Showing posts with label Contest Entry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contest Entry. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2011

An "O-less" Short

Miss Match

         I’m hardly a girly-girl. I live large and in charge, and my tats, spiked hair and perverse jewelry keep any inquiring men at arm’s length when I’m in public. Still, as I rambled up the sidewalk flanking the Sunset Strip, I realized I was taking a risk. This late after dark, the freaks always emerged.

         I didn’t care. Fierce anger brewed in my gut. The fight with my beau, Dennis, lingered, eating away at me. Defiant, I trudged ahead, raging silently, turning excuses in my mind even as the actual argument slipped away. He’d dared utter that language at me, dared challenge my sincerity. Unbelievable.

         I raised my gaze and saw a man dressed in full Dracula regalia heading my way. His cape lifted behind him with haunting grace, as if in the still nighttime air an ethereal headwind blew just at him. Steps away, he halted right in my path. Drawing in a breath that puffed his chest, he tasted the air between us like a d├ęgusteur sampling a fine wine. Leveling his gaze, he addressed me.

         “Excuse me,” he drawled with an authentic Transylvanian accent, “but I seek asylum in a lieu rich with helpless victims.”

         Strange as it was and despite the dark, deserted street, I didn't feel alarmed. Instead I laughed, surprised at the sudden lightness I felt. My anger had seemingly vanished. I jutted my hip. “Where’s the party, dude?” I asked, letting my eyes finger his face. He had exquisite facial features, dark and beautiful in a gleaming, buffed marble way. Mercy, I suddenly felt drunk.

         Dracula’s red-rimmed eyes emitted an eerie light. “Party?” His lips curled, until they became a measured, sickle-shaped smile. Was that a fang?

         Chill bumps tickled my skin.

         “Yes, magnificent idea, my dear girl. Where is party?”

         Dennis (the Dick’s) stupid face entered my mind. I glanced at my watch; it’d be a while until Dennis started fretting, regretting what he did. Screw him. I was fine with him suffering all night, after what he’d said earlier.

         “Yeah, let’s party. There’s a wild dance club three streets that way.” I indicated with a skull-ringed finger. “I’ll lead the way.”

         As Dracula fell in silent step beside me, I asked, “Incidentally, why didn’t I seem like a--” I drew reference marks in the air with knuckle-bent fingers, “--helpless victim?" I jabbed him playfully in the ribs. "I’ll bet it’s my wicked attitude and punk attire, right?”

         He chuckled, a vibrating hum that encircled my head and rattled my essence. “It isn’t that.”

         I bristled. What else made sense?

         “Just aren’t my type, my dear,” he said airily.

         “And what type is?” I challenged.

         He turned and smiled, extended fangs sparkling in the streetlamp’s glare. “My preference, dear girl, is A-negative.”

 Thanks for reading!!  Hope you have a fantastic weekend!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Off-the-Cuff Poetry: Double Acrostic

I'm feeling lots of love and harmony in my universe today, mostly because my sweet friend and crit partner showered me with both on her blog today.  I hope you pop over to visit Jessica Bell today, to see first hand why such a talented writer is also an amazing friend.

I'm into Day #7 of the 15 For 15 contest at  Halfway there!  Each day, out of the 50 entries the contest judge chooses her five favorites as that day's "winners."  Top pick gets 1004 points, second gets 1003, and so on.  A scoreboard is updated every day.  If you miss two entries in a row, you're dropped from the competition.  At the end of the 15 days, the writer with the most accumulated points "wins."  (Prizes of the sites virtual tokens are awarded the first, second and third place winners.)  Of course, it's not about the points.  If you stretch your writing muscles, rising to the challenge every day and producing creative, inspired entries, you WIN.

That said, I won yesterday, earning 1004 points.  My entry follows, but first here's what I wrote for the current photo which will be judged today:

When I first saw it, I groaned.  I suck at fantasy writing.
I went the metaphor route, instead.

                                      Heinous  m ~ o ~ n ~ s ~ t ~ e ~ r   HatreD
                                      Asphalt black, arched back, winged warrioR
                                      Terrorizing, blow torched words; boiling anger-spA
                                      Rancor rooted in fearful heart    ~~   RaginG
                                      Extinguish your flaming snout! Spout no mO'
                                      Decide to love, even that which you have yet to learN

And here is yesterday's prompt. The squirrel in this photo is actually a Malabar Giant Sqirrel.  Lives in India.  Go figure! My entry is below.  

Miss Pamela Parrot, while grooming the long red feathers in her right wing, noticed movement below on the forest floor. She pulled her beak away and cocked her head so she could see better out of the facing eye.

What in tar-nation? she wondered.

A furry mass of vibrant blue and red scuttled to the base of a long-dead tree just opposite the tree Miss Pamela perched upon. Her pupil dilated and constricted, trying to better focus on it, as the thing climbed with lightening speed to the topmost nubs of broken trunk. It was only then that she could pinpoint what she was seeing.

"Little Scotty Squirrel? Is that you?"

Scotty Squirrel didn't answer. He stared straight ahead, whiskers twitching in concentration. At the same time the tip of his pink tongue snuck out the corner of his snout, he lifted three paws off his wooden perch. Wobbling wildly, he clamped his claws back down, righting himself before he tumbled into the airy void. Then, composed, he tried again.

"Scotty? Son, what are you doing there? And what's happened to your beautiful golden coat. Looks like someone tried to paint a canvas with your pelt!" She cackled at the thought.

Scotty almost lost his balance again and glared at Pamela. She eyed him again, and a thought dawned in her mind. Slowly, she lowered the leg tucked up against her breast and wrapped the talons around the branch, side-by-side with the other claw. Scotty seemed relieved and placed again all four of his paws on solid wood.

"I've come," he began, then cleared his throat. He began again. "I've come, Miss Pamela, to ask your hand in marriage."

Miss Pamela began to laugh, but caught herself just in time. Little Scotty's eyes were bright, hard. He was completely serious.

Miss Pamela tossed her head, then bowed it. Raising her eyes, she said, "I'm very flattered, Scotty. Honest, I am! But, dear, we are two very different species."

"But I love you!"

She stretched her wings, flapped them before refolding them at her sides. "You are the sweetest little thing! But we live different lives, eat different things. And besides, I'm so old, I remember when your great-great-great-great grandparents were born!"

Scotty Squirrel carefully stood on his two hind legs. A breeze threatened to topple him but he held fast. When he was sure of his balance, he looked up and into Miss Pamela's eyes. "It's okay. You aren't ready. I understand. I can wait...."

As he raced down the tree trunk headfirst, he wondered what on earth parrots ate...

Thanks so much for reading!  Have a fantastic day :D



Monday, January 17, 2011

Off-the-Cuff Contest Entry #3

This is the exact photo prompt for yesterday's 15 For 15 Contest.  My strategy when drawing inspiration from these prompts is to avoid the obvious, and find the clever story hidden deep in the picture.  This time, for example, I didn't want to do a western-style story, a cowboys and Indians scenario, or a period piece from the 1800s.  Here is what I did come up with.  As always, forgive the punctuation and verb tense mishaps.  I wrote this in exactly 15 minutes (maybe going over by 30 seconds or so...)

Don't be too quick to judge, Lydia's inner voice chastised. She peered through the restaurant's front windows, but humidity fogged it from the inside. She took a deep breath and pulled open the door.

It wasn't so much a restaurant as it was a bar. This thought, too, dripped with conflicted disdain, and Lydia scolded herself again. This was what she'd expected, after all. She was meeting a man for the first time who she'd connected with on an online dating site. Of course the restaurant turned out to be a bar. And the hot guy in Stuart's profile picture would probably turn out to be George Costanza.

Her eyes scanned the scene that seemed to dance with the strobing lights. A hand shot up, waved. And there he was, standing and smiling, beckoning to her. Oh God, Stuart was even more gorgeous than the photo.

Talk of their work, her at the library and him in Delivery and Receiving, was brief. The dance floor called to them. They laughed the evening away. Her life as a librarian was turning upside down in a matter of hours. With each martini she decided with firmer resolve to stop living life in hushed tones. It was time for her to live out loud. Stuart, Lydia was pleased to learn, could really move his body. And there was a sense of humor to his style of dance, like he didn't take himself too seriously. She liked that. It was refreshing.

Hours later and after constant shushing of her prudent inner voice, they ended up at Stuart's apartment. He went to the kitchette to open a bottle of wine, leaving Lydia at the other end of the studio's main room. An armoire stood in the corner, its door ajar. Lydia shot a look at Stuart's back, muscles rippling as he worked the cork screw. She giggled, emboldened by the liquor, and swung open the armoire door. Her jaw dropped.

Costumes hung from one end of the armoire to the other. Sequins and leather, uniforms of every sort, handcuffs, whips, hats. She reached a shaky hand in and pulled a hanger out. Cowboy regalia including a gun holster, sheriff's badge, boots with spurs and chaps dangled before her shock-stricken face. Stuart's shuffled step sounded behind her. She spun around.

"What the hell is all this?"

"My work clothes," Stuart answered with a gleem in his eye.

"I thought you were in "Delivery and Receiving."

"Yeah, I deliver singing telegrams, sometimes. I also strip for parties. Bachelorette, birthday, retirement... Hey, you chose my favorite. This is an awesome act. Wanna see it?"

Lydia stared at his open, honest face. Pure joy shone in his eyes. There was no embarrassment, no shyness. No hushed tones. Her eyes dove down, scanned his body and then lingered on the items on the hanger in her hand.

Remember, her inner voice cooed, don't be too quick to judge...


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Final (contest) Stretch

As I've mentioned in past posts, I'm been competing in a creative writing contest at since August 30th.  There were nineteen competitors, but after three elimination rounds we are down to just me and two other participants.  On October 20th, the final round closes for judging, and based on our entries we will be placed either first, second, or third overall.  (Last year I made it this far, too, and ended up placing third.  Naturally, I'm shooting for higher this time ;)

The group hosting the contest specializes in Speculative Fiction, but in this final round, we are not bound by genre or word count.  Sky's the limit.  However, we have to write our stories based on what is, I think, the most creative prompt evah!  Here's how it works:

We were directed to this Wordpress blog.  I'm quite certain it was created by the host group.  The blogger's name and gender are not disclosed.  The ten posts are short, almost scattered-brained, and dripping with voice.  Our challenge is to create, guided by the post content, a character around which our story is based.  The instructions include this blurb:

"Your challenge is not to continue the existing blog of the individual, or write their next likely 'day in the life.' And, as you will find from the reading, this character need not even be your protagonist."

I had a truly inspiring experience working on this story.  Whether or not I was successful in the end is up to the contest judges and readers.  But for me, it was awesome.

I'm still in the final, spit-shining stage of this project.  Of course, any feedback will ultimately help me tighten it up.  If you have the time or inclination, I'd greatly appreciate hearing what you think of it.  It is Speculative Fiction, falling under the genre of (dark) Slipstream.  (Slipstream is set in our world ~ almost. There are slight, uneasy making distortions in our reality or else the protagonist has fallen out of the consensual reality but is not insane in any way.)

It has 3292 words, and here's the link -->  ~Silenced~

I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Paranormalcy Conest Entry & Book Recs Galore!

[My entry for Kiersten White's At Home with Paranormalcy Contest is at the bottom of this post!]

Last night as I was cooking dinner, I realized it was September 2nd.  Normally, I know the date earlier in the day!  But this has been another busy week that's left me reeling in its wake.  (That's my story, at least, and I'm sticking to it.)  So why was I suddenly excited, as September 2nd seeped into my overloaded brain?  That's the date Amazon said my order would arrive.  I rushed out to the mailbox.

And there they were.  Not just a box from Amazon, but also an envelop from Shannon Messenger!

In Shannon's envelop was the ARC of Kathy Reichs' newest book, Virals, with a release date of November 2010.  I won this in one of Shannon's recent contests, which totally rocked my world -- and I didn't even know at the time that it was SIGNED.  Yes!  I'm a big Kathy Reichs fan, so having this ARC is sooo cool.  Thanks, Shannon!!!!

In the Amazon box was Nightshade City, by the lovely Hilary Wagner.  I have been anxiously awaiting this book.  Hilary is the kindest blogger/writer out there, and her artistic energy is evident in everything she writes.  As many of you know, Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series endorsed this book with a praising testimonial on the back cover.  How exciting for a debut author!!!  Way to go, Hilary, and I can't wait to read you book!

And the second book in my Amazon box was Kiersten White's breakout novel, Paranormalcy.  The buzz surrounding this book across the blogosphere and in major bookstores is incredible.  I read four pages of chapter one as I cooked dinner, and I was immediately hooked by main character Evie's voice.  She's funny, confident, bold, and exactly the kind of heroine I want to get behind and root for to the end.  I can't wait to read this one, as well!

Kiersten is having a contest on her blog (you can enter, too. HERE's the link).  In her words: "...until September 12th, you can enter the At Home with Paranormalcy contest! It's pretty simple. Buy Paranormalcy, take it home, and take a picture of yourself doing something with the book."  (And she gives hilarious examples to help inspire you)

So, here is my entry for Kiersten's contest! 

Me, cooking dinner with Paranormalcy!

And, don't miss out on the great prizes in these contest:

Theresa Milstein at Substitute Teachers Saga is giving away a SIGNED copy of Mockingjay!!  Seriously!  How awesome is she to share the spoils of her two-hour wait in line and let us help her celebrate her first blogging anniversary with this awesome contest??  CLICK HERE to enter before September 6th!

Jamie Burch at Dancing Down Serendipity Street is hosting the Moon Chasers Contest, with a prize package you won't want to miss (it includes chocolate, fyi).  CLICK HERE to enter before September 7th!

And Sarah Ahiers at Falen Formulates Fiction is celebrating her 200+ followers with a contest offering beautiful handmade journals for prizes.  Enter a poem for extra entries!  CLICK HERE for details before September 17th!

Do you know any contests I haven't mentioned?  Pimp them in the comment section.  Thanks in advance!

Happy Labor Day weekend, y'all!

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Contest Entry

Today, I'm entering Sarah Ahier's Falen Formulates Fiction 100 Followers Writing Contest. If you want to play along, you'll need to write a short story under 750 words, following one of Sarah's prompts. It's all explained HERE to click -- hurry! Contest deadline is 5 pm CST today!

I chose this prompt to work with: A man discovers a large sum of money in his wallet and can't remember where it came from.

Here's my story:

The Sacred Heart

Thomas’ black leather coat was as useful as a window screen at protecting him from the biting wind. He clutched the collar to his throat and strode down the littered Bronx sidewalk with his head bent against the constant gust. Halfway down the block, a pair of tattered shoes entered his limited field of vision. Thomas slowed his pace and lifted his chin. His gaze traveled from the shoes, up soiled pant legs, past where the waist bent at ninety degrees, to the torso of a disheveled and unconscious man. Thomas took a step closer, peering at the man’s chest to see if it rose and fell. That’s when he spied the frayed wallet, half- wedged under the man’s hip next to a smudged Styrofoam coffee cup.

Thomas glanced quickly up and down the street, snatched up the wallet, and opened it. It was empty.

He tossed it back on the card board bedroll and walked on. A hundred feet later, he turned and crossed a small parking lot in front of Fortworth Saloon. He reached for the door handle and paused. A drop of water ran down the inside of the sweating glass. Thomas whipped his head left and right, popping his neck. He took a deep breath and pulled open the door.


“Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?” Stevie Romero scoffed as he threw his cards face down. A cheer went up from the onlookers surrounding the table. Thomas raked all the chips from the ante pile toward him, including the Rolex laid neatly on top. The piles of chips at his side resembled the smokestacks of Jersey’s finest factories across the Hudson. Thomas allowed a boyish grin and avoided looking at the other players.

A large man in a white suit and matching ten bucket cowboy hat peered at Thomas. “So, Tommy Heart?” he drawled. “How come we’ve never seen y’all around the circuit before today? Y’all can’t be new to the game. Ain't beginners who can bluff like you.” He eyed Thomas’ chip fortress with suspicion.

“I been playin’ in the neighborhood for years. In Brooklyn, you gotta have your game face on all the time, ya know what I’m talkin’ about?” Thomas smirked and offered a knuckle bump to the cowboy who sat still, his emotionless eyes fixed on Thomas. Thomas lowered his fist.

“Aw, come on Tex, you’re just pissed off ‘cause he got your stupid watch,” shouted Romero from the other side of the table. “Your bluff was weak, man. Even I saw through it.”

As the Texan argued with Romero, Tommy Heart excused himself from the table. His cool composure cloaked his racing heart. In the vacant hallway leading to the restrooms, he pulled out his cell phone. Glancing left and right, he pushed speed dial number one.

“Sacred Heart of Brooklyn, may I assist you?”

“Sister Cecelia Maria?” he whispered into the phone.

“Father Thomas? Is that you? Where are you, we’ve been worried sick!”

“I’m fine, Sister. But I only have a minute to talk. Listen, please call the parish council and tell them to block the Youth Center demolition. I have raised the money for the new roof, and I suspect there’ll be enough to buy new furniture and get some of those programs off the ground we talked about for the kids.”

“Praise the Lord, Father! This is a last minute miracle. How did you do it?”

Father Thomas glanced at the poster on the wall advertising the semi-pro Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament. With a scarlet blush he said, “I found a room full of willing donators.”

“God is great!” Sister Cecelia Maria exclaimed. “I’ll make the call now. Thank you, Father. Thank you so much!”

“You are welcome. And Sister? One other thing. Please call Father Fitzgerald. See if he is available on Sunday to hear my confession.”


An hour later with the wind at his back, Thomas made his way up the block. He stopped in front of the sleeping homeless man. Retrieving the wallet, Thomas slipped six twenties into the billfold. He shoved the wallet squarely into the man’s trouser pocket. Snapping his arm out straight to reveal the watch, he unstrapped the Rolex from his wrist and dropped it into the man’s stained trench coat pocket. The man stirred and Thomas walked away.

As Thomas rounded the corner, he looked back. The homeless man was sitting up, one hand cupping the top of his head as he stared into his open wallet.

(Word Count = 749, not including the title)