Tag Archive | Cara Michaels

Sixty Seconds with: Gordon B. White

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)

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Our newest Flash! Friday winner is Gordon B. White.  Read his winning story here. Then take a minute to get to know him better!

1) What about the prompt inspired your winning piece?  Googling “Patron Saint of Anemics,” the closest match was Our Lady of Thorns – which sowed the seeds for plant imagery.

2) How long have you been writing flash? For years, but never in any structured manner. Before the last two years or so, it was literally all marginalia.

3) What do you like about flash? With too much space, I ramble. Instead, I find creative liberation through formal constraint: poetic forms, flash, handcuffs . . . . wait, what?

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? Suggest a beginning, vividly describe the middle, point to possible ends.  Stories resonate when readers fill the gaps with themselves.

5) Who is a writer we should follow, and why? Our own Rebecca Allred. While off-the-cuff she sparkles, her polished work really shines.  Her diligence in revision inspires me..

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? Race the Date and The Angry Hourglass. I also participated in (and won!) last year’s Cease, Cows! Hallow/Hallowed contest.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? Anything you need!  Poetry and short fiction for pleasure; memos and reports for work; several unfilmed (and one “filmed”) screenplays.

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? I’m not scary enough for “horror,” but I like pulling apart the human condition with inhuman hands. Sooooo, “dark speculative”?

9) Tell us about a WIP.  Generational tensions between a young Russian dog-poisoner and old Norwegian seal-clubber clearing Fiji mermaids off the wharves outside The Union Hall. 

10) How do you feel about dragons?  Ever since I realized that my dog looks like Falcor The Luck Dragon, my estimation of them has further improved.

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!

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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!

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

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.

SECOND RUNNER UP

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.

FIRST RUNNER UP

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 

 DRAGON WINNER IS….

ARIA GLAZKI!

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.

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Sixty Seconds with: CARA MICHAELS

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 Cara Michaels.  Read her story here, then take one minute to get to know her better!

1) What about the prompt inspired you to write your winning piece? The castle/fort image got my attention. I had no idea where I was going with it at first.

2) How long have you been writing flash? My very first flash piece was written on 7/27/11.

3) What do you like about flash? Challenges inspire me and push me to work outside my comfort zone.

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? Don’t be scared of the prompts.

5) Who is a flash writer we should follow, and why? You mean…. pick ONE? That’s like picking a favorite child. Follow us all! We’re fun. Occasionally funny, too.

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? @SiobhanMuir’s #ThursThreads. I host the biweekly #WIPFlash. I also write for the Daily Picspiration flash blog.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? Short stories and novels. I have three shorts published and a bunch of WIPs to edit.

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? Paranormal and sci-fi are my go-to genres. I lack the patience for fantasy, but I love the magical and fantastical.

9) Tell us about a WIP. My Soul to Break: Middle-aged cop starts seeing Death. Demons and angels follow. All hell breaks loose.

10) How do you feel about dragons? I grew up believing I really should have been born on Pern. I mean, come on. Dragonriders. Enough said.