Tag Archives: flash fiction

“Dove” – Handwritten Draft

Heya, folks.  As promised, here are the scanned, handwritten images of “Dove.”  You can read it here.  Enjoy this week’s flash fiction Wednesday with nostalgia.  I know I will.

Dove pages 1 and 2

Dove pages 3 and 4

Dove, pages 5 and 6

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Thursday, Writing

Introducing: Kadri

This is a brief introduction to Kadri’s character from Kestrel.  I’ve been doing a lot of work with her and her story lately, and it’s given be some perspective into the flaws of the story line.  I love Kadri, she’s fabulous, though her ability to shut down emotionally unsettles even me.  Enjoy her.

“I shot him. It wasn’t the most rational thing to do, but he was there, and I fired without batting an eye. I still don’t feel bad about it. In fact, I don’t feel anything. Adrian was a traitor; if I didn’t shoot him, someone else would have, and probably for reasons that didn’t benefit “The Cause.” They’d have shot him in cold blood, probably for money, drugs, or information. Not that I’m saying my principles were noble or anything. I’m just saying Adrian was the bad guy—at least he was in my story, and who are you if you aren’t the hero of your own story?

I’m getting a little off track. I shot Adrian once through the left eye as he held a knife to Talmai’s throat. I could have talked him down.

“They’re not ‘people,’” he said. I had heard that so many times it made my stomach churn. Not just because Talmai was an Ularian. I’m a clone. So was Adrian. As far as most humans are concerned, we’re not people either.

So I shot him. Talmai turned out okay, aside from a small cut where the knife had been pressed against his neck.

No one can tell me that we’re not ‘people,’ no matter what kind of ‘person’ we are. Human, Ularian, hyper-efficient enhanced human clone—people are people. But that notion is just the reason I’m here.

After all, if you’re not the hero of your own story, who the hell is?”

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Random Update

No featured blog this week, but I will let you all in on some nonsense.

The blogging tribe idea has gotten a very slow start.  We’re all trying to hold onto our enthusiasm, I think.  My work schedule has included far too many 10-our shifts for my liking, so it’s been hard to really kick things into high gear on my end.  In all straight up honesty, I can’t wait to move back to MA.  Firehouse is draining me of anything that brings me even the faintest bit of joy.

On the up side, I plan to be back in Massachusetts by March.  I’m either taking up bartending or hairdressing, I haven’t decided which, but both look like some measure of fun, even if it’s only to find out I’m terrible at one or both.  I need to keep writing, and that’s been a bit of an issue lately.  I’ve been working at some flash fiction pieces that I’ll share soon, as well as some character creation.  In another realm of things, I’m getting myself situated with making candles and beauty products.  My new shop, The Midnight Magpie, will be open online hopefully within the month.

I know, I’ve got my hands in a lot of different pots right now, but I really need to find some measure of happiness in my life before I go completely insane.

On that note, expect a Flash Fiction piece on Wednesday, featuring a new character.  In fact, the next two weeks will feature brand new characters!    Yay!

Okay, enjoy your Monday.

–KM

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Kestrel, Flash Fics, and Other Nonsense

Salut.

Recently, I’ve been consumed by writing and the progress I’m attempting to make in my own little writing world.  For instance, I bought a large white board, a small white board, a cork board, index cards, a new printer/scanner, a new flash drive, eight notebooks, pens, highlighters, dry erase markers, and a folder.  (Did I mention that I’m in love with “back-to-school” time?  It gets a little out of hand.)

I hung my cork board, plotted nine scenes in Kestrel (even the first two that needed reworking), hung those index cards on the cork board, and then… stared at them.

My next step?  I clearly hadn’t plotted far enough and I didn’t have any desk calendar paper left!  Tragedy. So I bought that white board.  Hung it.  Inside of ten minutes it looked like this:

Cell phone photos make me cry inside. I should get a camera.

Naturally I had to transfer all of that into my Scrivener document.  So I did.   Then?  I decided I loved a side character more than I should have, and needed to give her her own short story.  (I call it  character research because I needed to “get to know her.”  It’s mostly just self-indulgence.)  So I plotted that.  And that spurred me on to other character-exploration nonsense, so now I have a flash fiction to write that explores the exile-practices of Ularis.

Awesome.

I also got business card magnets, business cards, and a mug….  I’m making progress AROUND my writing, it seems, but not so much on the ACTUAL writing.

I’m trying!  August is going to be here soon, and I expect all you Camp NaNoWriMo participants to get moving on writing with me!  We’ll encourage each other!  No more excuses in the guise of progress! WE ARE WRITERS!

In short?  Write with me!  I may even create a G&L chat room to facilitate our writerly commiseration.  We shall see.  If there’s any interest in that, let me know. <3

Now… back to make-believe-progress.

À bientôt.

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**Update** Anniversary Anthology Contest News

Salut, loves.  I have some news in several areas today.

  • My sister had a baby.  Yup.  Logan James is here, and super adorable.  The birth wound up being an emergency C-section, but both mama and baby are doing just fine.  Needless to say, since his Easter birth, it’s been crazy busy here.
  • I’ve been sick.  Like, dying sick.  I have a horrible chest cold, allergies, and asthma that are all feeding into each other and trying to kill me.  I’ve yet to recover, but I’m working on it.
  • The news you actually care about:  I did not receive enough submissions to make the anthology happen.  I’m extending the contest until May 1, and if I don’t have enough by then, I’m going to have to call it off.  Don’t be discouraged or afraid to submit to me!  Everyone wins with this arrangement!  Remember, even if you don’t get your story into the anthology, your name and website will still be listed on the index pages!  Share with your writer friends!  I’ll repost the guidelines tonight, and if you have any questions, my email is always open.

Well, back to bed to get better.  Hopefully.  Remember, the anthology submission deadline is now May 1!

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Don’t forget! G&L is accepting fiction submissions!

Remember, Goggles & Lace’s second anniversary is coming up!  Anyone interested in submitting some short fiction for the anniversary contest: the submission deadline is April 8th!

Please see this post for more detailed information, and don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions!

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Big Changes on the Horizon! (an invitation to submit to G&L)

As you know, G&L has been up and down for the last several months.  I’ve been a bad blog-mommy.  But, as I mentioned before, G&L’s 2nd anniversary is coming up in April, and I want you all to be a part of it!

I have some surprises in store for you, and maybe even for me, as I work my way up to April 22nd.  This particular “surprise” though, isn’t going to be much of a surprise, as it requires a bit of forethought.  Ready?  I know you’re ready.

G&L would not have come this far without all of you.  I’m not known for my ability to keep on one thing for any length of time, and if it wasn’t for my readers, G&L would have been one of the many things I would have given up for no apparent reason.  So, for all of you and everyone who promoted the posts here at G&L over the last two years, I want to extend the invitation to enter a small short story contest.

Now, I don’t have the means to pay anyone, keep in mind.  You’d retain all the rights to your work.  This would simply be a means of promoting your writing/blogs/websites through a small short story collection.  (For those of you who have read my collection  Something Peculiar, it would be exactly like that.)

Contest Details:

  • Of the entries, 7 will be chosen to be included in the collection. Submission deadline is April 8, 2012.

  • All submitters that are not chosen will have their names and websites listed on the final page of the ebook and receive a copy of the ebook to use in any promotions they like.  (The object of this ebook is to get our fiction out there, remember.)
  • No corrections or alterations can be made to any entry once its submitted.
  • The ebook will be sent out on April 22, 2012.

Contest Rules:

  • There is no set theme.  The genre must fall in the categories of fantasy, science fiction, or spec fic.  YA or adult fiction are both acceptable.  (Not “adult” fiction, by the way.  Erotica will be discarded.  I have some young readers, and I’d like any submissions to be a strong PG-13 at the worst.)
  • Entries must not exceed 1200 words.
  • If published previously, authors must currently hold the publishing rights to that particular piece of fiction.  I’d rather not get into a copyright battle.  Though, I’d prefer if the entries were not published previously.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Format:*
    • Page Information

      • Margins — 1.5 inches all the way around
      • Font — Courier, Courier New, or other clean monospace serif font from 10-12 pt. (I use 12 pt. Dark Courier.)
      • Line spacing — Double-space
      • Paragraph indent — first line, 5 pt.
      • Header — right justified, contains the following information:Last name/ TITLE/ page#A header does not belong on the title page. Start headers on page two of the actual manuscript. First labeled page number should be 2.
    • Cover page
      • Do not use a cover page with short work, either fiction or non-fiction
    • First page
      • Contact information — Name and address, phone number and e-mail address in the top left corner of the page, single spaced, left-justified
      • Word count — top line, right justified (you’ll have to do this with a table if you’re working with a word processor), either exact count, or rounded to the nearest ten
      • Title — drop down four double-spaced lines, centered
      • by — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the title
      • Name or pen name — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the word by
      • Body of the story or article — drop down two lines and begin.
      • Scene or section breaks — drop down two double-spaced lines, insert and center the # character, drop down two more double-spaced lines, and begin your new scene.
    • Second and subsequent pages
      • Header — should be in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and page number should be 2.
      • Body text — begins on the first line, doublespaced throughout.
  • All files must be in .doc or .odt format.
  • Must be fantasy, science fiction, or speculative fiction.  YA and adult fiction are acceptable.  (Not “adult” fiction.  Erotica will be discarded.  PG-13 rating cap.)
  • All submissions must be sent to gogglesandlace-at-gmail-dot-com with “Anniversary Submission” in the subject field.
  • Judging will begin on April 8, 2012.

Any questions, comments or concerns can be sent to gogglesandlace-at-gmail-dot-com.  Please include “Anniversary Contest Question” in the subject field.  If I missed anything above, please feel free to let me know.  I’ll be happy to make the correction.  =]

 

*  “Format” section borrowed from Holly Lisle.  If you don’t know of her work, check her out.  She’s amazing.

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The Staircase by Amino

A friend of mine from the Write Write and Write TinyChat room (where I spend most of my noveling Novembers, because my lovely acquaintances there explode with sprints and wars <3) took a post from my series, Writing Life, and wrote a short story from it!  =O  I do so love being useful.

Really, it’s fantastic.  She wrote the piece in about two hours, with a quick editing run-through.  For something so quickly put together, I’m surprised how well it reads.  The main character’s voice comes across as very measured and nostalgic, almost conversational, as if s/he is just so destroyed emotionally that s/he can’t help but be detached from his/her own life.

Beautifully emotive if a bit lengthy in some of the narrative, The Staircase is very effective in pulling empathy straight from your guts.  The pain and utter sorrow that this person’s loss instills is very easily felt through the bulk of the story.

Fans of true love and subtly-presented tragedies, this one is for you.

Visit Amino’s blog!

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LfBH – 14: Parting Ways

An intensely rocky start back into LfBH, so I hope you’ll forgive me.  A more action-packed piece will be up on Monday.  Thanks to everyone who enjoys LfBH for your patience. <3  LfBH is nothing without you.

+~+~+

There was little time. The skies, even here, were a dismal gray, as if Blackford Hill was reaching out to offer its misery like a plague upon the people of the small village. Every time a guard entered the village, he brought with him a depressing silence that lasted for hours after he left. Phaedra knew that their presence was wearing thin on the residents here, and so, once they were healed enough to move about safely, she proposed they leave.

Felix was unhappy. He knew his father would be looking for him. He knew that this wasn’t over for him, and if Silas insisted on tagging along (which he knew he would), then things would be very dangerous for him, indeed. As far as the young Count was concerned, his life had been thrown away the moment he set the flame to that temple. The gallows were the place for him, but Silas had a chance at a new life.

Tully, on the other hand, was eager to be out of here; eager to be as far away from their prison hellhole as humanly possible. She wanted to go home. She wanted to be where it was safe, warm, and dry. She wanted Phae and a life of their own.

Standing at the mouth of the village, where the only broad road led in, the stonework ending at the edge of the populated area and melding into packed dirt, Phaedra shouldered a crude canvas bag with a single strap over her shoulder, and glanced to Tully.

“I’m ready…” Tully responded to the wordless request. “I don’t want to leave them behind, Phae, can’t they come with us?”

Phaedra sighed. “They’re a liability to us, just as we are to them. It’s safer for everyone if we split up. We need the best chance possible at not being picked up again.”

“I suppose that means we’re not going back to The Willow?”

“Tully…”

“It’s fine, Phae… it’s fine. Let’s go, alright? We’re losing daylight.” Tully turned to face the road, just as Silas came bounding up behind them, a hand falling heavily on Phae’s shoulder, accompanied by a good-natured laugh.

“Thought you’d run off just like that, yeah? I don’t think so,” Silas laughed as Felix sauntered up beside him, and cast his eyes away.

“We didn’t want to make this any harder,” Phae explained, and gave a faint smile as she turned. For as skeptical as she had been of these two men during their first hours together, she had gained more respect and affection for them during their time here than she had expected. They were good friends, even Felix, the mouthy pain in the ass. It was because they were good friends that they deserved a fair chance; it would be selfish to hold them back by traveling with them.

Tully threw her arms around Felix and kissed his cheek. “If we ever go back home, I’ll find a way to let you know. You can come visit. You’d love the bakery, Felix.”

Felix’s cheeks flared a bit red and he smiled faintly. Friendship had never been something he had been good at, but with Tully, it was so easy. She a sweet person with good intentions and a love for just about everyone.

“I’ll come visit with you, I promise. At the bakery, or elsewhere, I’ll find you when things settle, Tully. Maybe Silas will be with me.” Another faint smile.

“Don’t look so grudging. He likes you. Let him stay. You need someone to support you, Felix. You can’t possibly let yourself be miserable forever. Let him enjoy your company, and for the love of the Gods, try to enjoy his, hm?”

Another dark blush from Felix and he laughed. “It makes me feel guilty.”

“You shouldn’t. Go. We’ll talk again soon. I promise you.” She shoved him lightly, and turned to take Phaedra’s hand, a slight wave behind her to signal their departure. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she inclined her head, as if doing so would keep them from falling.

“It’s for the best,” Phaedra stated yet again, giving her hand a little squeeze. “It’s safer for all of us if we split up. And our work will take us to places where they have no business being.”

Sniffling in finality, Tully brought her hand across her eyes and nodded. “I know. And Felix has business with his father. I just hope he comes out of it in one piece.”

Phae gave a grim nod, and kissed her beloved’s fingers. “We all will.”

Felix cast a glance to Silas, his eyes sliding over him head to toe, and he gave a very bare, helpless smile. If Silas were ever to change his mind, Felix knew that it would be now and he would be left alone. Silas was a good man, and he knew that he liked him, but how could the Count expect someone like Silas to suffer his upper-class woes?

“That was hard, yeah?” Silas drawled, drawing on his cigarette and tossing it aside.

“Smoking is disgusting…” Felix muttered and turned toward him, pulling his cap over his head and meandering alongside Silas.

“I know. So, what’s the plan, Count?”

Felix rubbed his forehead. “I don’t know. Go to my father. Kill him. Take what he doesn’t deserve and try like hell to do some sort of good with it, I expect. We need to do something about Blackford Hill.”

Silas slipped a hand discreetly into his and tugged him between two buildings, where he promptly stole his lips in a reassuring kiss. “Let’s do that, then.”

Felix swallowed hard and stared at him, before he dropped his eyes to their clasped hands. “Let’s,” he breathed with a faint nod. “Yes. Well, to my father’s then.”

With a single glance back to the departing women as he came out of the narrow alley, Felix drew a breath and pulled Silas down the road in the opposite direction.

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Filed under Letters from Blackford Hill, Writing

Burnt Offerings: a response

So, I’m now a registered author on Goodreads.com! Yay!  Anyone who has read Something Peculiar now has the opportunity to add it to their book lists, rate, and review!  Celebrations!

Yesterday, I posted the writing prompt for Friday entitled Burnt Offerings.  Since Inkwell meets every Friday night, I decided to toss it at the other Inkwellers.  So, we wrote awhile, and this is what I came up with; unedited and unabridged.

——-

The corners of the photo curled at the edges, the image bubbling and distorting the cherubic face pouting at the camera.  The sepia tones burned black as the infant’s face was obscured, burnt black by the flames.  Elizabet kicked a stray piece of wood at the fire, embers and ashes exploding upward and dying as they fell.  She drew the back of her hand across her tear-streaked face, leaving tracks of soot over her cheeks.  The photograph gone, she dropped a lace bonnet into the fire.

“What do you feel this will accomplish?”  Avery’s voice jolted her back to some semblance of lucidity.  “She was my child, too, Liz.”

Elizabeth whirled around, rising and turning in one fluid motion.  Her eyes lit on Avery, leaning on her infant daughter’s open casket.  Without a second’s hesitation, her hand flew, striking him full in the face.

It was the resounding crack more than the impact that stunned him, his cheek flowering a brilliant red.  “You’ll be sent off if the guests see you like this,” he snapped.  “You aren’t the only mother to mourn a child.”  Avery, her husband and her love turned cold since the death of their child, left Elizabeth alone with the casket.

She sank to her knees with a sob and resumed dropping tiny Christening clothes into the fire, piece by piece.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Writing