Tuesday Toss-Up

April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words

keyboard blur

Great opening lines draw us in, making it impossible for us to turn away and great last lines linger long, long after we’ve read the end. Two of my favorite first and last lines come from Stephen King’s work.

“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”  The Gunslinger (1982). Ooh…I know I want to follow them both. Don’t you?

“lady fingers they taste like lady fingers.” Survivor Type (1982). That one even makes my husband shiver and he’s never read the story.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write either the opening or closing lines of a story. Start us off with a bang or leave us begging for more. As usual, any genre will do and the word count limit is 100.

Here’s how it all works:

  • Prompt: Create the first or last line of a story.
  • Genre: Anything goes. Mystery, Western, romance, historical fiction, alternate history, steam punk, science fiction, horror, fantasy, slip-stream, or whatever.
  • Word count: 100 words.
  • How to share: You can put it up on your blog and link here or (if you don’t have a blog) you can email (sonia DOT m DOT writes AT gmail DOT com) it to me and I’ll put it in a post for you.
  • Time limit: From now until the next challenge is posted in June.
  • Prizes: No…no prizes. Just the reward of a story well written.

There were some fabulous stories for the March Writing Challenge. I’ll be updating this post with links to them all shortly. In the mean time, cruise on over and read them here (in the comments).

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I’ll posting over at the Life List Club tomorrow. Come on by and say hello.

Photo Credit
keyboard ~ blur by hobvias sudonelghm, on Flickr CC BY 2.0

Killer Thursdays

Team Bela: Dracula (1931)

Yesterday morning, my grandmother passed away. She was a remarkable, strong and complicated woman. We weren’t always close but I’ll miss her.

For the next week or so, it’s likely I’ll be rerunning past posts. There will also be no Friday Stumble this week but I will announce the Life List Club Milestone winner

Before Edward and Jacob, before Angel and Spike, there was the Count. He was, perhaps a little bit campy but no one else has ever been quite the vampire icon that Bela Lugosi became when he starred in the 1931 film, Dracula

*originally posted July 1, 2011*
As Bela Lugosi is Dracula in my mind’s eye, I was surprised to realize that I had never actually watched the original movie. Clearly, Lugosi’s portrayal set the standard for the character of Dracula and for our popular notions of vampires in general. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula is the image of the sexy, gentleman vampire. Those burning eyes, that ever-so-slightly lifted eyebrow, the elegant hands reaching for a pale throat, and the sweep of his glorious cape. Continue reading “Team Bela: Dracula (1931)”

Parallel Tuesdays

Is the Hunger Games a Winner?

The Hunger Games, the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘s best-selling novel, opened this weekend amid much fanfare and jubilation. Although I usually avoid opening weeks like bad sushi, especially when a movie gets this much fuss, I couldn’t resist checking it out. And, just as the novel unexpectedly seized my imagination, so did the movie. Continue reading “Is the Hunger Games a Winner?”

Killer Thursdays

How To Build A Zombie

Zombies. What are they really? Magically animated corpses or victims of a mutated virus that reanimates the dead or drives the living to become monsters.

 Zombie Pose Spidey…spidey-senses…mrmph…brainz…

In a recent post, Rafael of Neither Here nor There pointed out that zombies just don’t work, as least not from a “realistic” explanation point of view. There’s too much suspension of disbelief required to buy the virus-infection origin of the zombie. A supernatural origin, on the other hand, would be believable. Continue reading “How To Build A Zombie”

Killer Thursdays

Exploring the House: Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves

Welcome to Killer Thursdays, where everything goes bump in the night…

*Winners for author Jay Squire‘s giveaway are announced at the bottom*

At long last, I have procured a copy of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves[1]. I was hesitant to read it for two reasons. Yeah, I know it’s been out for a good long while[2] and I’m kinda late to the party. Continue reading “Exploring the House: Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves”

Killer Thursdays

Ants in the Mailbox – Postcards from Hell, Part 2 (a 500-word story)

My friend, the lovely historical fiction writer Haley Whitehall, issued a flash fiction challenge in the horror genre and this time it involves a prize! The contest runs until 10/31/11, so there’s still time to enter. My entry is Part 2 of a story I wrote for BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday IX. You can find Part 1, Postcards from Hell here.

And now…

Ants in the Mailbox

US Mail
They stood at the edge of the front lawn gone almost knee-high with weeds. The figure in the filthy postal uniform lay still on sidewalk.

Steve looked right. Left. Nothing else moved anywhere on the street.

Deanna squeezed the stock of her crossbow. “He really dead? Dead-dead?” Continue reading “Ants in the Mailbox – Postcards from Hell, Part 2 (a 500-word story)”