Archive | June 2013

Flash! Friday # 30 — WINNERS!

We were talking in the comments this round about how stories rising from the same prompt sometimes echo each other in concept or theme. But one of the things I love best about these sorts of contests is where they then diverge. Getting to know your unique characters, hearing the distinct voices of your writing emerge–it is a great pleasure and privilege each week. Thanks to each of you for being such an awesome part of the flash community!

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Judge Jaz Draper says, When I saw this week’s prompt I thought, Holy Stonehenge! What are our talented writers going to come up with? I stared at the prompt long and hard and got nothing. But you, my fine feathered writing friends, did not disappoint! Giants! Princesses! Soldiers! And, of course, dragons for Rebekah! As always, you make it as challenging to judge as it is to write flash fiction. Well done, one and all! 

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Aria Glazki, “Hidden Treasures.” Of all the dragon stories this week, this one struck a chord: a friendly, protective dragon. Sweet! 

Curtis Perry, “Questions and Answers.” The Princess and the Pea! –No, wait, the princess has to eat her peas! 🙂 Clever dialogue between mom and daughter, and quite believable.

AmyBeth Inverness, “Mortar.” I really like this piece. The last sentence is the perfect way to sum up Jophina’s uneasiness and the conviction that the planet had been inhabited by life and that Nature was not responsible for the structures she was seeing.

SECOND RUNNER UP

Craig Anderson, “Beside the Sea.” Having written poetry myself in the distant past, I appreciate the huge amount of work it takes to incorporate story in rhyming verse! This work was just lovely.

FIRST RUNNER UP

Brianne Barkley, “Imagine.” You captured palpable fear :spasms of shivers:  :teeth clicking together madly:   :just keep it together: …I imagine her imagination was in overdrive, and I do think my own heart was racing a wee bit! Really well conceived and executed.

And our Flash! Friday second time 

 DRAGON WINNER IS….

WHITNEY HEALY!

for “From the Rubble.”  I really love the pace of this piece and the measured dialogue. I could feel the angst of Scientist and the hubris of Soldier anticipating his medal. You had me assuming one thing and turned me on my head with the hive/queen twist. Wonderfully crafted from start to (ominous) finish; marvelous characters; overall creative and well-written.

Congratulations, Whitney, and welcome back to the dais! Here are your updated Winner’s Page, your familiar yet stunningly crafted eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please keep an eye on your inbox for another round of sparkly questions for next Wednesday’s Sixty Seconds feature.

From the Rubble

“We smoked ‘em!”

Scientist’s complexion was gangrenous, his eyes, pale. He swallowed. Trembling like a drunken veteran, Scientist eased himself to the ground. He vomited.

“Man up. You act like it’s the first time you’ve seen anything die.”

Scientist steadied himself.

“The calculations were off.”

“And?”

“We didn’t accurately measure the bomb’s capabilities.”

“Big deal. Instead of just smoking the bitches out, we destroyed ‘em!”

Mentally, Soldier noted how proud Sergeant would be. Scientist shook his head in disbelief, pulling his hair and pacing.

“Oh, come on, you woman. They invaded our planet. It serves them right!”

“This wasn’t an ordinary settlement.”

Soldier lit a cigarette, uninterested, thinking instead of the medal certainly coming.

“This is their hive.”

Soldier grunted.

“As in, where the Queen would nest.”

“So, we killed ‘er too. Mission accomplished.”

The ground began to shudder, the rubble tinkling like glassware in the middle of a quake. In the distance, she reared her head, stinger glistening in the late afternoon sun, eyes gold and alert, the movement of her wings blowing the shore into funnels.

“Their hive?”

The strange insect clicked. Bee-like-but-still-humanoid creatures responded, surfacing by the hundreds. The Queen’s stinger pulsed. She clicked. Hauntingly, the others joined.

“What now?”

Scientist and Soldier’s spine prickled.

“We run.”

FFWinnerBadgeSmall

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Flash! Friday # 30

CLOSED! Woooot! What a ride–and so many charming (?) dragons, to boot! Thanks so much, y’all, for coming out for the romp that was Round # 30. Results will post Saturday afternoon ET.

Heeeheheheheeee!!! You all still have me giggling (and sniffling) over your stories of La Gioconda and her adventures. Thank you for displaying such raw courage and creativity with what’s normally such a hands-off work of art. 

Moving on to this week: a bit of easy research will unravel this photo for you, and goodness knows the truth is chilling enough already. But what do you make of these ruins? What happened at this beach? Ahhh, now these are the questions. (Here are your contest guidelines).

This week’s  unraveling is overseen by SVW member Jaz Draper. (Be sure to check out her judge page to investigate what she looks for in a winning entry.)

Ready? GO!

Word limit: 200-word story (10-word leeway on either side) based on the photo prompt.

* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (between 190-210 words, exclusive of title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one.

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

Winners: will post tomorrow (Saturday)

Prize: A stunning e-trophy e-dragon e-badge, a stunning page here at FF, a stunning 60-second interview feature next Wednesday, and YOUR (stunning) NAME over the rooftops of the world (so to speak). NOTE: Winning and non-winning stories alike remain eligible for selection for Monday’s Flash Points. 

* Follow @FlashFridayFic on Twitter for up-to-date news/announcements/historically questionable journal entries.  And now for your prompt:

Capbreton. Photo courtesy of Makunin, @ Pixabay

Capbreton. Photo courtesy of Makunin, @ Pixabay

Sixty Seconds with: Maggie Duncan

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 Maggie Duncan.  Read her winning story here, then take one minute to get to know her better.

1) What about the prompt inspired your winning piece? Da Vinci carried the Mona Lisa with him til his death. I riffed off what was obviously important to him.

2) How long have you been writing flash? A little over two years, long enough to have published a collection called Spy Flash.

3) What do you like about flash? It challenges me to tell a story under constraints, and it hones the editing skills.

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? Don’t be intimidated by a word-count restriction. Try it. Practice it. You’ll come to love it.

5) Who is a writer we should follow, and why? Between Flash! Friday and Friday Fictioneers, there are so many. Try Betty Superman by Tiff Holland. Wonderful little fiction chapbook.

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? Friday Fictioneers isn’t a contest, but it’s a great weekly exercise. I’ve written close to 100, 100-word stories for it.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? I’m primarily a novelist, though my short pieces are all that’s been published. 

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? I write what Alan Furst calls the historical thriller–espionage with a good dose of history. I love writing something edgy.  

9) Tell us about a WIP. A Perfect Hatred is a four-book series about a significant act of domestic terrorism–from the terrorist’s point of view.

10) How do you feel about dragons? You won’t like this, but Tolkien did them best; Anne McCaffery comes in second; everyone else should just give up. {{Editor’s Note: Not a chance. Greatness inspires greatness.}}