Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

The Fix for #StoryADay May; Day Twenty

The Prompt:

  • Write a story that focuses on the discovery/invention/ramifications of something that shapes your characters’ physical world.

  • Fair Warning: This piece contains language and content that are NSFW, or potentially for young children who might peek over one’s shoulder to read.

The Fix:

Reality awaits when she comes back from her trip.

It’s been hours (or, at least, Marilyn thinks it has; since there’s no clock in here, it’s kind of hard to tell), but her legs are asleep and her neck kinked from the odd position she was in when she left on her trip…

She opens her eyes unwillingly, and very slowly.

She’s got a feeling there was something she’s supposed to remember…and a stronger feeling that she really doesn’t want to remember – not anything.

Not Mom coming home drunk and with yet another nameless lover.

Not the way the servants look at her.

Not the huge quiet house that feels more like an abandoned museum than a home.

The corner of the damned marble counter is right there. Marilyn runs her hand over it, letting herself feel the sharp angles. Marble is hard. If she slams her head into that corner – maybe there won’t be any need to be here all alone anymore. Sure, there are the servants – but she may as well just be alone, since they avoid her every chance they can.

One sharp blow. Just that, and she might be dead –

But there’s something she’s forgetting, isn’t there?

Yes.

She wouldn’t be shooting up in the bathroom if there wasn’t something, because she likes to take her trips on her couch – now that is home.

So why is she here, in the bathroom?

Marilyn’s eyes scan the room – there’s her kit. She slow-walks her fingers over to it, and caresses the soft leather. Her solace, her friend – her lifeline.

There’s something else here. It’s a brightly colored, printed cardboard box.

It’s completely out of place here.

Kind of like she is.

There’s something sitting on it – and that’s when she remembers. She peed on a stick, because she hasn’t had her period in too long – she doesn’t know how long, just that she hasn’t, and she feels funny, and there are lots of memories of fucking Brad, and lots of other guys, whenever she could get a fix or two out of it. She likes sex just fine – but she never does it for the sex. She does it for the fix.

Marilyn stares for a long time at that stick she peed on hours ago, without touching it. The stick that can change her life.

She can’t stand not knowing one second more. She grabs the stick, her fingertips thumping into the marble hard enough to make them sting. The box is flipped away, ignored, as she pulls the test to her chest, then looks.

A strong positive sign stares back up at her.

She never really gave any thought to getting pregnant. It’s about the fix, and the feeling that she matters to someone, even just until he ejaculates inside her. She knows it’s fake – but it’s another kind of fix – an affection fix.

Can she fix this?

Is the test correct?

What will Marilyn decide to do?

Will she follow through with her plan?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another installment, and we can explore this new story seed together!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Landcape of Her Mind: #StoryADay May; Day Twenty

The Prompt:

  • Write a story that focuses on the discovery/invention/ramifications of something that shapes your characters’ physical world.

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Prompt Words:

kitndavj:

  • Bugger (Oh Crap)

  • Sparky (Electrician)

  • Jumbuck (sheep)

  • Jillaroo (sheep)

  • Station (Gigantic Farm)

  • Durrie (Cigarette)

Word Prompt Generator:

  • acidic

  • angel

  • tickle

  • beer

  • bitter

And now I offer you…

Landscape of Her Mind

There was solace in acidic waters and sulfurous steam. T’Pol felt the tickle of her human in her mind; his thoughts and experiences suffusing and blending with her own:

The bitter taste of dark beer. Strange expressions without logical meaning.

“Bugger, Sparky. I’ve met a pointy-eared angel.” He was speaking to someone who didn’t exist – so little logic in such an activity. “Put out the durrie. We’re going to the jumbuck station. No, she’s no jillaroo. She’s a Vulcan. Now, Let’s hit the Frog and Toad.”

The man named Trip had reformed the once-ordered landscape of her mind.

Why is T’Pol having these de(il)lusions?

Are they dangerous?

Does Trip actually know Australian slang?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another 100 word installment, or visit the brand-new fanfiction.net series link!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

All or Nothing for #StoryADay May; Day Nineteen

The Prompt:

  • Imagine the first (significant) meeting between your protagonist and a secondary character.

All or Nothing

“All or nothing… it’s all or nothing…all or nothing now!”

The lyrics are ridiculous; Ophelia thinks maybe a dog could do better, if only he could talk. Or that theoretical troop of chimpanzees with a typewriter…

But the beat is absolutely perfect for running to, so Ophelia puts up with the inane singing of the latest boy band. She’d ignore them, but she can’t. She tried getting a karaoke version, but the song was everywhere last summer – she heard it whenever she listened to the track, and it was worse if the lyrics weren’t there, because then she got them as an earworm for hours or days.

“All or nothing… it’s all or nothing…all or nothing now!”

Better just to have the lyrics in her mind during her run, and be able to let them go after.

“All or nothing… it’s all or nothing…all or nothing now!”

“All or nothing… it’s all or nothing…all or nothing now!”

“All or nothing… it’s all or -”

Ophelia stops listening, and slows to do a double-take at the fruit stand. Tomaru usually keeps something sweet waiting for her – guava, mango, pineapple wedges. She tries to pay, but he never takes her money – he says her smiles are payment enough.

But today there’s a strange young woman standing there. She’s model tall, model thin, model blonde, model beautiful.

And she’s holding a picture of Ophelia, and showing it to Tomaru, who is shaking his head while glancing covertly her way – he knowa when to expect her for her afternoon run.

She slows to a walk, taking her earbuds out so she can hear as she edges closer. The young woman is focused on Tomaru, not the street, so she gets close enough to hear.

“You’re sure you never saw her?” She’s bright pink from the sun, blue-eyed, and she has a mainland accent – Midwest, Ophelia thinks, but that’s mostly a guess based on movies. “My priv – I heard she’s lived near here her whole life.”

“I can tell you nothing.” Tomaru isn’t the kind to give away information.

“Are you sure?” The young blonde woman leans in close to the fruit man, and says, “She’s my half-sister.” Ophelia covers her mouth so she won’t gasp, because the woman isn’t done. “You see, he came here on business – and did some funny business with this Ophelia Morgan’s mom.”

“I can tell you nothing.” Tomaru is consistent.

Ophelia steps forward. “I’m Ophelia Morgan,” she says, then takes a deep breath as the woman turns toward her.

Here it goes – all or nothing, right now.


How will this meeting go?

Will these sisters accept one another?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another installment, and we can explore this new story seed together!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Big Bite: #StoryADay May; Day Nineteen

The Prompt:

  • Imagine the first (significant) meeting between your protagonist and a secondary character.

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Prompt Words:

kitndavj:

  • Mallard

  • Masticating

  • Wavepool

  • Caramelised

  • Romanesque

  • Bugger (Oh Crap)

  • Sparky (Electrician)

  • Eucalyptus

  • Bluebird

  • Smurf

  • Canvas

  • Yacht


Braxin:

  • elegant,

  • understated

  • adorable

And now I offer you…

Big Bite

A lonely mallard in the wavepool. A yacht out past the breakers, sail canvas snapping in the wind.

“Lieutenant Charles Tucker III?”

An elegant, understated figure. Romanesque robes.

Ambassador Soval.

Big bite of carmelized onion burger.

“Masticating.” Soval smelled of eucalyptus, not sandalwood and orange.

“Have you seen this woman?”

Adorable ears. No cowl. Eyes alive with mystery. Tempting as hell. “I’d remember a woman who looks like that.” Long low whistle for effect.

“Clarify.”

Nope. Not getting her in trouble. “Listen, Sparky. Bugger off. May the bluebird – or the Smurf – of happiness fly up your -” Another nice big bite.

Why does Soval care if Trip saw the woman in question?

Just who is this woman?

Does she fit into Trip’s dilemma?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another 100 word installment, or visit the brand-new fanfiction.net series link!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Life Writing, Round Two 2017, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Sowing Seeds for June: May 28, 2017

Hi there!

Have you ever found yourself reassessing your goals very close to the end of a cycle?

That’s what’s happened to me. Through the marketing class I’m taking,* I’ve come to a realization – or, more accurately, the clarification of an issue. I’ve known for some time that I tend to set more goals, with a wider focus, than I can maintain – but I didn’t know what to do about it, because everything on the lists seems beneficial.

However, as I begin the process of creating a writer’s business plan, I’m beginning to see where I can trim my goals and tighten my focus to those projects which best feed my priorities. I’m considering some major changes for June, but some things will bring a lightness that will energize the rest of my May…

This is a bit long, so here’s a shortcut. All goals with ** doubled asterisks are being postponed to a later/ better suited time, leaving me free to focus on those that remain.

  • Gwen Montoya’s Building Your Marketing Muscle – I highly recommend this class!

Writing:

  • Story A Day May: Main project – Write daily flash story of about ~333 words. Side: Write a Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction drabble (100 word story) for my Cowled arc, based on prompt and words from fans. Primary goal. 27/31 drafted for both projects. Caught up Sunday night, and have stayed that way. On target!

  • **Trueborn: Complete draft of Foul Deeds Will Rise (Trueborn #2). Target: 2 scenes/week, after #StaD stories. Finish by May 25. Secondary goal back-burnered. Much as I want to finish, trying to do it by the end of the month, or even this already overly busy round is more stress than I need. I’m setting this aside until August/September, when I have more breathing room. **

  • **Kifo Island Series: Complete draft of The Last House (a Kifo prequel) . (Approximate word count TBD). Target 3,333 words per week, after #STAD stories and FDWR; complete by May 31. Tertiary goal backburnered. See above.**

Plotting:

  • Story a Day May : Main Project: Necessary planning/plotting/research for flash fiction stories (333 words/less, with exceptions) exploring July’s Still Nameless: Kifo Island #8, using #StaD prompts. Side Project: Cowled arc  ;necessary planning/plotting/research for drabbles (100 word stories) carrying “Countdown” forward, using #StaD and fan prompts. Primary goal. Day 27/31 complete. On target.

  • **Kifo Island: Complete plotting as needed to complete rough draft of The Last House. Begin hybrid planning for Still Nameless, using The Story Toolkit  and The Writer’s Coloring Book; get through basic character sketches. Secondary goal backburnered. The Last House will wait for August, as noted above. Still Nameless will be a priority in June.**

Submission/Publication:

  • #StaD Cowled drabbles: Submit to fanfiction.net  as completed. Secondary goal. Day 18/31 complete. I’ve got some forward momentum, and am establishing a rhythm. This is part of my overarching primary focus until it’s caught up; I’ve moved from 13 days behind to only 9 – not a blistering pace, but a steady one. Definite progress!

Social Media:

  • Day May: Post daily I’m sharing the planning, along with favorite lines to the stories, and links to the complete writings, in separate posts to keep things from getting too long. Visit at least 1 other participant daily. Secondary goal. Day 18/31 complete. I’ve got some forward momentum, and am establishing a rhythm. This is part of my overarching primary focus until it’s caught up. =D Multiple visits Wednesday Saturday.

Hometending:

  • Resets/reorganizations: study, family room, bedroom, living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Complete three 27 thing flings each room, each week. Two flings on porch, and two 27 minute yardtending sessions weekly. At least six General Hometending rounds per day, 6 times/week. Secondary goal. Mission Accomplished on all counts!

Lifetending:

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Primary goal. Three-mile walk and trip to store for a new phone charger with son; night walk (and bullfrog chorus!) with daughter; TV and a long-overdue conversation with Accomplice.

  • Beta reading/critiques: Complete at least first five chapters of both beta novels. Catch up with crits for my local group (I’m behind 3 at the moment). Tertiary goal. Spellfire: Author thinks we’re a good fit, so on we go! Highlighting for Chapter 2/13 in progress, p. 16/161. Stained: Chapter 1/26 complete; taking a detour because I forgot I had an unrelated chapter left to beta. Did initial read-through for that one; simmering.

Selftending:

  • Journal and meditate five mornings and two evenings each week. Primary goal. Mornings: 6/5 meditation (5/5 journaling; I forgot Wednesday!). Evening:1/2; Bookmarked several sleep/evening meditations; tried one and greatly enjoyed.

  • Fitness: Get a cumulative total of at least 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes) moderate physical activity 5 days weekly; 123 minutes (2 hours, 3 minutes) twice weekly, and 4 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights, yardtending, etc.) each week, using my Samsung Health app for guidance and accountability. Secondary goal. (4/4 hours strenuous). 111: 4/5. 123: 0/ 2 – but got to 116 on Saturday. Solid progress.

Leaps of Faith:

  • **Website/Blog Development: Make basic sketches of new pages; prioritize; begin implementation. Setting aside until marketing class is complete and simmered.**

  • **Smart Change: Reread Chapters 3 and 4/ complete/worksheets; create an approach plan, going forward. Setting aside for a more reflective period.**

  • **Intuitive Eating: Reread early chapters; consider how to incorporate into Smart Change. See above.**

  • **Blogging from A-Z Challenge 2018: Gather links and sketch out base idea for these posts. Setting aside for June; it makes more sense there.**

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
We’re also on Facebook!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Sting and Bite for #StoryADay May; Day Eighteen

The Prompt:

  • There is a moment in every story where a protagonist has to make a choice: to take up the challenge of the story or to turn away. Everything else flows from that.

  • Today, write a story in which your protagonist makes the other choice.

Sting and Bite

“There’s nothing anyone can do to save this baby’s life, Marilyn.”

The words sting and bite with more force than a needle piercing her skin and penetrating a vein.

“Is it because of me – because of my -?” She couldn’t make herself say the words that would damn her, and the baby she carried.

“The exact causes aren’t known. However, your blood tests shows very low levels of folic acid, which is essential for the proper formation of the neural tube.”

“And what does that mean – for her?” She rubbed the protrusion of her belly, where the baby girl was growing.

“It means you may miscarry. If you carry to term, your daughter has a seventy-five percent chance of being stillborn. If she survives birth, she’ll live no more than a few weeks. There’s no treatment; she has only a residual brain stem. She won’t be conscious, and she’ll feel no pain. She won’t be able to see or hear. She might be able to swallow by reflex, if her brain stem has developed enough. Her spinal cord is exposed; she will be paralyzed from the waist down. All we can do for her is to keep her warm and comfortable until, inevitably, she dies.”

But that can’t be all! It’s not fair! She wanted to scream those things at the doctor, tell her how Brad had died the night he made this baby girl, how she’s the last part of him still alive -but she doesn’t say any of that. “Maybe her brain just hasn’t – I don’t know – caught up with the rest of her.”

“I’m sorry, Marilyn. Your daughter’s birth defect occurred in the third to fourth weeks of your pregnancy. Fetal development is a forward progression; she won’t go backward and catch up.”

The doctor paused, and Marilyn could feel that whatever was coming was even worse than the nightmare she’d already heard.

“She won’t be a person in any sense you can recognize, Marilyn – but there is some good that can still come of it. You could use this as a catalyst. Get into a good rehabilitation program. You’re young and intelligent, and you have your whole life ahead of you. Start taking better care of yourself and your diet – including a folic acid supplement, so that you minimize the chances of a recurrence if you decide to have another child. And, if you’d like to give some personal meaning to your little girl’s life, you could consider organ donation – most of her organs might be healthy enough to enhance or save another child’s life.”

It was all a swift sharp blade that cut through the illusions of her hazy life. She’d been trying to escape into oblivion, but it was no use. Reality had found her. It always did.

In that moment, she knew what she had to do. “Can you recommend a treatment program? I’ll go, right away, and do whatever it takes.”

And she knows that she will.

Will Marilyn actually go to rehab?

Will it be successful?

What happens to this version of Marilyn?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another installment, and we can explore this new story seed together!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Story a Day May Challenge, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Prone to Superstition: #StoryADay May; Day Eighteen

The Prompt:

  • There is a moment in every story where a protagonist has to make a choice: to take up the challenge of the story or to turn away. Everything else flows from that.

  • Today, write a story in which your protagonist makes the other choice.

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Prompt Words:

kitndavj:

  • audit

  • conical

  • architecture

  • anger

  • superstition

  • deptression

  • boomerang

  • dystopia

Braxin:

  • rapacious

  • degradation

  • obstinate

  • seductive

  • loyalty

And now I offer you…

Prone to Superstition


Soval audited the conversation.

He could exonerate this man. However, a conical architecture extended from that point. If he revealed the rapacious degradation of the five humans, their obstinate anger when his kindaughter refused their seductive advances, he jeopardized his loyalty to Vulcan.

Humans were prone to superstition, particularly regarding the unknown. This immature species was still prone to psycho-emotional disorders, including depression. Their language was full of idioms based upon imagery such as “the boomerang effect.” Many subscribed to the illusion of dystopia, rather than accepting the reality of entropy.

Revealing the truth wasn’t logical in this case.

Will Soval change his mind?

How could he exonerate this man?

Where does his “kindaughter” figure into this?

Any guesses?

Come back tomorrow for another 100 word installment, or visit the brand-new fanfiction.net series link!