Tuesday Toss-Up

Doing the Write Thing for a Good Cause

Fundraising Anthology for a Fellow Writer

Group Hug kittensRecently, we talked about how much goodness we can do for one another when the chips are down. When something as big as Hurricane Sandy strikes and people respond with generosity and kindness, the whole world hears about it.

But when a storm strikes in the life of just one person or family and others pour out their love, we don’t always get to hear about unless it’s someone close to us. Or unless you factor in the power of social media. Continue reading “Doing the Write Thing for a Good Cause”

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Parallel Tuesdays

There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr

*Looking for the Summer (June – August) Writing Challenge – Every Picture Has a Story? See below for details.*

Flickr is my favorite site to scout for images to use on my blog. There’s a wealth of Creative Commons licensed images and it’s easy to search for them. The images vary widely in quality and artistic value but I’ve rarely failed to find just the right one for a post.

And, of course, it’s all free…which might be the most important factor to a blogger who isn’t making money off her blog.

My Favorites stream over there is already jammed with more images than I can use in a couple of years but I just keep adding more. So many of the images I’ve encountered have captured my imagination, inspiring blog posts, stories and stories-to-be. Here are some that have really stuck with me even though they have no story…yet: Continue reading “There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr”

Life List Club

Life is Too Short

I’m posting at the Life List Blog today, talking about the lessons I’ve learned from my grandmother’s passing. Please drop by and say hello and tell us how you would finish the phrase “Life is too short to…”

Life Really is Too Short (Even When it’s Long)


LilyRecently, my grandmother passed away. And, as is so often the case with the death of a family member, the regrets came along with the sadness. Why didn’t I write and visit anywhere near as often as I should have? Why didn’t I know her better? Why? Why? Why?

I realized that life is really too short not to make sure our friends and family know we love the. It’s too short to put off that visit, call, letter or email. It’s too short not to tell them we love them as much as we can.

Life is too short to create regrets.

It’s too short to put off our dreams. Whatever it is we wish for…

Click here to visit the Life List Club blog and read more.

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In other news, I’ll be jumping into ROW80 Round 2 next week. It’s taken me a little while to get settled in this round but it’s gonna be great one.

Check out the April-May writing challenge. It’s all about first impressions and famous last words.

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Lily by ana branca, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

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

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)”

Parallel Tuesdays

Sacrifices and Secrets: Some Flash Fiction and a Mini Writing Challenge

Today seemed like a fine day to share some flash fiction with you. Here is one of my first pieces, written for my first Monthly Writing Challenge in March. The prompt was the starting sentence “I should have listened with both ears instead of one” and a word count limit of 250. You can find the original story post here.

There were many other fantastic stories entered in the March challenge. If you missed it, I urge you to sashay on over and check out the entries. You can find them all neatly listed in the March wrap up section of the April Writing Challenge. It’s amazing how writers can take the same prompt and create very different stories.

Without further delay, here is that first flash fiction piece weighing in at 250 words or less… Continue reading “Sacrifices and Secrets: Some Flash Fiction and a Mini Writing Challenge”

Parallel Tuesdays

In Time (a 500-word story)

Here’s some flash fiction for you, inspired by writing challenges from two fabulous writers, Ozlem Yikici and Haley Whitehall.

Ozlem Yikici’s Transparent Tapestries prompts:

  • Painting/Photography by an Artist: Maurice Utrillo’s Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, 1931 (It was this beautiful painting that planted the seed for my piece)
  • Random lines of Poetry by Poets: Lighthouse by Gerard Woodward
  • An Art Movement/Writing Genre: Purism

Haley Whitehall’s Dreams prompt:

  • This challenge is dream inspired. Everyone has dreams of some kind–day dreams, nightmares, goals for the future, thoughts about being someone else or living a different life. (This prompt immediately brought my opening line to mind.)

The Ruined House

In Time

In my dream, I make it home in time. Continue reading “In Time (a 500-word story)”

Parallel Tuesdays

Paper Airplanes (A 500 Word Story)

Here’s a bit of flash fiction for you, inspired by writing challenges from two wonderful writers, Ozlem Yikici and Billie Jo Woods.

Ozlem Yikici’s Tritych Trials prompts:

  • Painting/Photography by an Artist: William Marlow’s Capriccio: St Paul’s and a Venetian Canal, circa 1795
  • Random lines of Poetry by Poets: Defying Gravity by Roger McGough
  • An Art Movement/Writing Genre: Mannerism

Billie Jo Woods’  Twisted Freedom prompt:

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Just Another Day on the Job (a 500-word story)

This time around, I’ve combined Haley Whitehall’s Body Language challenge, Billie Jo Wood’s Solstice Sunday, and my Creature Feature challenge (see mash-up below for links) into one 500 word story. Here you go…

magic sphere

Just Another Day on the Job 

She drummed her fingers against her thigh and shot the kind of look that would start a fire.

Fortunately, there was plenty of cloud cover.

I nudged Tom, my trainee. “Assessment?”

“Common fire sprite. Juvenile. Range: two feet. Requires full sunlight to start a fire. Containment protocol: capture in JN-32 spherical containment field and transport to Breach.” Continue reading “Just Another Day on the Job (a 500-word story)”