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, 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 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

They’re True for #StoryADay May; Day Seventeen

The Prompt:

  • Write a story about the days leading up to the beginning of your novel, or your story’s big incident. Alternatively, write a journal of those days from your protagonist’s point of view.

They’re True

“And we’ll spend about a week just laying out on the beach -”

Ophelia stops listening. Marilyn isn’t talking to her, anyway – or at least, not really. She’s sitting on the floor of the plane, cross-legged, utterly ignoring her eight-months’-swollen abdomen as she plays endlessly with her dolls, as though she’s not about to have a baby girl with no more brains than those stuffed cloth toys.

She sighs, and turns to look out the window at the world passing below them. Time to leave the harshness of a Midwest winter, and return to a climate she’s more familiar with.

Her hand, which has been paused over the page, moves, and these words emerge:

I wish I was going home, and that I had no idea I even have a half-sister.

Written out like that, it seems kind of terrible, like she’s committing some kind of crime that she can’t quite explain. She wants to scribble out the words, but she doesn’t.

They’re true.

And this is her journal.

She only writes the truth here.

The words remain, as indelible and incontrovertible as Marilyn’s swollen belly, or the scribbled gibberish that covers the bodies of the naked ragdolls.

How will Ophelia deal with this truth?
Will Marilyn realize how she feels?

Where are they going?

And why?

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

Succession of Consequences: #StoryADay May; Day Seventeen

The Prompt:

  • Write a story about the days leading up to the beginning of your novel, or your story’s big incident. Alternatively, write a journal of those days from your protagonist’s point of view.

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:

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Iron Pyrite (Fool’s Gold)

  • Carcinoma

  • snowdrift

  • Cougar

  • Telemetry

  • Modular

  • Technical

  • Challenger (the space shuttle)

  • Mountains

  • Stratigraphy

  • Seismic

  • Succession

Braxin:

  • tempestuous

  • forbidden

  • predatory

And now I offer you…

Succession of Consequences

“Earthdate January 28, 2150; Rocky Mountains:

I’ll soon initiate my studies into seismic activity, stratigraphy, the pharmaceutical properties of certain microbes in the treatment of carcinoma, and the predatory habits of puma concolor, the cougar, as measured by telemetry.

I have acquired samples of iron pyrite, and am studying the technical aspects of the explosion of Challenger, an early human spacecraft.”

T’Pol pauses, looking out the window of the modular unit. A snowdrift obscures her view; the tempestuous weather reminding her of a blue-eyed human, a forbidden excursion, and the succession of consequences that brought her here, to Yellowstone.

Will T’Pol’s investigations be fruitful?

Why is she reminded of a blue-eyed human?

What was her ‘forbidden excursion’?

How did it lead her here?

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

She’s 13 Now for #StoryADay May; Day Sixteen

The Prompt:

  • Write a story that investigates a turning point in your protagonist’s past.

Fair Warning:  This post is NSFW, or for younger kids peeking over shoulders….

She’s 13 Now

13 year olds don’t cry, right?

She bites her lip, hard enough that her lip splits and bleeds. But she doesn’t cry about it; she just swallows the blood and keeps biting. She could eat the cake, but she doesn’t want to. All the servants have left, and she could have a cigarette, or a whole pack, if she wanted them. But what good is that, when there’s no one here to sneak around behind. Defiance needs an audience to be any fun at all.

That’s when the front door crashed open, and there were voices and crashing and laughter – drunken laughter.

Mom, and two men.

“Shh, stop – don’t know where the kid is.”

“Oh, come on, Desiree. We want you!”

“Yeah. We want you – now!”

Marilyn got up from the chair that was supposed to have been her Birthday Throne, and flattened herself against the wall nearest the foyer. And there was Mom, already more than half naked, her breasts being attacked by one man while the other was unzipping her skin-tight jeans -his were already around his ankles, showing what was clearly one hell of a fine ass that made Marilyn think of Brad and his ass, which she’d touched only through his jeans –

Brad, who wanted her to try heroin, and wanted her…

She’d always said no – but now –

She slips off to her mother’s room – Mom isn’t going to leave the foyer for a while, and she only brings her men to the guest room, even if she does. Somehow, she seems to think Marilyn won’t know about it if she fucks half the male population of the town in the far wing. Like she doesn’t even remember all the times she never got that far.

Marilyn witnessed her first orgy when she was ten.

She calls Brad. It only takes a minute to tell him to come to the side door, and straight up to this room. Then she runs a bubble bath in Mom’s huge garden tub – they can start right here. She strips out of her clothes, feeling naughty and desirable, her skin hot and hungry as she slips into the water and starts touching her breasts the way that man had done to Mom.

When Brad arrives, he’s bulging the front of his jeans. Maybe she should be scared, but that bulge makes her hungrier.

“Come fuck me, Brad.”

She’d thought he would argue, but all he does is strip, and climb in with her. It’s over almost before they start. It hurts, but Marilyn doesn’t care. And she cares even less when they go to Mom’s bed, and Brad helps her to shoot up for the very first time, and then there is only beauty and touching and the taste of Brad’s sweatslick flesh.

She is a woman now, and she chooses for herself.

Will Marilyn’s mother discover what she’s done?
If so, how will she react?

What’s next for 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

Nothing to Regret: #StoryADay May; Day Sixteen

The Prompt:

  • Write a story that investigates a turning point in your protagonist’s past.

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:

  • Dig Tree (Aussie historical landmark for early explorers).

  • Pole Dancing

  • skipper

  • Aqua aerobics

  • Lycra

  • Cyclist

    From my local NaNoWriMo prompt list:

  • statuesque

  • walk

  • future

  • trap

  • authority

  • ill-fated

  • name

    regret

And now I offer you…

Nothing to Regret

Trip waits to learn his fate – he’s alone. No skipper; no dig tree.

He could have done anything that night – Natalie loved pole dancing amateur nights. Aqua aerobics. She was a cyclist, and was statuesque in Lycra. A romantic walk on Fisherman’s Wharf…

But he’d gone to Fusion, never suspecting a lovely Vulcan trap whose name he didn’t even know. If he could have seen the future; how that ill-fated Date Night would get him in trouble with authority, would he have decided to do something else, far away from the Vulcan Consulate?

He smiles. Nope, nothing to regret.

Will Trip change his mind about having regrets?

What happened on that ill-fated Date Night?

Who is Natalie?

Will he ever learn the name of the lovely Vulcan trap?

Any guesses?

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