Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FlashFiction summary 11-21 thru 11-30

Last week I was out of town visiting family in Seattle and didn't get the chance to write a lot of #flashfiction, and this week, I have an interview with erotica author Emerald on Friday, December 2nd, so I'm offering the summery of flash today. I hope you'll come back on Friday to read the interview and get insight into an erotica author's perspective on sex.

Last week was Thanksgiving, but I did manage to write a #MenageMonday entry that won Honorable Mention from the judge. We had to write a 200 word story to the following prompts. The photo, the phrase "the difference between", and the story had to include an astral projection (out of body experience). I wrote two entries because the host complained that everyone wrote about car accidents. ;) The first is entitled, "Next Turn".

The difference between living and dying was a heartbeat; a speck of time immeasurable in its smallest aspect.

Lillian found herself standing at the edge of the grass boarder between the sidewalk and the road, the sun painting hazy shadows of a street light on the ground. A crumpled plastic garbage can with 602 painted on it lay discarded a few feet away from her feet.

602 . . . that was her house number. She shifted her distracted gaze to her yard and confusion swamped her. A mangled hunk of twisted metal and glass marred the collapsed wall of what had been her bedroom. She could only tell it was a car from the tail lights glaring red. A bloodied man struggled to get out of a warped car door, his actions unsteady and inebriated.

A breeze ruffled her hair just before a warm body pressed to her back and gentle hands settled on her shoulders as white leathery wings embraced her. Lillian tried to see who held her, but she felt as uncoordinated as the drunk driver who’d hit her house.

“It’s time to go, Lillian,” a warm voice murmured.

“Go where?”

“The next turn on the Wheel.”

The second entry came from listening to Barenaked Ladies' Elves' Lament, and has no car accidents.

“Hit it again!” Sparkles shrieked as Tinsel walloped the fat plastic container with an industrial-sized candy cane.

“Harder!” Wreath shouted gleefully.

“Don’t you know the difference between cheap plastic crap and real craftsmanship?” Tinsel grunted, slamming the cane down again. “You fat bastard! We work our asses off to make beautiful toys and you want that junk found in dollar stores!”

Garland gestured for the cane. “My turn.”

Tinsel handed it off.

“You think you’re a god?” she snarled, aiming for the crude writing on one side. “Without us, you’d  just be a fat, lazy schlep who couldn’t get anything done, much less deliver toys on time!”

“You mean, deliver crap on time!” Tinsel added.

Garland hit the can so hard, a piece broke off the cane and slammed into Wreath’s head, knocking him off his feet. His form shimmered, then dissolved into a hazy wraith with a black frown and arms akimbo.

“Oh shit, he’s lost control of his form!” Sparkles gasped. “We better get out of here. It’ll be dawn soon.”

The elves grabbed the broken pieces of candy cane and beat a hasty retreat back to the North Pole before the boss realized they'd been gone.

I'm still chuckling over that one. Remember folks, don't buy dollar store crap! Lol. This last Monday, I wrote another #MenageMonday entry for Cara Michaels to the following photo, the phrase "the dying light", and unwarranted enthusiasm from everyone except the protagonist. It's entitled, "Clue Party."

“This is so exciting!” Blanca gushed as she stapled my arm to her plush breasts and bounced a little. “I can’t believe we’re going to take part in a Clue party!”

I tried to give her an encouraging smile as I swept my gaze around the foyer bathed in the dying light of the setting sun. The open front doors to the mansion let in the scents of wet autumn air and a deluge of people attending the Clue Event: A Night of Mystery and Humor. Most of them chatted with voices full of excitement and Blanca dragged me over to a sidebar with silver candlesticks, an ornate clock, and a minipalm set on its glossy surface.

“Welcome!” The butler’s British voice boomed out over the crowd. “Once we close the doors, the show will begin!”

“Why is everyone so damn enthusiastic?” I grumbled while Blanca picked up a candlestick. “Why am I here, again?”

Unease snaked up my spine as she turned her brilliant smile to me. “Don’t you remember? You signed all the release forms.”

“The release forms for what?”

“To be Mr. Body.”

She swung hard and I heard, "Mrs. White in the Foyer with the Candlestick."

Mwahahahahaha! I loved both the movie and the game. :) On Tuesday this week, we were given the following photo and the word "Twist" for a short 100 word story for #TuesdayTales. Mine is entitled "Winter Retreat."

He’d made it! A simple solo fishing and backpacking trip had turned into eighteen hours of slogging through the worst freak autumn snowstorm in twenty years.

Max damn near cried when he saw the old green wooden cabin, the red roof festooned with sharp icicles glittering in the waning sun.

He leaned his forehead against the frozen door, huffing his relief. Shelter and the possibility of a hot meal made him twist the doorknob and shove his way inside.

Light from single broken window illuminated his surprised feline companion.

Apparently he wasn’t the only one seeking shelter and hot meal.

Nice kitty-kitty. :) Today, I wrote 100 words for the #HumpDayChallenge to the following five word prompts: "Friday", "Painful", "Grandma", "Skip", and "Glazed". Mine is entitled, "Skip's Friend" (and I won Honorable Mention for it, too.  :)

Skip stood beside his brother Joey, his eyes glazed with tears as the others lowered the casket into the dirt. He’d been looking so forward to this Friday when they’d all planned to go to the beach to throw the Frisbee with Hank and search the tide pools for critters. Hank loved doing that.

Each thought of his friend was a painful reminder of the loss and Skip angrily wiped the tears away with his sleeve. Grandma would’ve given him the gimlet eye for that, but he didn’t care. Someone had poisoned his dog and he’d make them pay.

Never, ever, kill a kid's dog. That's just wrong! I hope you've enjoyed my #Flashfiction entries for this week (and last). Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - How to Rescue a Pirate - Hartwell Is Not So Well

Welcome back, Sixers! I hope your holidays were wonderful so far and I'm glad you're taking the time to come back and visit the weird, wild, and wicked world while you digest the goodies from your feast. Thank you to all of you who leave comments. They let me know I've tickled your fancy and found people out in the vastness of internetdom who are interested in my writing. Thank you all so much. There are other authors who participate in Six Sentence Sunday and some of my personal favorites are Cara Michaels, JoAnn Ross, and Lynne Murray.

In this snippet, Captain Marcus "Hartwell", the erstwhile Blackheart, is feeling sorry for himself when a "boy" comes looking for him and takes him to the hostel to sober him up.

“Water?!” Marcus scoffed, trying to look ferocious. “I doona need water, laddie, jest more whiskey!”
“Oh, you’ve had enough of that for one night . . . and maybe for a lifetime,” the boy mumbled in disgust. “Just rest and we’ll see what to do with you on the morrow.”
Marcus was going to complain about moronic boys and their stupid notions of a man’s capacity for drink when his stomach suddenly rebelled and he damn near missed the bucket the boy had gotten for him.
           Holy Aegir, what in the Frozen Hells is wrong with me?

I guess he's more think than he drunks he is. ;) Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks - a Work of Gratitude

I've been thinking about Thanksgiving, since it's a major U.S. holiday and everyone is madly trying to get enough turkey, yams, and potatoes to feed a small battalion. But I realized what Thanksgiving really means to me is a gratitude for the blessings that have come to me and inundated my life; particularly my writing life.

Writing can be a solitary exercise, but for me I need the interaction with other people the help spur the muse and boost the inspiration. There are several people I have met in the last year who have helped me in ways big and small to improve my writing and my stories and I'd like to share them with you here. I'm so grateful they're in my life and I don't have enough words to tell them everything. This will have to be good enough.

Three people believed in me from the beginning; my husband Mr. SM, my oldest friend E. K. Yenawine, and a graduate school colleague Lanya Ross. Mr. SM encouraged my writing and often helps me when I get stuck in a plot line. Thank you, my handsome love!

E.K. Yenawine
E.K. Yenawine and I have been telling each other stories since junior high, staying up way too late, and saving the worlds we created one mechanical horse at a time. ;) She's now a technical editor and has helped me by going through my stories with a fine-toothed comb until the English is smooth.

Lanya Ross is a great scientist, but she also is a great reader and loves the weird, the wild, and the wicked in her fiction. She has a great sense of continuity and reminded me if my character had such a wonderful relationship with her mother, why didn't she mention her more throughout the story? Uhh . . .

Lanya Ross
When I started writing my blog this year, I met up with Tom Keller, a science fiction writer who lives in the same town as I do. ;) He became a critique partner and a great friend and still continues to help me find the best story in the writing. If you like science-fiction/fantasy, Tom writes some great stuff and you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and in The Dryad's Garden.

Tom Keller
Tom, in turn, introduced me to Cara Michaels. You know that sense that you might have a twin out there somewhere in the world? Cara is it for me. She and I are writing twin sisters. Not only are we the same height, weight, and blood type, but we write in similar styles, think the same way, and enjoy the same kinds of music. Cara writes science-fiction with romantic elements, although her NaNoWriMo project has some pretty good love scenes in them and I'm in love with Graham and Kelly already. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Defiantly Literate, especially for #MenageMonday flash fiction writing challenge.

Cara Michaels and her Gray Pride.
In the heat of the summer, I attended Arizona Dreamin' a romance reader event held in Tempe, AZ, and the moment I stepped out of the car for the event, I encountered Morgan Kearns and her million watt smile. She was so warm and welcoming I couldn't help but follow her around like a puppy. She didn't seem to mind. Morgan has made me laugh, not only with her writing, but with her anecdotes of day to day life being a parent and a spouse. She helps me keep it real, balancing the life of a writer with a life full of parenting and household responsibilities. Morgan writes sweet romance, both contemporary and paranormal, and all of it is full of humor. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and her webpage.
Morgan Kearns with Siobhan at AZ Dreamin' 2010

Shannan Albright found me, and as I understand it, stalked me at Arizona Dreamin', much like I stalked Morgan Kearns. At the end of the conference she asked me to be her programs coordinator for the Las Vegas RWA and we've been talking and laughing ever since. Shannan makes me laugh and her faith in my ability to write as well as bring in people to speak at the Las Vegas RWA has been a blessing. She hates her photo being taken, so it's a coup that she let me post it here. You can find Shannan on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads and Romance you can sink your fangs into.
Shannan Albright

Nara Malone has the honor of being the first author I interviewed on my blog for her newest release, Snatch Me. I met Nara on Facebook when told her I'd just finished her book The Dungeon Gourmet and Mr SM wanted to try the recipe given by her character Le Marquis de Bond. The earthquake that shook Virginia in August of this year surprised everyone. She was close to the epicenter.

Nara has been a great source of information on publishing and promotion, and she's just great to talk to. if you saw the interview on this blog a few weeks ago, Nara has constructed a virtual world where you can interact with other players and amazing environments in honor of her recent release, Snatch Me. You can find Nara on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and at her blog in my favorite authors list to the right.
Nara Malone

This Thanksgiving holiday, take time to remember those people who have changed your world for the better. I'm fortunate to have these folks as my friends and I'm lucky to have all of you who come to read and delight in my stories. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - How to Rescue a Pirate - Rescuing Cap'n Hartwell

Welcome back, Sixers! I hope your week went well and I'm glad to see you back here. Be welcome. Pull up a chair and enjoy a little weird, wild, and wicked. :D I really appreciate your comments. They make my day and let me know there is an audience out there! ;) There are several other authors who participate in Six Sentence Sunday and a few of my favorites are Cara Michaels, JoAnn Ross, Lynne Murray and Stacey Kennedy.

Today I'm introducing Samantha and Captain Marcus "Hartwell" from a little story called How to Rescue a Pirate. Sam has been searching for him in hopes of repaying his kindness and perhaps getting a little more of it. 

            Sam felt the giddy excitement of success and the burning arousal she only experienced when looking at him. After her husband, she hadn’t been able to stand the touch of any male, though she’d put up with the butt slaps and the pinches while a barmaid in the tavern. But Captain “Hartwell”, her own Blackheart, made her feel as if she could stand to have his hands on her, though he’d never touched her. Some unacknowledged part of her wanted his hands on her; on all of her.
She leaned against the wall near the fireplace and watched him as he dozed and brooded on his bench, his eyes barely focusing on what was going on around him. It looked like he needed rescuing, if only from his own drunkenness.

Who says heroes are always men? ;) Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is great. For those celebrating this week, Happy Thanksgiving! See you after the holidays. Happy reading! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Week in #FlashFiction Summary 11-14 thru 11-18

This was an interesting week for me. Busy and full of meeting new folks, both online and in person. It gave me a chance to really reflect on how much I enjoy talking to people. So if you were one of the ones I chatted with this week, I'm so glad I had the opportunity to hobknob with you! On with the summary.

On Monday, I entered the #MenageMonday challenge hosted by Cara Michaels. This time it was a YA version because her judge was the birthday boy and had just turned 10 years old. It was fun to come up with 200 words to the following photo, the phrase "eye of a [...]", and using Sherlock Holmes as a character, though not necessarily the main character. I won Honorable Mention for my entry.

“It’s gonna work, Tiffany,” Ryan stated as he set out all the paraphernalia he needed.

“You’re gonna bring Sherlock Holmes forward in time to help us solve the mystery of why your uncle went missing? Ryan, he’s a fictional character. You can’t bring him ‘forward in time’ when he never really existed.”

“He did,” he insisted. “And I’m gonna prove it. And then he’s gonna find my uncle.”

Four pop cans with railroad spikes wired to them stood half buried in the sand of the old playground, wired together in a large square. One corner went under the old swingset, but Ryan said “it couldn’t be helped” and they’d wound the swings up on the crossbar. Ryan said the sand was perfect for the “space bubble” to make the time tunnel.

“Okay, are you ready?”

“Are you?”

“Here we go.”

Ryan touched the wires to his dad’s car battery and the flash of light knocked him on his butt. A blue bubble grew beneath the swingset.

“It looks like the eye of a husky,” she whispered.

When the tall man in a long checkered coat holding a funky pipe stepped out on the sand, Tiffany's jaw dropped to the ground.

Elementary, my dear! Also on Monday, I wrote a 500 word piece for #MotivationMonday hosted by Wakefield Mahon. It's entitled "Amazing Grace" and I was the winner. We had to write to the following photo continuing after the phrase prompt:

“I heard the Asian preacher playing trumpet outside of the station.”

When Grace looked up at the strange statement, she almost dropped her latte. It wasn't an Asian preacher, but an extraordinarily beautiful male with a long horn pressed to his lips on top of the courthouse across the street. Chiseled features stood out starkly against the crystal blue sky as his chest expanded to blow another anthem of notes. Grace stopped short, gaping as a pair of great white wings extended out behind his back and the music of the horn danced through the autumn air. Grumbled comments of other pedestrians who hadn’t expected her to stop surged around her.

Grace glanced at her fellow foot travelers, wondering if they saw the handsome man with the wings and horn, but no one else stopped. She frowned and looked again, but he’d disappeared.

I must have imagined it.

She shook her head and resumed her journey, going over the chores she had to finish when she got home that day. She hadn’t realized she dropped her head until she ran into someone. Someone tall and hard, who smelled like sandalwood incense until her latte added its own scent when it splashed across his belly.

“Be easy, Grace. I’ve got you.”

She looked up, way up, into the light brown eyes of the man holding her steady and froze. The same chiseled features she’d seen on the rooftop faced her with a compassionate smile curling his sensual lips. The wings visible over his shoulders shone white in the reflected light off the buildings, but no feathers shifted in the mild breeze. The skin was leathery, like a bat’s wing, and a small clawed thumb gripped the edge of the longest wing-finger.

“What are you?”

He cocked his head to one side as his smile broadened. “What do you think I am, Grace?”

“When I first saw you with the wings and the trumpet . . .”

He laughed and the music in his laughter tempted her to join him. “An angel?”

“Yes, but now . . .”

“But now?” he prompted.

 She huffed with exasperation. “Now you don’t have a trumpet. Where did you put that thing, anyway? And what’s with the bat’s wings? I expected feathers.”

He laughed again, tucking her arm into his as one leathery wing extended around her shoulders, hugging her to his side.

“Contrary to popular belief, angels come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of wings. Mine just happen to look like this.” He pulled her against his chest as the other wing closed around her, encasing her in a sandalwood scented world with his blazing golden eyes staring down at her. “I wanted you to know I’m here for you.”

“Here for me? What are you talking about?”

He leaned forward and kissed her forehead, then returned her to the world in front of a speeding taxi. Horns blared and people screamed as her world shattered into brightness, her latte spilling across the asphalt like golden blood.

“Be easy, Grace. I’ve got you."

Dragon winged angels are my all time favorite! :) On Tuesday, I found Buffy Christopher hosting Six line Sunday on her blog and while I was a little late, I couldn't resist writing a short six line story to the following photo. 

“Lift me just a little higher, Max.”

“I don’t want to lift you, I want to kiss you,” he grunted as her knee hit him in the side.

“But I want to climb the wall.”

“You’re not wearing the right shoes, Tess,” he remarked.

“Since when has that ever stopped me?” she retorted, reaching higher.

He sighed as he pulled her butt up higher, enjoying the soft press of her breasts against his face as she attained her goal.

Also on Tuesday, I wrote a quick 100 words for #TuesdayTales hosted by Stevie McCoy. There were two prompts, the word "hastate", which means "spear shaped" and the following photo.

Mirriam stared in wonder as she crouched at the edge of the glen. The sparkling lights had beckoned her from her home to Sherwood Forest and she’d expected faeries dancing in a sacred stone circle. But when she arrived, the lights glinting through the trees came from flowers. Each flower started as a hastate bud, then opened in a brilliant shot of light, adding its color and scent to the air.

One steel blue bud swirled open below her nose, bathing her in glorious sapphire light.

“Blessings be with you,” she heard whispered and her heart sang with peaceful joy.

Today, there are two blogs I write for. The first is #100words with the #FridayFictioneers hosted by Madison Woods. We were asked to write 100 words to the following photo. This is the beginning to a story that has been brewing for a few months and is waiting for the editing projects to end. I've entitled this 100 words "Taking the Reins".

Bethany viciously kicked the loose stones on the road as she walked while Killian ambled along beside her. She wanted to scream and hurl the rocks in a tantrum, but she had too much respect for her equine companion and her hands fisted on the reins.

“Damn him!”

Killian tossed his head at her outburst and she patted his neck. It wasn’t her horse’s fault her father was a controlling, arrogant bastard. Just because he was a US Senator didn’t mean he could dictate who she’d marry. Dammit, this wasn’t the middle ages when men sold off women for land!

More to come on Bethany and company soon! Also, today I wrote 100 words for #FridayPictureShow challenge hosted by Jen DeSantis. The requirements are 100 words exactly for the following photo prompt. Mine is entitled, "Seven Sisters."

Seven sisters in a line
Waiting for rescue sublime.
Seven songs sung at the dawn
Bring them to windows drawn
To gaze upon a frightful sight
Of Demon Horde and one black knight.
Says he, “One of you will have to pay
So others may survive this day.
Choose one among you for sacrifice
To pay for all the pain and vice
You’ve brought to our simple land.”
Seven sisters then clasp hands
And Serena, youngest one of all,
Offers to be the one to fall.
For six sisters she loves most
To save them from the Demon Host.

Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed all the stories. Come back for a snippet of a Pirate tale on Sunday and have a great Thanksgiving week! Happy reading! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - The Goblin King - The REAL Reason

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked, Sixers! I appreciate your return and all the new people stopping by, too. Thank you for your comments; they mean a lot to me, especially because they let me know I'm not just shouting into the vast darkness of internet space! ;) Also, be sure to check out the other authors' blogs who participate in Six Sentence Sunday. Some of my favorites are Cara Michaels, JoAnn Ross, and Lynne Murray.

Today's snippet comes from my WIP The Goblin King, Tricia MacGowan finds out the primary reason Jakran brought her to his home is to further the Goblin Royal line.

           “You, Tricia, are the most magically endowed goblin female I’ve seen in well over two centuries as well as the only female of marriageable age. These are the two most desirable traits you possess.” He smiled and while she enjoyed the smoldering look accompanying the smile, the words were just a little too hollow for her to believe the sentiment.
           Way to compliment a girl. Does she look good? No, but she’s magically endowed and old enough to mate.

That's certainly one way to win her over. Thank you for stopping by and reading about the Goblin King. Next week I'll be introducing you to Marcus Baird, a crafty pirate, and the lass who loves him despite his insistence on wearing his cranky pants. ;) Happy reading! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Week in #FlashFiction Summary 11-7 thru 11-11

Happy Friday 11-11-11! Do you know the last time this date came around it was 100 years ago? Woo-hoo! Also, Happy Veteran's Day! I had two grandfathers in the military; my dad's dad was a Marine in the First World War and my mom's dad was an Army air corps mechanic on the B-29 Superfortresses in WWII. Blessings to those who have served and those who still do. I greatly appreciate your sacrifices and efforts in serving for your country.

Now, on to the #flashfiction for this week. On Monday, I participated in #MenageMonday where we had 200 words to create a story from the following photo, the phrase "say what you want" and the word "risible", meaning something provoking laughter. Here's my entry inspired by Mr. SM and the movie Hitman, entitled, "Diana".

“Diana” sat at a little wrought iron table, tapping away at her laptop. Evening sunshine burnished the ornate buildings around the square, suffusing the cafĂ© in shadow. She was grateful for the cut in heat.

“Your target is Consuela Aragon, daughter of the Spanish Ambassador,” she typed, knowing her voice would sound smooth, elegant and faintly British to the assassin on the other end. “The client wants her death to be embarrassing to the ambassador as a message to curb his vices. The client wishes for the body to be found in a public place and had some suggestions: a disco, strip club, or brothel. Can you comply?”

She raised her coffee cup to her lips, savoring the lightly sweetened libation as it rolled over her tongue. Say what you want about the Italians, they made a damn good cuppa. She tucked one patent leather heeled foot behind the other under her chair as the words “I can comply” appeared on her screen. She typed, “Confirmed. Transmitting data”, then closed the laptop.

“Hello, Diana. I’ve missed you.”

The visage before her wasn’t risible. “Hello, 47. I trust you’ve been well?”

Her bald companion smiled and sat, adjusting his red tie.

Also on Monday, I was the judge for #MotivationMonday where the writers had 500 words to create a story from the following first line: "Somehow he wasn't surprised that it was snowing in Austin on June 19th." Mine was ineligible, but it's entitled "Temporal Adjustment".

Somehow he wasn't surprised that it was snowing in Austin on June 19th. Not that it looked like Austin, or that calendars had been discovered yet. Wind whistled across the open savannah, driving snow before it like the cottonwood seeds he used to see here. Well, back in his own time. He tightened the bison hide around his shoulders with a sturdy hemp belt and turned his back to the wind, grateful he still had his flannel shirt, fleece gloves, wool hat, and scarf. He’d abandoned the down parka to the Giant Short-Faced Bear he’d encountered two weeks ago. Damn thing though he smelled like chicken!

Hoisting his overnight pack up onto his shoulders, he continued his trek southwest across the brittle plains. When he’d come through the time portal, he hadn’t expected to be thrown into the Ice Age of Austin. He’d expected to land somewhere near the late Pleistocene when things started to warm up and the harsh cold weather was tapering off. The great ice caps were supposed to be retreating northward back to Canada and Alaska, not advancing further south. He grumbled for the millionth time about sloppy calculations and poor research.

Damn graduate students!

The wind howled again, sounding almost like a voice calling him. No, wait, that was a voice!

“Doctor Sterling! Doctor Sterling!”

He looked back over his shoulder to see a figure lumbering toward him in a black parka and large backpack. He recognized both the voice and the shape of his senior grad student Cara Zephyr. What the hell was she doing here?

“It worked, Dr. Sterling! Isn’t it great?!” she crowed as she reached him, grabbing his arms and bouncing up and down like an excited puppy.

“What are you doing here? How did you get here?” he demanded harshly.

“I came to see you in your lab and saw the temporal adjustment machine working so I packed my gear and followed you.” She grinned at him with lips unchapped by the harsh elements. “It really worked!”

“Yes, it worked, but there’s no way to get back. I’ve tried.”

“You’ve tried to get back?” She cocked her head. “What do you mean? How long have you been here?”

“Two weeks!”

Her eyebrows disappeared under the brim of her fleece hat. “Really? Wow!” He wanted to shake her out of her enthusiasm. “Did you forget your return transponder?”

“My what?”

“Didn’t you read Tom’s notes?” Cara dug around in one of her voluminous pockets, withdrawing a small steel pocket watch. “Tom said he’d found that something could go through the worm hole made by the Temporal Adjustment Machine, but couldn’t come back unless there was a transponder attached to the item set to the frequency of our own time.”

She held up the open-faced watch. A digital read-out showed June 19th 2011, 09:34 LAT 30˚ 17’ N, LON 97˚44’ W.

Maybe his grad students weren’t so sloppy after all.

“Let’s go home.”

“But I just got here!”

"We can always come back, Cara. You just proved it." He took her arm, leading the way.

Great thanks to Cara Michaels, Sterling Priest, and Tom Keller for starring in my little play in words. ;)

On Wednesday, I participated in the #HumpDayChallenge where we had 100 words to make a story with the five word prompts of "emaciated", "stomp", "veil", "tar", and "miraculous". I'd been discussing novel first lines with a friend and wrote the following first line to make her smile. Then I used it to start this little story entitled "No Trespassing".

The sign said 'No Trespassing', but the oozing lines of blood marring the words suggested someone had ignored the warning. An emaciated padlock dangled unharmed from the gate beside the chain link fence torn open like tissue paper. The Druid Priest stomped his feet and chanted in hopes of calling upon the Fae across the Veil for some sort of miraculous response to save us and the town.

“This ain’t gonna work,” Thompson growled. “That thing’s gonna beat the tar outta us, we go in there.”

“Shut up. You got any better ideas?” I retorted.

“Nah. Just sayin’ is all.”

Today, I wrote 100 words for the #FridayFictioneers using the following photo prompt. I've entitled it "Piper's Dawn".

The third night Suriya heard the pipes on the wind, she resolved to find them. Legend had it the Pipers only came out at dusk and dawn; the first to send the sun to bed and the second to bid it rise.

Bedding down in the crackling leaves at the edge of the sleeping autumn forest, Suriya waited for dawn with anticipation firing her blood. The silvery sound of the pipes built around her just as the sun’s light crested the ridge. Tiny Pipers danced around her, luminescent in the glorious sunrise, and winked in acknowledgement of her marveling presence. 

Also today, I wrote 100 words for #FridayPictureShow using the following photo prompt. It's entitled, "Lost Carnival".

The old coaster stands derelict now, rust corroding the rails, support ties lying in crumbling disarray; but I’ve heard the hoots of a pipe organ playing carnival tunes at night and smelled the scents of popcorn and cotton candy in the breeze.

I’ve seen sparkling lights beckoning from the overgrown fairgrounds, but I’ve never found anything other than an old brass game token, the kind they used to give out to revelers for the rides.

Just last night I heard the clackity-clack of the coaster’s wheels and the joyful screams of the riders. Tonight I’ll be there with my camera.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've enjoyed the summary and you're more than welcome to stop by this Sunday for Six Sentence Sunday, a snippet of my WIP entitled The Goblin King. Happy reading! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - The Goblin King - Not So Smooth

Welcome back, Sixers! Thank you for returning for the snippets of my WIP The Goblin King. I really appreciate your comments and enjoy sharing the story with you. I hope you'll stop by the other blogs of authors who participate in Six Sentence Sunday. Three folks to definitely check out: Cara Michaels, Sterling Priest, and Tom Keller.

In this snippet, Tricia just tried to pull away and excited Jakran's inner predator. 

          Tricia whimpered so softly he barely heard it over the thunder of his own heart, but it pierced his lust like a lance through a water skin and he slammed back into the present moment. Disgust and chagrin ripped through him when he saw her hunched pose.
            Oh gods, I’m frightening her!
            Releasing her hands, Jakran lurched backwards in an awkward movement and landed hard on one hip. He grunted with pain, but kept moving until he stood beside an upset chair, using the ornate back to hold him steady. The chair shifted under his hands and he yelped, then set it upright, hoping he wouldn’t make any more embarrassing sounds that morning.

So much for being suave and debonair. ;) Thank you for coming by and happy reading! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Week in #FlashFiction Summary 10-31 thru 11-4

This was a full week of #Flashfiction and I wrote more than I have just to keep up with all the challenges. Because it was Halloween on Monday, the #MenageMonday blog by Cara Michaels was appropriately moody with the following photo, the phrase "didn't see (insert phrase) coming", and my judge's prompt of Borophagus, the extinct North American bone crushing dog. ;) We were allowed up to 500 words. I was judge, so my entry didn't count, but here it is, Title: A Dog Day.

I sighed with contentment as I rested my back against rugged hillside; well, mountainside, really. The sun warmed my shoulders and the crown of my head through my straw hat. The environment was changing once again. We humans changed the landscape of our world, but the planet itself went through cycles and environmental variations, the likes of which we’d never seen.

Gazing down at the valley before me while I munched on an apple, I followed the relatively new railroad tracks marring the pristine desert landscape with “progress” and mentally changed the vegetation and geomorphology of the vista. The scraggly trees shot another twenty feet in the air and larger bushes plumped along the filling streambeds like mushrooms. A herd of giant ground sloths ambled slowly away from the pack of Borophagus canids, scoping out the prey animals. They in turn were watched by a pride of Smilodons, the great sabertoothed cats, their chief rivals for the herds of bison, mastodons, and sloths.

I sighed again. God, I loved paleo! The critters were so much cooler than the ones we had in the world today. I tossed the apple core down the rocky slope, then sneezed as grass fronds shot past my ears, the entire hill becoming furred like the back of a long-haired cat.

“What the – ?”

I froze as the two predator groups turned their heads, ears perked in my direction. Could they hear me? How was that possible? This was my fantasy, dammit!

I lifted my daypack silently, never taking my eyes from the hungry predators. No outrunning them, but maybe I could deter them. I dragged my rock hammer out of its nylon cocoon and gripped the rubber handle tight enough to etch the pattern into my palm as I got my feet under me. I’d fight them standing up.

The Smilodons launched off their ledge first, flowing down their hillock in a tawny wave. They were silent and I just waited with dread. Those long canines they sported were gonna be a bitch to defend against.

A piercing howl raised the hair on the back of my neck as humanoid shapes burst from the grass of the valley just this side of where the railroad tracks had been. Exclusively male, the bipeds met the cats with knives and spears, screaming war cries.

The cats scattered and bolted, leaving two of their number dead on the ground and the humans celebrating their victory by dancing on the bloodied turf.

I must have made another noise because one of them paused and turned my way, hunting for me in the tall grasses. I raised my rock hammer when he arrived in all his loin-clothed and war-painted glory. Fierce brown eyes stared back at me curiously, dismissing the weapon.

A large canid loped up beside him and I flinched in recognition, dropping the hammer. Not Borophagus, he’d befriended Canis dirus.

“Man, I didn’t see this coming,” I squeaked before he grabbed me and threw me over his shoulder.

Also on Monday, I entered #MondayMotivation hosted by Wakefield Mahon where we had 500 words to write a story continuing from the following first line: "Mary stumbled out through the motel room door. The frightened look of the maid reminded her she was covered in blood." I was the winner and will be the judge next week! Here's my winning entry, entitled, The Sacrifice.

No, no, dammit!" the Legendary Arthur MacKensie growled as he furiously erased the words on the page. "That's pure crap!"
Yeah, legendary, to someone who knew nothing. He hadn't written a good word in weeks, but his editor was hounding him to at least send the beginning to a new story so they knew he was doing something.
Arthur started again. “Mary staggered through the motel room door, her clothes sticking to her where the blood soaked through. A passing maid shrieked and tossed three fluffy towels into the air in her hurry to get away.”
That was a little better, but still not what he wanted. He banged his head against the desk and moaned.
“You know I can give you what you want, Arthur.”
“I know.”
He raised his head and looked over at his best armchair. Kiera sat with one leg crossed demurely over the other under her skirt, her hands folded in her lap. His Muse, the woman who promised much and took much more.
“But there’s a price.”
“There always is.”
She gave him a half smile, never revealing her teeth. “This time it could be worth it.”
It could be. He’d benefited from her help before, his books selling millions. Her help had gotten him this luxurious house, the Aston Marten in the drive, and the adulation of the world. But it had cost him his wife, family, and quiet moments out in public. He was a famous celebrity. It should’ve been enough. But lately, it had started to pall.
“Tell me how it could be worth it.”
Kiera threw back her head and laughed, sensing victory. “Oh, Arthur, this will be the best one yet.” She rose in a fluid movement and slid behind him, draping her arms over his shoulders. “The story will bring people laughter to lighten their hearts, tears to cleanse their souls; even suspense and thrills. It will be your greatest masterpiece.”
He nodded, resigned. “Will I get to enjoy any of it?”
She was silent for so long fear froze him solid and his testicles tried to crawl up inside his body, seeking warmth.
            “Arthur, you can enjoy it, but not in this form. You must choose to expand your horizons.”
            He nodded again and pulled out of her arms as he stood up. He sought her hematite colored eyes, swallowed hard, then tilted his head to one side in offering. She smiled widely, the sharp points of her canines flashing before she wrapped him in her embrace.
            “This will only hurt for a moment, beloved,” she whispered before she bit him.
            Sharp pain quickly diminished before the surge of sensual lust blooming within him, his penis hardening without his say so.
            “Oh God, yes!”
            “Famous reclusive author Arthur MacKensie is missing. Despite the success of his latest novel, he would not answer calls from his publisher. Police have no leads in his disappearance.
            In other news, the Bloodless Butcher has struck again, increasing the victims to nine.”
On Wednesday November 2nd, I added a 100 word post for the #HumpDay Challenge hosted by Tracey Hansen to the prompts of "station", "humble", "crossed", "tooth" and "hover". It's entitled, Razrael's Redemption.

They followed the path taken by Jesus that fateful day, now called the Stations of the Cross, in small groups here and there. Pilgrims from all walks of life, both humble and genteel, flooded Jerusalem every year, looking for salvation from the remnants of a saint. Razrael snorted with derision as he crossed to the long evening shadows of the building ahead. He picked a tooth with one sharp claw as he hovered over an old woman praying. She’d be a perfect meal.

As he reached for her, she remarked, “There’s still hope for you, Razrael.”

“Mary? Is that you?”

Thursday November 3rd, I joined the #3-4Thursday Challenge hosted by DRyan Leask where you can write on 300 word story with all the prompts or 3 100 word "blind" stories when the prompts are given. I chose the blind version to the three prompts of "The story is the character's last letter or letter to someone special", "every breath (someone/thing) take", and "mustache". The voting for the best story will be open until Monday so go check out the other entries. I had Weird Al Yankovic's song "Since You've Been Gone" in my head when I wrote mine, which is entitled, His Beloved.

Dearest Cynthia,

I miss you so much, it feels like my heart has stopped beating in my chest. Each breath I take slides into my lungs with the sharpness of broken glass and my ribs hurt with the effort. When you left to go visit your folks in Saskatchewan, I thought it would only last a couple of weeks, but as it turned into months, the time has dragged me through my days like I’m trudging through sludge. My whole body aches with the effort to move. Waking up is almost as painful as dreaming of you with me.

Yesterday, Mrs. Crenshaw pruned her roses for winter, the ones you love so much because they smell like your perfume. Every breath I take is full of your scent when I walk past her yard waste bags warming in the waning sun of autumn and it brings tears to my eyes. I cry so much from your absence my eyes sting like I’ve washed them in vinegar and my abdomen cramps with my sobs. The scents of you and your little Chihuahua Kinzey are slowly fading and I scour the corners of the house for little mementos of your presences.

I’m surprised how much your absence affects me and what a difference it’s made now that you aren’t here. My house is so clean it sparkles and the stench of unwashed canine and dog shit is gone when I walk through the door. I don’t find random hairs woven into my mustache; my couch is free of the fur that works its way into all my good dress pants. I’m breathing easily for the first time in years and your decision to stay home longer warms my heart. I’m sure your parents are thrilled. I know I am.

Sincerely, Kurt

Today, Friday November 4th, I've posted 2 100 word entries in the #FridayPictureShow challenge hosted by Jen DeSantis to the following photo prompt. No title for this one, and if you want to read the other, please visit her site.

The dream started off slowly, sensation skimming up along Rhianna’s legs with fingers of pleasure. His body took shape in her awareness; dark hair, broad shoulders, and heat, so much heat. A rigid length of velvet covered steel pressed against her thigh. His lips sealed over one breast, his tongue dancing wet circles around the nipple. She arched, moaning as he slid inside, grateful his visits had increased after Bobby walked out.

“Are you ready, my love?”

“Ready? Always.”

Orgasm shot her into the heavens with him, his arms holding her, and she sailed through the starlit bliss until morning.

There is also the #FridayFictioneers hosted by Madison Woods where you're given a photo prompt and #100words to tell your story. Here's mine, entitled "The Promise".

The forgotten road wended through the bare-branched tunnel of sleeping trees and brush, leading to a place of legend.

I knew I’d find the magic if I followed it, but I didn’t know if I’d find him again. He’d promised to meet me here on the Winter Solstice, his kisses offering more than fleeting pleasure, but it had been so long since I last saw him. Would he hold true to his promise?

In the fading light of day, he appeared, offering me his hand and a wide triumphant smile

“Come, my Lady.”

Squaring my shoulders, I took his hand.

So that's it for this week. Do visit all the blogs. There are many opportunities to write #flashfiction all week long, these are just a few of my favorites. And come back again to see my #sixsunday post this weekend! Happy reading! :)