time each day.

My Quantum 4 as I first set them up:
Mindset work
Write 20 minutes a day on 1st Rough Draft
Ride stationary bike 15 minutes a day
Eat low carb

Mindset work: This includes journaling a page that envisions desired outcomes for each area of my Quantum 4. I journal fast and from the heart as the thoughts come. To give a few examples — I am an international best-selling author. My books are made into movies and audiobooks. I write 7,000 1st Rough Draft words a day. I am fit and have oodles of stamina. I love eating foods that are healthy, low calorie, and low carb.

Write 20 minutes a day on 1st Rough Draft: This is the messy, ugly writing that initially spews out on the blank page. Because it had all the charm of a root canal, it was urgent for me to include it in my daily habits. Performing the task on a daily basis lessens the pain. 1st Rough Draft is now more of a friend than a foe. 20 minutes a day resulted in about 500 words. I’m now up to 40 minutes.

Ride stationary bike 15 minutes a day: It doesn’t seem like much, but remember—small steps! 15 minutes renders approximately 3.5 miles. I’m now up to 20 minutes. I’m amazed how much I actually enjoy riding that bike. I never would have thought! I call it my horse, and my valiant, magical steed has a secret name.

Eat low carb: I always feel better, cleaner, and have more stamina with low carb.

Your goals and regimen are up to you:
Pick 4 things that will move you closer to your goals if you do them every day.
Decide to do these things every day, come hell or high water.
See these as non-negotiable.
Do them first thing in the morning or at your first available time each day.

After a week you will start to feel more powerful and in control. You’ll be amazed that you are actually working toward your goals a little each day. Results are becoming visible. After a month nothing can stop you. You are piling up the pages. You’ll be so gung ho that you’ll adjust your Quantum 4 upward. Your productivity will increase. You are well on your way. Wendy WannaBeAWriter has morphed into Super Writer. With the Quantum 4 you show the universe what you want and what you are committed to. The Universe clears the way for you.

Cheers & Happy Writing!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Cry

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our picture prompt is cry. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

The cry of a distressed blue jay pierced the dawn, and then another. Her gaze followed a flash of color. Probably babies were involved. She searched the tree line. There was no glimpse of any further confrontation, and no more outbursts. Just the pleasant muted hum of waking fauna. Cradling her cup, she enjoyed the last few sips in peace. How relaxing it would be to prolong these moments. She’d like to suspend early morning to an all-day languish of drinking coffee and musing around.

That was no longer possible. She wasn’t the girl with oodles of cash or even the dosh for a lazy day. Sighing, she returned inside. Thank goodness for the screen door. Lizards and bugs were Florida staples she could do without.

Her stack of laundry was back from Miss Sarah. Slipping a freshly starched apron over her head, she made her way to the big drawing room lugging a pail of soapy water and another of supplies. With a wry glance at her once lovely nails, she got busy. First using the feather duster on the wood furniture, she then delved into the bottle of polish. The oily aroma overpowered her breathing but gave the satisfaction it was working. By the time she had finished the major pieces, the outside crew was well underway with hammering noises. She began on the smaller tables. The wall clock chimed, and she craned her neck to see it was already nine o’clock. Nita was supposed to be here to scour the floor. Oh, good, there was the screen door now. She scrunched back down to the table legs. “In here, Nita.”

“Not Nita. Good morning.” Nate came in, his dark eyes seeking her out.

Butterflies by Fujishima Takeji

Butterflies By Fujishima Takeji (1867-1943) ([1]) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The sight of him caused a fluttering in her abdomen. His hair looked a bit rumpled, and wrinkles etched one cheek as if he’d been sleeping hard on it. She hoped his nights were more restful now. 

“Here.” He offered a hand to help her rise, and that one dimple deepened. “What’s Cinderella doing on the floor?”

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture prompt cry. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Flowers

Don’t you love spooky movies set in rambling old houses where the heroine finds a secret passageway or hidden room?

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our prompt is a picture of flowers. My excerpt is from one of my books in progress, Hannah’s Haint, a vintage paranormal romance set in a small town in the 1950s.  Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Hannah stumbled into the room, a maze of impressions bombarding her senses. Pastel, lacy, feminine. Her hand fluttered over her heart. She stood by the bed, her vision blurred. A secret room. A small bedroom hidden inside a larger one.

Nate’s voice broke her trance. “You all right?”

She swallowed, and then nodded. “This is too much. How did you know?”

“When you sent me up here to measure the bedrooms on this side, I saw the dimensions were off on one.” His hands tumbled the screwdriver as he spoke. “Why? There was no closet cutting in, nothing telling on the other side. Why shave a few feet off one of the three?”

“A hidden room would never have occurred to me.”

His head tilted to one side. “I remembered a secret compartment in an old desk of my grandfather’s. The drawers all looked the same, but when you measured, one was slightly smaller. There was a hidey hole in the back.”

“You thought of it this morning? Why didn’t you come and get me?”

“You had company, remember? And my boss doesn’t like holes in the wall.” He gave her a conspiratorial wink. “If I was going to barge in with an axe, I had to find the right spot.”

She stared at the opening, crinkling her brow. “But it’s perfectly rectangular.”

“I didn’t have to maul more than a couple square inches. There’s a spring mechanism.” He pointed to the hardware sticking up. “Smart as hell.”

“Why would someone go to all this trouble?” The dainty vanity compelled her attention. She ran her hand over a crocheted doily. “Oh, there’s something underneath.” She drew out a handkerchief.  A small gasp escaped her lips. “A flower keepsake.” She held it up to him. The bud lay against the fine white linen like a drop of dried blood.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture prompt flowers. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Writing Lake

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is lake. This week I’m leaving the vintage romance for a bit and going back to work on one of my soothing (to me) action packed fantasies. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Helle’s domain was the last place Rhade wanted to visit. When the Goddess of the Underworld summoned, you never knew whether it was for tea and scones or to scourge you bloody. Maybe you’d get out in one piece, or maybe thirteen. The pulse in his throat thudded at the sight of her grim expression.

The tautness of her face indicated disturbing emotions rippling beneath the surface. Flaxen hair framed strong cheekbones. Her wintry gray eyes glittered. In presentation she reminded him of the showcase fountain bearing secret passageway to her palace. An icy lake spurted jets of fire that rose and then crashed in startling and unpredictable abandon.

The Valkyrie's Vigil

Edward Robert Hughes [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Stern soldiers flanked her.

She extended the tips of her fingers. “Warrior.” The provocative scent of Lily of the Valley wafted into his nostrils.

He bowed his head to bestow a respectful kiss. “Divine One, how may I be of service?”

“Come with me.” She swiveled, and a bodyguard advanced beside her. She thrust out a palm. “Halt. You shall remain here.”

The uniformed man appeared bewildered. “But Divine One, your safety is my utmost responsibility. I beg you—”

Her visage turned fearsome. “Stay, I say. I will speak to the warrior in private.”

Beckoning Rhade to follow, she led him beyond the luxurious front rooms, down endless long corridors, and deep into the tunnels circling her cavernous domain. The pathways spiraled and coiled. He doubted even his well-honed sense of direction would save him if she abandoned him here.

What did she have to discuss that her own trusted guard could not hear? A surge of adrenalin sizzled through his body. He had never ventured this far inside Helle’s mysterious netherworld. She appeared to be leading him deep into her innermost sanctum.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt lake and the quick trip to the Underworld. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Amp up Your Fantasy Novel with Spirit Horses

The Fomorians, Duncan 1912

By John Duncan [Public domain],The Fomorians via Wikimedia Commons

Fantasy creatures come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Regardless of the fantasy genre you write, whether paranormal as my books are, or high, low, historical, dark, urban, etc., there may come a time when you are in need of a little extra something. Done right, spirit horses can be an espresso shot to a story. Here’s a peek at a few. Keep in mind that the fae horses often share attributes and can exist in various locales under different names. Using one of these enables you to create exotic settings, but there is also the opportunity to have the creature show up closer to home in a more normal setting. Many readers appreciate blended mythologies where the author adds a new or surprising aspect to age old stories. I love to do this in my books.

The Phooka, Pooka, Puca, Pwca (and various other spellings) is a Celtic fairy horse of capricious character, sometimes beneficial to humans, but usually dangerous and deadly. One small, benign herd paid nightly visits to help a farmer’s son bring in the crops after being perceived in their willowy incandescent form. Years later at the boy’s wedding, the Phooka presented him with a magical drink to ensure his matrimonial happiness.

More often, the Phooka are portrayed as ravaging, wild, and fearsome creatures with long, jagged teeth and chains around their necks. They have a particular grudge against travelers and make it their business to lure them to their deaths. At times their nature is dark, flesh eating, and vampiric.

Not only does the Phooka appear as a horse, but it can also shapeshift into a bull, hare, and human form. The name of Shakepeare’s Puck is related to the root word of Phooka. In the movie, Harvey, the name of Jimmy Stewart’s 6 foot tall imaginary rabbit friend is referred to as a Pooka.

The Geetoe (or Gitto, Gryphon, Griffin, and Griffith) is a Welsh fairy creature with an equine head and body of a goat. Their particular brand of malice is to blight crops in the field. These creatures possess the power of human speech and laughter. However, they dislike humans and go out of their way to cause harm. They loathe children most of all and do their best to entice them into misdeeds and danger. A Geetoe’s power arises at night and extends only between Samhain (Halloween) and Beltane (May Day). The remainder of the year the creatures reside in Fairyland.

Thekelpie large

Herbert James Draper [Public domain], The Kelpie via Wikimedia Commons

Water horses can be especially interesting. One type is the Scottish Kelpie, which lives in or near rivers and streams. Kelpies are generally more whimsical and unpredictable than evil. They do not tend to stalk their prey. However, they are not to be taken lightly. Humans who venture too close are fair game. Kelpies will often maim and drown their victims, and sometimes devour them. Kelpies often take the form of a beautiful woman.

A Nuggle is a variety of water horse from the Orkney Islands. It is chock full of mischief but not evil in the sense of dangerous or demonic. It can be recognized by its odd tail that resembles a wheel.

Another type of water horse is the ominous Each-Uisge. This malevolent creature favors fresh water lakes, and many sightings have occurred in Scotland. The most famous example is Nessie or the Loch Ness Monster. The Each-Uisge can not only take the shape of a horse but also of a man or predatory bird. When in man shape, the Each-Uisge is handsome, compelling, and deadly to those who come near. In the olden days country folk knew to beware of a solitary person loitering near a body of water. A human can ride the Each-Usige when it’s in horse shape, but if horse and rider approach water, it is bad news for the human. The skin of the creature develops a bonding power that grips the human, not allowing dismount. The Each-Uisage will then plunge down into the depths, taking the rider to his death.

Fire Horses are unusual and perhaps the most fascinating type of spirit horse. In Greek mythology the god Helios drove four fire horses to guide the sun across the sky. The god of war, Ares, tamed a number of fire breathing horses. The Fire Horse is one of the sign designations in the Chinese zodiac. In my book Lord of Fire, the hero Gabriel rides a fire horse during one particularly harrowing part of the story. If you’re interested in reading how and why, grab your copy of my anthology, Dark Warriors. This paperback book also contains another of my paranormal fantasies, Time Singer.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance