Sometimes immortality wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
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This week’s Friday Flash was written for the theme Animal Behavior for the 52/250 Flash Challenge. I’m thrilled that it was selected for The Were-Traveler‘s 3rd issue: Deadly Love. It’s one of my personal favorites, so I hope you enjoy my story Carnal Nature.
As always, polite feedback – critical or otherwise – is welcome. Thank you and have a lovely day.
My Writing Niche (podcast): episode #13
Download or Play episode *here*
I start off reading my short #SpokenSunday, The Great Outdoors, inspired by the theme Urban Convert and written for the 52/250 flash challenge. I talk about some personal news (to keep myself honest and motivated) and then move on to some reflections about the art of drawing versus the craft of writing.
Please leave any comments or suggestions on my blog. I welcome all feedback, and I hope you will tune in again. Thank you for your time.
*One warning: Some of the material in Best of Friday Flash may not be suitable for younger audiences due to language or content.
***All podcast episodes may be downloaded from this blog (except #1-#6 which are linked from the blog). Thank you for your patience while I learn how to maneuvre in these new podcasting waters.
The theme for this week’s submissions was Urban Convert. When I originally read the theme, this scene played out in my head right away. I’ve camped a lot in my life, mostly as a Girl Scout growing up and later with my family to save on travelling expenses. I’ve never been a fan of the Great Outdoors. I am too enamoured of my air conditioning and microwave oven. Thus was this week’s story born. I hope you enjoy it.
On a more personal note, I’ve been submitting more stories and poems and even have two being considered (fingers crossed). I’ve been working on a couple flashes about gnomes that tie into each other, but I’m having trouble with the second flash that’s supposed to complement the first. So I’m saving that one until they’re more polished.
Don’t forget to check out #Friday Flash on both Twitter and FaceBook for some great short stories. I hope you’ll come back in a couple days for my podcast, My Writing Niche, featuring my #Spoken Sunday story. Until then, have a great weekend!*
*Ironically, the photo above was taken of a small garden next to a shopping center parking lot. I just thought that since you couldn’t see the lot, it seemed like a nice idyllic outdoor setting.
I recorded my 3rd podcast episode of My Writing Niche (twice now), but since I’ve been forced to use alternate methods due to all technology revolting against me, I will unfortunately need to post the episode late. My apologies.
Ramblings and Musings and Nanowrimo 2010 Prep
Yesterday on Twitter, some fellow writers and I discussed (read: PANICKED) how Nanowrimo was only (just over) two months away, how excited we were, and what prep work (if any) we planned to do. This naturally got me musing about all I’ve gleaned from my three previous years and possibly sharing some of this experience to help other Nanowrimos (or is it just Wrimos? I can never figure that one out).
It’s true that I’m no Shakespeare, though I do happen to think that I’m not bad. If you want to see bad, just read my very first Nanowrimo! It’s okay, since everyone’s first attempt sucks. That’s the beauty of November. You give yourself permission to write utter crap. And something beautiful is born from it like a Phoenix from the ashes – even if it’s only a deeper appreciation of books and the fact that they’re a hell of a lot of work! Fun and rewarding work maybe, but still work.
So I’m going to share some techniques I’ve used in the past. They might not work for you, after all everyone’s different, but I’m putting it out there in case it helps. I’m also thinking of blogging about Nanowrimo, both before and after, on Audioboo. It seems like a simpler way to get the point across without so much typing! I can just post the highlights of the Boo on my blog with the audio embedded on the page.
I have all sorts of lovely strategies to get myself to meet my daily word goals, but before the actual month begins I have a short to-do list too. Number one might not seem to tie in, but in my mind it does. I give myself a deadline to finish any other writing projects that I’ve stalled on over the course of the year. Right now I have a couple short stories that I haven’t finished, some flash to edit, and I want to write at least eight extra flash (4 #Fridayflash, 4 52/250 stories) so I can keep posting for those commitments during November. Last year I took the month off from flash which I really regretted. If I have the stories prewritten, I don’t need to break my stride by switching from one story to another.
There’s also some books I’d like to read first. They’re by no means a requirement, but at least I’d like to finish the books I’m already on. I know it’s months ahead, but as November approaches I switch to reading books I’ve already read many times so I can stop without feeling bad about it. Miscellaneous things come up too, so I keep a notebook handy to remind myself to include them.
Right now though, for anyone who wants to do some easy preparation for National Novel Writing Month, I suggest you listen to some podcasts in your car or while doing something else. I found some from last year on Audioboo that I downloaded. I’m already getting excited!
Have a great day!
Opportunity Knocks for Miss Fauxpas
Susan bit the pencil hard as she scribbled notes. She wished she could type instead, but the less time she spent using her desktop – the better. It was only a matter of time before it bit the dust like all her previous electronic purchases: her cell phone, her PDAs, her voice recorder. Larger electronics, like televisions or microwaves, didn’t seem effected by her own personal curse, but desktop computers and smaller devices didn’t stand a chance around her natural body chemistry.
The papers crinkled slightly as she gathered the pages of her manuscript together and stuffed them into a large manila envelope. Perhaps it was for the best. Her friend, Carrie, typed much better than her anyway. In High School, Susan had flunked typing class. Twice. At least with Carrie’s help she stood a chance of getting published. She found stamps, licked, stuck, and headed for the mailbox.
She opened the door to find a man in a black suit with hand poised to knock. They both jumped. “Can I help you?” she asked.
“Come with me.”
What happened next was so stereotypical that she couldn’t fathom it. Men in black whisked her away in a black van with black tinted windows to an undisclosed location. She awoke – from her drug induced stupor – in a sparse white room furnished with only a steel table and chair. She gritted her teeth.
Another man in black entered carrying a clipboard. “Miss Fauxpas?”
She glowered at him, anger overriding any terror she might have felt.
“Miss Fauxpas, I apologize for the manner of your arrival, but when you hear our proposition I think you’ll agree we need to be careful.”
Resentment welled slowly inside her, but she resolved to say nothing.
“Miss Fauxpas, would you have a look at these photos?” He threw the clipboard onto the table. She reflexively glanced at the board, then cursed her own weakness. But what she saw shocked her.
“You kidnapped me to show me a Snappy Showroom catalog?”
The man in black laughed. “Hey, they told me you were witty. No, of course not. I’m showing you the washing machines IN the catalog.”
“So what? It’s a washing machine. I’d get one myself except for some reason… I mean, except that I usually send my clothes out to be cleaned.”
He nodded. “Yes, I can understand why. This machine operates with a very advanced piece of microtechnology. It wouldn’t work well under the type of stress you’d put it through.”
“What? Are you saying I’m a slob? What does that have to do with…”
“I think you know what I’m saying.”
Susan sighed, blowing long bangs out of her eyes. “Look, I’m nobody. I don’t know what you want. I write manuscripts. I’m trying to break into publishing, but in the meantime the only emotional responses my plays elicit are from my constant rejections. I’ve gotten so many rejection letters I’m thinking of wallpapering my office with them. You know…I’m big on recycling.”
“It’s not your job that interests me, Miss Fauxpas. It’s what you could be doing for us.”
“You? And who the hell are you?”
The man’s grin widened, showing four rows of perfectly white sharp teeth. “We’re the agency that employs people like you. We find people with unusual gifts and ask them to serve their country. With an ability like yours, you could be of uncalculated value to your government, Miss Fauxpas. Are you interested?”
She kept her eyes on his teeth, her mind spinning. “But…what ability? I can’t use a cell phone without breaking it.”
His grin broadened. “Exactly.”
The Agency’s scientists determined that the high frequency radio waves her body produced wreaked havoc on any small electronics exposed to them over an extended period of time – something to do with microfractures or some other technobabble. All she knew was that she was forbidden to touch any electronics other than the disposable ones designated for her training. Experiments were conducted to see just how long she could handle different devices before her natural body chemistry caused them to break down. The general consensus seemed to be two weeks of continued use – longer with extremely limited access. That suited Susan just fine.
Her life as an agent began with training, of course: surveillance, martial arts, stealth, even acting lessons. Susan’s cover as a high level technician with top clearance at the Snappy Showroom Headquarters gave her access to crucial technology there – namely the ‘master chip’ that controlled the robotics hidden within their popular washing machines. With one in almost every American home, the situation was extremely sensitive. Working for two weeks in that environment, she’d need her acting lessons.
Also, my story, Mummies Finally Reveal Secrets, can be found at the 52/250 Flash Challenge site. I wrote it as a faux news article, so even though I’m going to read it for Audioboo, I’m not sure how well it will translate. It was inspired by this week’s writing theme, Allergic Reactions, by Frank Hinton.
As always, I beg for welcome feedback. Thank you for your time!