Tag Archive | Patricia McCommas

Flash! Friday # 48

CLOSED. Thanks once again! Now–go have fun reading & commenting! Results Sunday.

HAPPY NOVEMBER and HAPPY NANOWRIMO!  Whether you’re planning to write 1,667 words today or the scant few required for the Flash! Friday contest, you are most exceedingly welcome here. Special thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out a judge’s application for the first quarter (notifications will go out by Thursday next week). You are all so appreciated!

NANOWRIMO NOTE: Story excerpts will be permitted for the month of November. The scene must still incorporate the prompt and feel complete, but it does not need to tell a complete story. I can’t wait  to follow your characters & worlds over the course of these next 30 days!
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(Find the ancient contest rules here.)
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This week’s rusted out stories will be judged by the story knowledge maven, SVW member Patricia McCommas, who very likely has already researched whatever it is we’re writing about. Be sure to check out her judge page to find out what she hunts for in a winning piece. Note that she’s crazy about a cool twist at the end.

And now:

Word limit: 250 word story (10 word leeway) based on the photo prompt.

* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (240 – 260 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 is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post SUNDAY. NOTE: We’ll be moving to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday. The contest start/stop times next week may shift for you.

Prize: A naturally grown, organic e-trophy e-dragon e-badge, a grass-fed, free-range winner’s page here at FF, a hormone and BPA-free 60-second interview feature next Wednesday, and YOUR NAME in expensive vintage letters in hotly contested auctions across the world (so to speak). NOTE: Winning and non-winning stories alike remain eligible for selection for Monday’s as-often-as-I-can-get-to-it Flash Points. 

* Follow @FlashFridayFic on Twitter for up-to-date news/announcements/tips for jumpstarting a sleeping dragon (Hint: Don’t).  And now for your prompt:

Old Car. Photo by Brigitte Werner.

Flash! Friday # 41 — WINNERS!

If you give a writer a storm…. well, no question: hijinx ensue! You all continue to shake the foundations of the global flash community with your creativity. Thank you for coming out to play–it’s always my hope that you have a blast and find your writing challenged and sharpened (mine always is!). I also hope you realize how significant a part of the Flash! Friday community you are. Thank you!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Flash! Points (looks like there’ll actually be one this week, hurrah!), AND remember to look here to see the loads of other flash contests happening this week.  Contests, contests, everywhere. Hop to it!

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Judge Patricia McCommas says, Well, the writers did it again: they done went and made my job very hard. 🙂 Many of the stories were so good that I read them two and three times. Narrowing the winners list down was a difficult task. So many of the entries were not only original with creative twists, they were unique and well-written. Loved the stories this week.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Stephen Wilds, “Scientific Method.” Very unique with an unexpected end. Definitely original. I started out thinking the story was one thing until I got to the end. I was compelled to read it again…twice. Was this a computer animation? Nice job.

Mary Cain, “The End.” Eerie, haunting, emotional and then letting go and embracing the inevitable. This was a well-written original piece told as a complete story

Allison K. Garcia, “Cover.” Well-written, creative, drew me in. Love the honeymoon ending. 

Stephen James Lock, “Just A Boy.” Very unique story. Original. It was full of depth and meaning. I read this one three times. Love it. There is a mystical element present from beginning to end.

SECOND RUNNER UP

Josette Keelor, “Storm’s Coming.” This was really good, with a nice pace and clear imagery. Love the voice, which was consistent throughout. I had to remind myself this was a contest when reading this one–it drew me in. I love the matter-of-fact attitude of the character speaking and his down-to-earthiness. This story reminds us that if you pay attention to nature, nature will warn you of what’s coming. The power and gift of observation come to those who listen, no college degree required. I also liked that the narrator was a writer there to do a story about one thing and it morphs into something completely different. This has a great message for any writer about keeping an open mind and allow the story to unfold naturally.

FIRST RUNNER UP

Amy Wood,Return of the Old Gods.” This piece was a complete story, one that left me wanting to read more, to know what came after for Essie. Original, eerie, haunting, imaginative, hopeful, full of faith, emotional, happy that things turned out well for Essie. Well written. Drew me in. The story flowed at a nice pace.

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

 DRAGON WINNER IS….

CRAIG ANDERSON!

for “I Wandered”  

Original. Love the POV told by the developing tornado from birth to death and everything in between. This story flowed like a bubbling creek racing to the rapids. Poetic, lyrical. Some of my favorite lines are: “With the gentlest of whispers I was born.” “I learned to dance, twisting and twirling across the prairie.”  “I absorbed them all with merciless hunger” and the last line, “I did not see the other until it was too late, and just like that, I was gone.” Excellent. Well-written and creative. 

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

I Wandered

With the gentlest of whispers I was born. At first I was nothing but dust drifting in the faintest of breezes. I was young, full of energy and eager to travel. I wandered. I learned to dance, twisting and twirling across the prairie. Creatures would sometimes stop to take my picture, laughing and joking when I swirled around them. I was powerless, insignificant, afraid. I needed to try harder. I zigged and zagged, scooping up leaves, then branches, then entire trees, growing bigger and stronger with every passing moment.

I met another. It was smaller, an infant. I tried to protect it, to nurture it, but it came too close. In a moment it was gone, a part of me now. I did not understand my power until it was too late.

There were several more, but I understood my purpose now. I absorbed them all with merciless hunger. All I knew was the urge to grow. It consumed me, like I consumed all that stood in my path.

The sirens started far on the horizon. I had earned their attention now. The creatures that had once seemed impossibly huge appeared so insignificant. They were the powerless ones now, there was no more laughter, only screams. I swallowed their homes one by one, tearing off roofs, smashing down walls, anything to add to my mass. I felt like I could swallow the world.

It happened so gradually I barely noticed. I grew tired, weary, my hunger sated. I could not sustain the energy, the will to increase. I convinced myself I could spare that house, avoid that school. Soon I could no longer lift them. The creatures stopped running, they hid in their homes. I swatted at them ineffectively.

I accelerated, outrunning myself. There was no escape, only deterioration. It brought relief. As I shrank I became lighter, faster, young again. I was reborn. I no longer feared the creatures. I danced once more.

I did not see the other until it was too late, and just like that, I was gone.

FFWinnerBadgeSmall

Flash! Friday # 41

CLOSED! Whew. Good thing. I’ve been chewing on dirt all day, and my jaw’s quite tired. THANK YOU, everyone, for contributing your marvelous stories!!! Results Sunday.

Welcome to Flash! Friday # 41! One of the marvelous peculiarities of this planet and our humanness is we are limited in view to what was and what is. The world of what will be hides from our eyes. If that doesn’t get a writer’s imagination all fired up, I don’t know what does! Because one thing’s for sure: the future, dear writers, is coming. How do you imagine it? 

(Find the contest rules here.)

This week’s contest is judged by SVW member Patricia McCommas who says the future winning tale contains a full story with a really spectacular twist. Be sure to check out her judge page to find out more!

And now:

Word limit: 350 word story (10-word leeway) based on the photo prompt. 

* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (340 – 360 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: A e-trophy e-dragon e-badge coming your way, a futurely impressive winner’s page here at FF, a pending personalized and fun 60-second interview feature next Wednesday, and YOUR NAME painted in giant block letters across time machines everywhere (so to speak). NOTE: Winning and non-winning stories alike remain eligible for selection for Monday’s occasional Flash Points. 

* Follow @FlashFridayFic on Twitter for up-to-date news/announcements/DIY dragon fire-storm kits.  And now for your prompt:

Dust storm in Stratford, Texas, 1935. Public domain photo by NOAA.

Dust storm in Stratford, Texas, 1935. Public domain photo by NOAA.