Archive | November 2014

Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 51

HIP HIP HURRAH!!!! WELCOME back to Flash! Friday (unless this is your first visit, in which case Welcome for the First Time!). Today is bittersweet and exciting and wonderful all wrapped up in one, as we round out Year Two and look ahead to next week’s Flashversary contest and then the launch of Year Three. Here are a few Year Two stats for your celebratory pleasure:

* Back-to-back wins by Cindy Vaskova, Michael Seese, and Josh Bertetta

* 42 different winners (see the winners’ wall here)

* 4th wins for Betsy Streeter, Maggie Duncan, and Karl Russell

* Record number of entries: 95 (on Sept 26, which was won by Michael Seese)

* New contests launched out of the FF community in 2014: Flash Frenzy (Flash! Friday winner Rebecca Allred); Three Line Thursday (Grace Black); Christian Flash Weekly (Flash! Friday 2-time winner Charles Short); Micro Bookends (David Borrowdale)

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Go big or go home, they say, so I can’t imagine a more awesome way to close out Year Two than by welcoming flash fiction powerhouse Splickety Publishing Group as our guest judges. These are flash-obsessed publishers with three glorious imprints: Splickety Prime, Splickety Love, and Havok, and they are good friends of mine (but don’t hold that against them). Read all about Splickety here.

NOTE: In honor of their appearance this week and out of the goodness of their hearts, Splickety is offering a special subscription discount to our Flash! Friday community. Details here

DOUBLE NOTE: Like all our judges, they will read FF stories blind. Subscriptions will have no influence on their decision. No monkey business here; we’re all perfectly trustworthy dragons.

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Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Wednesdays.  I (Rebekah) post my own unbalanced writings sometimes on Tuesdays or Thursdays.   

Now, grab an umbrella and write us a story! 

* Word count150 word story (10-word leeway on either side) based on the photo prompt.

HowPost your story here in the comments. Include your word count (140 – 160 words, excluding title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new, don’t forget to check the contest guidelines.

Deadline11:59pm 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 Wednesday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity. 

***Today’s Dragon’s Bidding (required element to incorporate somewhere in your story; does not need to be the exact word(s) unless specifically instructed to do so, e.g. “include a mischievous group of writers named ‘Flash Dogs'”):

 Coming of age

***Today’s Prompt:

Your hand in mine; goodbye.

Your Hand in Mine/Goodbye. CC2 photo by Tony.

 

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Sixty Seconds with: Chris Milam

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 Chris Milam. Be sure to check out his bio at his winner’s page! Read his winning story here, then take one minute to get to know him better.

1) What about the prompt inspired your winning piece?  I mainly focused on the phonograph. I kept thinking about why people dive into music when they are struggling.

2) How long have you been writing flash? About one year. My only goal is to be a better writer today than I was yesterday.

3) What do you like about writing flash? I’m not a loquacious person, so the brevity required in flash suits my personality. Hit ’em hard and fast.

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? It’s all about the opening lines. This is your one shot to grab the reader and pull them in. Make it count.

5) Who is a writer we should follow, and whyThat cabal of writerly canines known as the #FlashDogs. Read them, interact with them, and most importantly, learn from them. They have had a massive influence on my writing.

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? Not every week, but I try and participate in the Luminous Creatures Press contest, Angry Hourglass and Three Line Thursday.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? The occasional amateurish poem. Sometimes I’ll write a personal essay about depression and whatnot.

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? I’m most comfortable writing in the gritty realism style. I like to explore what lurks beneath the masks we all wear.

9) Tell us about a WIP.  My daughter is six and she loves princesses, so I’m working on a surreal fairy tale for her.

10) How do you feel about dragons? They horde gold, breathe fire, and live in solitude. What’s not to like?

Just for Fun: The War

Chalk. CC2.0 photo by Brett Weinstein.

Chalk. CC2.0 photo by Brett Weinstein.

 

The War

by Rebekah Postupak

All may be fair in love and war, but Kayleigh just stepped way over the line. A very real line, actually, marked in elvish blue chalk and running eight inches wide from the locker room to the cafeteria. And then she looked back at us, grinning as though she’d just cured cancer.

“C’mon, guys!” she said, pushing up on her fat tippy toes. Up, down. Up, down. Click BOOM. Click BOOM. “It’s fun over here!”

Mr. Spitzel had warned us. Teachers on this side, students on that. Don’t cross, he said, no matter how great the temptation. DO NOT CROSS.

As Mr. Spitzel was the creative writing teacher, though, I guess not enough of us took him seriously. So now we were forced to watch Kayleigh giggling, en pointe, off hairy pointe, on the other side of the line.

When after a few minutes nothing happened, most of us relaxed a little bit. I’m not sure what we’d expected. Homeroom to explode, maybe? The bell to screech without stopping? Dragons to burst through the walls? At this place anything was possible.

Eventually even Kayleigh settled down, her round, greenish face and multiple chins wrinkled with disappointment. “Well, gee, guys,” she said. “Gee.”

“Not a troll, nor nuffin’,” said one of the smaller girls with a sniff strong enough to set her short brown beard floating. “What’d he put the chalk there for then?”

“He said the worst thing imaginable would happen.” A shadow walker spoke this time. His face burned with anger, but the dark shape clinging to his heels betrayed his fear.

“Maybe it was just a prank, you guys.” Kayleigh’s hope-filled voice ricocheted off the walls. 

A chorus of agreement rose from our side of the line.

“Yeah, a prank.”

“No way Mr. Spitzel knows about real magic. He just knows words and stuff.”

“Yeah. Come back over, Kayleigh!”

The green teen appeared rather uncertain about this. “Didn’t he say if we crossed, we couldn’t come back?”

“You can only die once,” said someone cheerfully.

“Not me!” The youngest/oldest of us, a phoenix girl sprouting soft orange down, piped up, her voice a thin squawk.

“Nobody asked you,” muttered the shadow walker.

I hadn’t dared speak. My skin looked as youthful as any of theirs, but I remembered what Mr. Spitzel had once been. And I knew what blue chalk did, even for one like him with no right to it.

So I alone watched Kayleigh.

I alone saw her legs lengthen, her face narrow.

And I alone saw the telltale peaks stretching at the tips of her ears.

The transformation was nearly complete before anyone else noticed, and then jaws dropped universally in horror.

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” said the shadow walker, and promptly fainted.

“You’re a—a–!” the smallest dwarf gasped in horror.

“TELL ME!” Kayleigh demanded, but the other kids had already gone screaming down the hall.

I slunk after them, pulling my cap lower.

Worst thing in the world, my ears.

***

Written for the weekly flash contest #FinishThatThought, springing from the required opening sentence and incorporating five of the judge’s challenge words. (P.S. The judge this week is Flash! Friday member Tamara Shoemaker.) Loads of nonsensical fun to be had Out There in the flash world!!! Try some of your own on for size. (PPS. Legolas, if you’re reading this — apologies. I love you, I do.)