Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Imago's Love at First Stink

Rachael Harrie's Writer's Platform-Building 2nd Campaign Challenge is:

Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!

A HUGE-MONGO Thank you goes out to all the judges and fellow writers who "liked" or voted for my flash fiction piece! I was extremely honored to win 8th place in the challenge.

For those of you who read my first campaign challenge, and know I have a deep, dark secret of liking the freaky & creepy stuff, you'll find this very different, yet still creepy in its own special way. 

I struggled with this one, because the first story that popped into my mind was fiction, and creepy. Very creepy. *Think Silence of the Lambs vs. Kiss the Girls. You know the story: creepy, psycho kills people, hides insect larvae in victim's mouths, damp, dark basements, caves...stuff like that. But, I figured most of y'all who would stop by would be wondering if it was another scary one! So, I had to shake things up a bit. I hope you enjoy my piece! Thanks, Rachael for an extremely challenging challenge! Sorry, no mirror in this one. It's exactly 200 words.

The Imago's Love at First Stink

Stapelia gigantea and Green Bottle Flies
The moment the Stapelia gigantea oscitates its flesh-colored petals, a rotten miasma resembling the stench of a rotting corpse, emits into the atmosphere. Also known as, the Carrion Flower, the five-pointed bloom stretches out like a starfish. Tiny fibers or hairs cover the rough texture of the petals. A deep maroon lacuna sits like a cavern in the center of the flower, enticing the Phaenicia sericata (the Green Bottle fly) with its foul odor. The fly crawls in, and is tricked by the scent of decaying meat. While exploring, it pollinates the hermaphrodite plant. Female flies sometimes lay their eggs in the pit of the flower, and in ten hours, the flower is crawling with maggots.

Stapelia gigantea is a succulent plant in the milkweed family. Bees and butterflies pollinate most milkweed plants; however, the Carrion Flower attracts flies as its main pollinator. Young gardeners, especially boys, will enjoy growing this cool and stinky plant. Its immense flowers are ten to twelve inches in diameter, and as long as it's grown outdoors, the scent is only minimally offensive. Author's note: Sensitive sniffers, please take precaution.

As a gardener, I'm in a constant state of perplexity at the synchronicity in nature.


You can click here to read the rest of the entries! Like mine, if ya do! :))
The Super-Duper Entries of Rachael Harrie's 2nd Campaign Challege

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blog Awards and Great Video

I've been a very bad blog buddy this past week. Dear, sweet blogger,  S.L.Hennessy awarded me another Liebster Blog Award, thanks S.L.:)) She has a super blog over at:

K.T. Hanna (loving her blog!!! You must check it out!) Awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award!!!

Then Claire over at Crazy California Claire awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award! Wow, thanks, Claire!!! Check out her blog! 

I'm feeling some major Blogger love these days. Thanks, my fine bibliophile friends!!!

While I'm off working on my NPR 3-Minute Fiction story, Working on Deadline Revisions and writing my 2nd Campaign Challenge, have a looksee at this video. You may have seen it before, but for anyone who suffers from writer's block, it's a must-see! It's called George Lucas in Love

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Wink of Fiction-

Nothing Good Happens at 3:00 a.m.

She rolled over, hearing a familiar hum. The digital alarm clock read 3:00. Darkness swarmed around her as she crept down the hall. The chaotic buzz stemming from the kitchen grew louder. On the granite counter, the empty blender whizzed. She unplugged the appliance. Light blared in from every window, blinding her. She froze. Her heart in her throat, she choked. The memories flooded back to her. It was time, again. Held captive by fear, she waited for the magnetic pull, and like clockwork, it arrived. In an instant, she disappeared. Time stopped. The digital numbers on the microwave read 3:01, only upon her return, would time continue. Everything would be as it was before, all except for the scar branded on her withering soul.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Door Swings Open with Flash Fiction

Let me begin by saying THANK YOU to Rachael Harrie over at Rach Writes. If it wasn't for the first challenge in the campaign she's hosting, the "door" may have remained closed. Figuratively speaking, that is.

The door to new and uncharted writing territory. Lately, I've been questioning my writing. What exactly is it I'm attempting to do? This past weekend, I sat down and asked myself, "What do you want to write?" Then, a second question, "What is it they (teens) want to read?"

My answer...

Suspense, thrills, creepiness, chills, fear, heart-pounding action, the not overcooked paranormal, darkness, & monsters (of all kinds-including human). These were the elements I searched for in books as a teenager. I was one of those teens who spent hours, reading the backs of books, trying to find the very best one.

These scenarios defined a "really great book" back in those days:
  1. If I couldn't keep my nose out of it.
  2. The plot / characters clouded my thoughts when I wasn't reading.
  3. If it kept me up reading into the wee hours of the night.
  4. If I was afraid to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  5. Or afraid to look under the bed.
  6. Or again, afraid to look in my closet.
  7. If it made me hide under my bed covers.
  8. If it forced me to buy every book written by the same author.
  9. If I was afraid to close my eyes.
  10. If when I was finished reading the book, it haunted me.
Bottom line, I loved books that could scare the bejeepers out of me. So, why is it that I keep trying to write stories to impress adults? Literary wonders for...whom?

What do teens want? I asked my 14-year-old daughter's girlfriends.

Their answers?

Scary stories. Really scary stories. Stories that keep them up at night. Stories that haunt them for days, weeks after they're done reading. And, not just monsters, but haunting characters and plots. Books they HAVE to recommend to all of their friends. Books that make them hungry for more.

Last week, I stepped out of my cozy writing zone, and I challenged myself to write a 200-word flash fiction, with the "crazies" in mind. I attempted to write something eerie and suspenseful. Something I would've liked to have read when I was young.

After reading all the super cool comments about my piece, I realized, I like it. I like the present tense, quick-paced, creepy feel. I like the way this piece could be a terrifying end or a completely irrational, freaky beginning of a story.

Thanks to the 1st campaign challenge, fellow campaigners for all of your awesome comments, and thank you to Rachael for challenging me to let the door swing open.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Grumpy Bug Syndrome - Living in the Land of the Blahs

Some days, I feel like The Grumpy Bug
Ugh, I rarely get in one of these moods. You know the kind where you question yourself. What the heck am I doing? Who do I think I am? What makes me think I can be a writer? Once the questioning begins, it's a downward spiral to the land of Blahs.

A little world-building here. The Blahs is the land of yucky feelings. Where the moody blues grabs a hold of your soul and squeezes all the happiness out, leaving you in a pitiful state. Once you've landed in the land of Blahs, it's quite difficult to escape. The Blahs force field holds you down, sometimes it'll even force you into a ditch, face first. The only way to pull yourself out of the land of Blahs is having faith in yourself, in what you're doing and who you are.

It's having the faith that's the hard part.

So, here I sit. On the border of Happy Me-ville and the land of Blahs, one foot in each world. Question is, where will I land? Hopefully, I'll feel better in the morning, but this evening, all I can wonder is, what the heck am I doing, and what makes me think I can be writer?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Door Swings Open...

Our first campaign challenge is to write a 200-word Flash Fiction short story. Beginning with, "The door swung shut." I wrote the story in present tense, so I've switched the verb tense, hope that's not breaking the rules! I've taken on the challenge + the extra challenges of exactly 200 words, and ending the story with "the door swung (swings) shut.

I've included my own challenge (to myself, that is!), and incorporated the 1st campaign challenge to also be about my current YA wip.

The door swings open...

Swarming from all directions, they're on her. Pawing her, pulling her to the cold concrete, she crawls on her belly toward the light. The incessant moaning is everywhere. Above her. Behind her. Beside her. She retches from the rancid stench of decomposing flesh. Hurrying across the floor, she scurries like a cockroach. Grubby fingers fumble about her legs, her feet. Blindly searching. They smell her breath. They sense the life force pulsing inside her chest. The blood in her veins.

There, at the end of the hall, in a doorway, Heath waves his arms, beckoning her toward the light.

Almost there.

Pain rips through her right leg, and she screams, heightening their hunger. Reaching around, she swipes at her assailant. Its nails dig into the meat of her thigh. Its skin is sticky and moist, and she knows without looking, it is open flesh. Oozing, rotting flesh. She pulls free from its grasp, scrambling away.

"Laney! Hurry, c'mon!" Heath shouts.

He looks like an angel with the light haloed behind him. She picks herself up. A stabbing ache shoots up her thigh. They claw at her. She runs to the light.

...and the door swings shut.

Liebster Blog Awards

I'm a bit behind on awarding my top 5 picks for the Liebster Blog Awards. Thank you, Angelina C. Hansen for nominating me for this award! It's my turn to pay it forward. What is the Liebster Blog Award?
The award is said to have originated in Germany. Translated to English, Liebster means “beloved”.  The Liebster Award is meant to bring more attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

It comes with a few simple rules:
  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them. Thanks, Angelina C. Hansen, one of my newest online writing peeps!
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog or email them.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
Here are my top 5 picks for the Liebster Blog Award:

Catherine Stine's Idea City
Stacy S. Jensen
Sarah P. and Blurb is a Verb
And best of all – Have a beloved time blogging your heart out!