Matriculation

For the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge this year, I’m posting a 100 word piece of flash fiction every day. It might be a self-contained story, or a scene–whatever, it’ll be fiction, and it’ll be over in a flash! Today’s story is…

Matriculation

Tarren watched as Dr. Schultz pulled up his data sheet.

“Straight A’s,” Schultz said, his dark eyebrows frowning.

“I tried,” Tarren said, his nerves choking the words from his mouth.

“Clearly.” Schultz rolled his eyes.

“Ah, some trouble with computers?”

“Yes,” Tarren barely said.

“Altered the grades…?”

Tarren blushed.

“Coded a virus that took down the entire network a year later?”

“I can explain…”

Schultz held up a hand.

“Then hacked into the FBI and nearly started war with Iran?”

“I—I—You see…”

But Schultz was smiling.

“I think you’ll do well here, Mr. Kaine. Welcome to Villain University.”

Check back tomorrow for N…

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Luge

For the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge this year, I’m posting a 100 word piece of flash fiction every day. It might be a self-contained story, or a scene–whatever, it’ll be fiction, and it’ll be over in a flash! Today’s story is…

Luge

“What good are you, Hypnos?” I turn over in my bed, ignoring Zeus, which stirs his ire. “You’ll never be an Olympian,” he screams, “you lazy—”

He kicks my bed frame. Suddenly I’m sailing through the open doorway. My bed lands with a thump on the side of the mountain. And then it starts to roll. I hang on for dear life, using my body to steer the bed away from rocks, trees, animals.

It finally slows to a halt at the foot of the mountain. I’m wide awake, my heart pounding like I’ve been running. Like an athlete…

Check back tomorrow for M…

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Sunday Flash Fiction Special #2

Each Sunday in April, I’m posting a piece of 100-word (or fewer) flash fiction I wrote for a Janet Reid writing contest (see HERE for the full explanation). Here’s this week’s:

THE TWICE IS NICE ALAFAIR BURKE WRITING CONTEST

(July 26, 2013)

Must include: Art. Jersey, Lily, Double, Kiss

My entry:

I’m so sleepy, the bird crap on my lily pad is the double of a painting in a New Jersey art gallery—the one where I met the girl who changed me. How was I to know she was a witch? Now I dread French accents and the smell of garlic.

My stomach lurches as I’m whipped up in a small hand.

“Put that down!” a man says, and the hand does, but not before planting a kiss on my head.

“That’s my princess,” I hear the voice say before I drop below the water’s surface.

I can’t breathe…

See you tomorrow for my “L” story…

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Knight

For the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge this year, I’m posting a 100 word piece of flash fiction every day. It might be a self-contained story, or a scene–whatever, it’ll be fiction, and it’ll be over in a flash! Today’s story is…

Knight

Mark offers to walk me home. I decline.

“Beware of The Knight!” he says. I laugh. Ghost stories. Maybe that’s why I’m walking through Kelemen Woods. Silly fables from rustling leaves, moonlit shadows, and wild imaginations.

Footsteps. I keep walking.

Someone’s breath close behind me. I walk faster.

A glint of silver in the corner of my eye. I jog.

Someone screams. I run.

I don’t look back. I run until I’m inside my house. In my room. In my bed.

But the biggest scare comes the next day. The newspaper headline reads:

“Serial rapist found decapitated in Kelemen Woods.”

Check back on Monday for L…

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Jalapeno

For the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge this year, I’m posting a 100 word piece of flash fiction every day. It might be a self-contained story, or a scene–whatever, it’ll be fiction, and it’ll be over in a flash! Today’s story is…

Jalapeno

“Two more and you can have a drink,” said the chief hazer, glancing at the beer on the table in front of them. Rick clenched his teeth, pulling against the cords binding his wrists.

Hazer slapped Rick’s face, forcing his mouth open enough to jam another jalapeño in. Rick bit down; a cheer went up.

Suddenly, his tormentors scattered.

Maybe it was the oil in the pepper skin; maybe it was the seeds. Whatever, the smoking remains of the beer table, and the faint burning sensation on his lips told Rick why he had been denied peppers all his life.

Check back tomorrow for K…

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What’s Up Wednesday

Time for a quick What’s Up Wednesday update. WUW is the brainchild of Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk who wanted a quick-and-easy way to catch up with all their bloggy friends. Visit their blogs to see how you can join in, and find other WUW participants.

What I’m Reading

I’m still on WAR AND PEACE. Don’t expect this to change for a while. Not much to say about it right now, especially since I’ve not given myself a lot of reading time lately–something else that may not change for a while, unfortunately.

What I’m Writing

I’ve received the last of my Beta Reader feedback, so I have started the final round of edits. This is where I incorporate their wisdom, and polish this thing into a query-able state. I was going to devote a whole blog post to thanking my Beta Readers, but I fear it would get lost amidst the A-to-Z Challenge articles this month. So, I want to take the opportunity now to say a huge THANK YOU to my Beta Readers–Team Awesome, who have truly lived up to that name:

Stephanie Allen

Kris Atkins

Rachael Kirkendall

Elodie Nowodazkij

Jennifer Pickrell

Kip Wilson

If this novel gets me an agent, you guys can take a share in the credit.

What Inspires Me Right Now

See above under “Team Awesome.”

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Aside from the usual, I’ve been busy visiting fellow A-to-Z bloggers. I suppose I could list all the lovely comments I’ve been getting for my 100-word flash fiction posts under “What Inspires Me Right Now.” If you want to read my A-to-Z posts to-date, here they are: Ash, BOLO, Cold, Delete, Elf, Flash, and Grandfather. Today’s will be posting in just a few minutes…

How’s your week been?

 

 

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Flash

For the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge this year, I’m posting a 100 word piece of flash fiction every day. It might be a self-contained story, or a scene–whatever, it’ll be fiction, and it’ll be over in a flash! Today’s story is…

Flash

It looked more like a confessional than a photo booth. In the middle of the mall? My curiosity piqued, I ventured behind the crimson curtain and sat on the velvet cushioned seat.

The word SMILE suddenly appeared in LED letters on the plate glass screen in front of me. I smiled.

Flash.

Flash.

Flash.

A message blinked:

Please wait…

The booth interior was wood paneled, and warm like an embrace. So why did I shiver?

A new message appeared:

Your soul has been found wanting. Please prepare for penance.

I tried to leave but the seat give way beneath me….

Check back tomorrow for G…

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Sunday Flash Fiction Special #1

This month, I’m participating in the 2014 April A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, where we post a letter-related blog article every day during April (except Sundays). My “theme” this year is flash fiction, and to that end, I’m posting 100-word pieces of flash fiction. You might wonder: why 100-words? The inspiration for that comes from the person who got me into writing flash fiction in the first place: literary agent Janet Reid. She periodically holds writing contests on her blog where she invites her readers to submit stories of no more than 100 words. There’s usually a twist (often five words that must be included in the story), and a prize for the story she likes best. I’ve participated in a number of these over the past few years, and they have helped my writing a lot. So this month’s challenge is, in part, an homage to Janet and her contests.

Since we take a break from the A-to-Z Challenge every Sunday, I thought it might be fun to use this day to re-post some of the stories I’ve written for Janet’s contests. Each piece I’ve chosen was either a finalist, or at least received special recognition. On the last Sunday of the month, I’ll post my only win (so far).

THE GONE FISHING WRITING CONTEST

(August 23, 2013)

Must include: Beautiful, Downtown, Queens, Rental, Cat

My entry:

Here’s the problem: Pet-less in New York meets a gorgeous animal lover at a party, and invites her over for drinks the next evening. I need a pet for tonight to impress the lovely Laura.

Then I see the ad: “Beautiful rental cat. Downtown Queens“—followed by the address.

Twenty bucks seems reasonable for a one-night cat, but when you include accessories—food, litter, toys—it gets expensive. This had better be one helluva kitty.

I walk to the apartment door and ring the bell. The door opens.

It’s Laura.

“Rental cat?”

“Meow,” Laura says, grinning.

See you tomorrow for my “F” story…

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Cold

For the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge this year, I’m posting a 100 word piece of flash fiction every day. It might be a self-contained story, or a scene–whatever, it’ll be fiction, and it’ll be over in a flash! Today’s story is…

Cold

Carlton dragged the bag down to the basement. With each ka-thunk on the steps, he remembered.

Ashley White.

Ka-thunk.

Maria Broward.

Ka-thunk.

Colleen Simpson.

Ka-thunk…

Each had skewered his heart with the knife of rejection.

Carlton opened the walk-in freezer and dragged Colleen’s body from the bag. He placed her next to Ashley and Maria. High school was fifteen years ago, but their crimes were not forgotten. Each one skewered in the heart by the knife of justice.

Carlton felt no anger. No resentment. This was simple justice.

As was the final ka-thunk of the freezer door sealing him in.

Check back tomorrow for D…

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What’s Up Wednesday

Hello! I missed last week’s What’s Up Wednesday, so this is a quick update on my life courtesy of the WUW meme…

What I’m Reading

I’ve started WAR AND PEACE by Leo Tolstoy. After tackling A GAME OF THRONES and THE STAND, it seemed the logical choice when it comes to big books. It’s a very different style, so it’s taking a little time to get into it. But it’s not without interest. I’m sure I’ll have more to say the further I get into the story.

What I’m Writing

It’s A-to-Z Blogging Challenge month, so I’ve been spending the past few weeks finishing up my entries. I have written 26 100-word (exactly) flash fiction stories/vignettes/things that will post over the course of the month. The first went up yesterday, and the second will post just a few minutes after this article. Be sure to check them out!

What Inspires Me Right Now

The lovely comments on yesterday’s story. Thanks, everyone! Also, the weather’s supposed to be in the 70s and 80s (F) this week, which is a very welcome change to the frigid climate we’ve had recently.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Nothing strange or startling. I’m expecting the last of Team Awesome’s comments on my novel this week, so I’m psyching myself up to get back into revisions. Hopefully this will be the last revision stage before querying…!

What have you been up to this week? If you want to join in the blog hop, visit Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk’s blog to see how to participate in What’s Up Wednesday.

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