Archive | September 2013

Flash! Friday # 43 — WINNERS!

You did it again: your writing astounded me so much, you’ve done knocked my socks off (good thing I’d painted my toenails! sheesh!). Thank you so much to everyone for taking time out of your busy schedules to write, read, and leave comments for this week’s contest. I wish I could rain celebratory chocolates on all your heads. 

Note: I’ll be in flight all day–which means (apologies) no Flash Points Monday. However, please do remember you can look here to see myriad other flash contests happening this week all around the circuit. Now go knock their socks off!


Judge Kinza Carpenter Shores says, I wish I could have just said- here, these 10 are the best. Because although I narrowed it down fairly quickly in the first go round, there was at least a handful of stories that were excellent and original and amazing for 155 words! Kudos to all of you with your heartwarming, interesting and very flighty stories!



Sarah Miles, “Streets of Genocide.” This story captured my attention with its fresh and original take on the prompt, fantastically terrifying imagery.

Cara Michaels, “Fly so High.” This exemplified the highly emotionally charge that so many of the stories went for in an incredibly suspenseful and well-written manner. I finished reading feeling that this could be part of a longer, more in-depth story.


Maven Alysse, “Fizzy Lifting Drinks.” This piece had suspense, good imagery and characterization and truly captured the emotions of the characters through the word choice. The literary reference was just the icing on the cake.


Tom O’Connell,The Intervention.” This story was a very close second for me in the running. Often setting up complicated stories involving Science Fiction or fantasy can take up so much space in a 150 word story and leave no room to build up the meat of the story. The introduction, short and to the point, retained the same flow and diction as the bulk of the story, remained relevant and impressively telling. Instead of falling into the very easy trap of telling rather than showing, this story gives you clear images of the characters and the relationship of the story. The dialogue blew me away with how well it was put together, and the characterization– spot on. The flow of action to imagery suited the story well, and it was a refreshing take on the prompt.

And returning to the Flash! Friday dais for the second time as 



for “Teaching Abroad”  

This piece really caught me within the very first line. For hooks, the first paragraph was one of the most intriguing I’ve read. I loved the sardonic humor and how I was kept guessing about the where the story was going until the very end. The imagery and diction in this piece were excellent without being superfluous. 

Congratulations, Aria! Here are your updated Winner’s Page, a comfortingly familiar yet marvelously crafted dragon eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please watch your inbox for brand new interview questions for Wednesday’s Sixty Seconds feature.

Teaching Abroad

Throwing children out of windows isn’t normal. At the height of their trajectory, they float for a heartbeat in the air. Orange light paints over their skin. It’s almost beautiful, but it isn’t normal.

Some of the older kids understand, and they all fight our holds instinctively in fear. But we’re stronger, and we’re determined. Their wiggling and crying cannot slow us down. Screams tear through me, but I don’t even pause.

“I hate heights,” the little boy in my arms whispers.

“Close your eyes,” I can’t help whispering back.

The second he does, I clench my jaw and toss. His arms flail as he flies. Fourteen.

I pray the hands outside will catch him.

We search the smoky room for any small bodies left behind. The flames lick at my feet through the remaining patches of floor.

This isn’t what I signed up for.


Flash! Friday # 43

CLOSED!!!! Thanks to everyone who came to share their stories with us this week. We’ll see you Sunday with the judge’s results. 

It’s true: we have–quite shockingly, I might add, given the shenanigans in last week’s Odd Fellows house–successfully made it to Round # 43. Welcome!  (You should know, by the by, that I’m already elbows-deep in planning a Big. HUGE! one-year anniversary insane blowout. With prizes and everything.)

Back in high school my creative writing teacher gave us daily assignments, but she always said if we had a “rock in our shoe,” something that just had to be written, we could write that instead. Well, today I discovered a rock in my Flash! Friday shoe (yes, dragons wear shoes, though in truth they are more like fluffy house slippers–don’t tell anyone I admitted that). It’s mighty inconvenient, as I had another prompt picked out, and I had the description written up and all ready to go. But then–this pic, this marvelous photo of a child in mid-air silhouette. It bothered me, to the point of shoving the other prompt out of the way and wriggling its way onto the page instead.

Given that display of intense desperation, its stories have got to be good. And I can’t wait to read them.  

(Find the airborne contest rules here.)

This week’s contest is judged by death-defying SVW member Kinza Carpenter Shores who says she’d freely plunge into the depths for a tale that makes her think something new or feel something amazing. Be sure to check out her judge page to find out more.

And now:

Word limit: 150 word story (a leaping 5-word leeway) based on the photo prompt. 

* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (145 – 155 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 SUNDAY 

Prize: An airy e-trophy e-dragon e-badge coming your way, a soaring winner’s page here at FF, a winged and personalized 60-second interview feature next Wednesday, and YOUR NAME ricocheted across the furthest reaches of the sky (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/dragon aviation tips.  And now for your prompt:

Child. Photo by Alexis/El Caminante

Child. Photo by Alexis/El Caminante

Sixty Seconds with: Margaret Locke

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)


Our newest Flash! Friday winner is Margaret Locke.  Read her winning story here, then take one minute to get to know her better.

1) What about the prompt inspired you to write your winning piece? For some reason “glory days” immediately popped into my mind, and I wondered what the building’s heyday was like.

2) How long have you been writing flash? Six weeks! Unless you count attempts at humor on Facebook & Twitter.

3) What do you like about flash? I’m a very visual person, so the photo prompts immediately spark story wonderings. And minimal editing!

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? Go for it! It’s been an awesome experience–and it’s definitely teaching me to tone down my natural verbosity.

5) Who is a writer we should follow, and why? You want me to pick just ONE with so many talented writers out there? Follow them all–everyone’s a teacher.

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? Nope. This one consumes me (in a wonderful way) every Friday. I need my other days to write/edit my book.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? I’m currently editing my first romance novel, and that’s my genre of choice–I love romance, especially historical.

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? Romance! I love happily ever afters. I love falling in love. I love wit and snark and humor. The best romances have that.

9) Tell us about a WIP. A startling revelation forces Cat Schreiber to reevaluate her world and the people in it. What is fact? What is fiction? And which–or whom–does she want more?

10) How do you feel about dragons? I love them in theory. In practice I have a feeling I’d make a tasty dragon snack.