Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 34

WELCOME, tsars and tsarinas, princes and princesses, counts, barons, and wretched serfs, to Flash! Friday! Many of us are still glowing from last week’s win by crowd favorite Brian Creek (be sure to read his #SixtySeconds interview if you haven’t). This week it was also a great deal of fun spending a #Spotlight feature with Maggie Duncan as we celebrated the launch of her newest book, The Better Spy. Speaking of which: >>CONGRATULATIONS to Margaret Locke!!!!!<< for winning Maggie’s giveaway of The Better Spy and My Noble Enemy! Everyone else, be sure to check out Maggie’s author page at Amazon to get your own surreptitious hands on these books.

This next Tuesday, join us at #Spotlight for another exciting book launch, this time celebrating recent Flash! Friday champ Sydney Scrogham‘s release of Chase. And yes, don’t you dare miss it: Sydney will be giving away a free copy! 

WALL OF FLAME!!! Today’s the final chance to write a story toward your July Ring of Fire badge. Note that if you’ve already emailed in the dates of your three July submissions, you’re fine; I’m finally updating the Wall of Flame this weekend and will tweet the badges as loudly as possible. No idea what I’m talking about? Read all about the Wall of Flame and the knock-your-socks off Ring of Fire badge holders here.

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DC2It’s a pleasure to have with us again today Dragon Team Five, captains Holly Geely & Foy S. Iver. The two usually write fantasy/dark fantasy respectively, but both don’t hesitate to emphasize they love most well-rounded characters & parodies and punchlines (Holly) and unique voices and plots whose originality sear one’s memory (Foy). Want to know more? Check out their most recent judgy comments here.     

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Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.  

* Today’s required word count: Tolstoy went long; we’re going short! 100 – 150 words  (100 min – 150 max words, not counting title/byline)

How to enterPost your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (this week 100 – 150 words, excluding title/byline), the two story elements you based your story on, and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new, don’t forget to check the contest guidelines.

Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post Monday.

Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.

AND HERE IS YOUR NOVEL PROMPT:

This week’s novel inspiration: Anna Karenina, Tolstoy’s gorgeously complex tale of a socialite in Tsarist Russia who struggles between her desire for happiness and loyalty to her family.

Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these elements; be sure to tell us which two you chose. Reminder: please do not use copyrighted characters). 

* Conflict: man vs self
Character: unhappy socialite
Theme(s) (choose one): tradition, social progress, the value of family/marriage
Setting: Tsarist Russia

OPTIONAL PHOTO PROMPT (for inspiration only; it is NOT REQUIRED for your story):

Scene from "Anna Karenina," 1914 Russian film by Vladimir Gardin. Photo is in the public domain in the United States.

Scene from “Anna Karenina,” 1914 Russian film by Vladimir Gardin. Photo is in the public domain in the United States.

Sixty Seconds with: Brian Creek

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)

Matchlight

Our newest Flash! Friday winner is — FINALLY!!! — first timer Brian Creek.  Read more about him at his VERY OWN WINNER’S PAGE (FINALLY!) here, and read his winning story here. But for now: you couldn’t do better than take one minute to get to know him better below.

1) What about The Arabian Nights inspired your winning piece? I imagined sitting down with my son and reading him one of these fantastical stories. The tale grew from there.

2) You’ve been writing flash a good while but this is your first win. What’s kept you going? The support of a fantastic group of fellow writers. And a ‘Flash Points’ article written last July by yourself.

3) What do you like about flash? As someone who struggles to finish projects, Flash allows me to complete a satisfying story before my attention – squirrel!

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? There are no rules to Flash (other than the word count). Experiment with themes, styles, and formats.

5) Who is a flash writer we should follow, and why? I wouldn’t feel right just picking one of the fantastic FlashDogs. Or David Shakes. I can’t decide. ☺

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? Thursdays I write over at MicroBookends, while the weekend sees me writing or judging for Flash Frenzy.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? I have a folder full of unfinished short stories, novellas, and novels that I wish I could focus on more. 

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? I love using Sci-Fi to step out of the normal world and see ‘what else’ and ‘what if’.

9) Tell us about a WIP. CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE WORLD – I’m currently expanding my 100 word Micro Bookends entries into novella length adventures.

10) How do you feel about dragons? Always wanted one but we never had the room.

Warmup Wednesday!

Directions: Write a scene or an entire story of 100 words on the nose (no more, no fewer), inspired by this photograph. No judging. All fun. (Normal Flash! Friday guidelines regarding content apply.)
Don’t forget to add your Twitter handle & link to your blog, if you please.

And a few words on how your week’s going would be so very appreciated!

 This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: Include a secret invention.

Abandoned Laboratory (Cornell). CC2.0 photo by vadikunc.

Abandoned Laboratory (Cornell). CC2.0 photo by vadikunc.