Tag Archives: flash fiction

INKSPILL 2018 Writing Activity – The Knowledge

Standard

notebook-1939358_1920

inkspill banner

inkspill banner

inkspill banner

 

 

From the Bench

 

In the next writing activity we invite you to write a short story or flash fiction. Spend 10 minutes writing down initial ideas from the prompt and then spend 30 minutes or more writing the first draft of your story.

Set an alarm on your phone or use this timer https://timer.onlineclock.net/ for 10 minutes.

From the Bench

Someone is sitting on a bench reading a newspaper article about a recent string of crimes. This person knows who did it.


Remember to click.

 

Idea originally posted by Melissa Dono on Wattpad

 

 

My Current Situation & INKSPILL 2018

Standard

Sadly October has not turned out as I planned. At the end of the 1st week of the month I underwent an operation and am currently convalescing and undergoing daily outpatient appointments.

Our FREE Online Writing Retreat at the end of October is still going ahead – it is always the final weekend of the month. This year the 27th/28th October.

Guest Writers will be revealed on Friday and I am delighted this will be the 6th annual INKSPILL.

poster 18

I will not be posting on the blog this month as healing well is paramount, however, I hope you will join me for INKSPILL… spread the word!

FLASH NANO – NaNoWriMo Reaches the Halfway Point

Standard

WOW – Pitstop… NaNoWriMo reaches the half-way point, which I could hardly believe when I logged on to update my word count… YES I have been writing, well catch up writing (but that’s okay, especially with NaNoWriMo).

nano rabbit

As I am following Nancy’s blog prompts and attempting to spend the month writing flash fiction, I am not planning on reaching 50,000 but what I can tell you is with all the catch up writing I have smashed through 10,000 – which I celebrated. I remember from 2013 that once you smash that barrier the word count tends to follow and for a while (despite only adding 100 words or so) the number increases drastically across the 100 boundaries. Until your brain leaks the thought of 20,000 words – you feel good for a while.

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square

Last week I thought I might have to cheat further by writing poems not prose, but I am enjoying the Flash challenge and am creating stories that wouldn’t have existed. I am also making these challenges work for me a bit and finding time to research and build up my post NaNo resources – you have to have something to get on with straight afterwards. Keep busy.

nano_15_mug_back_detail Week 2 of NaNoWriMo – Flash Nano

Day 7 – was finally written, an interesting futuristic tale that I think has legs and might become a longer work of fiction some day. It surprised me, even after I had the basic concept of a society that needed more focus on rest and health (and let’s face it our world is mad for busy) – there is a great growing entity behind this story that I would like to explore further. I can feel a Christmas Holiday writing project coming on.

Day 8 – my story was fairly short, but again re-reading it I found some magic moments that I may be able to copy and paste into a story at some point in the future. I wrote this story behind the schedule and it made me glad that I had such an interesting day at work.

Wow, Nancy – you made me happy to be at work!?

Day 9 – This was a great prompt and it could have gone anywhere, in fact at one point I thought it might. I have written all the ideas down for future reference. It also inspired me to create an activity for my writing class and the resulting letter has some dark humour in it. It pleases me when I manage to write something funny, a good change from the serious.

Day 10 – was another prompt that nearly flew to thinking outside the box and again I have a stream of ideas to tackle another time. In the end I based this on a miraculously true story and had fun researching meanings for Italian names. I included bright nobility, which sums up the protagonist well, strength and keeper of time. The ending was left open, but I know what happens.

Day 11 – Again I think this story may need more work, I think it would appeal to the YA market, a market I haven’t considered before. Again, there are touches of humour found in the relationship between the father and his daughter.

Day 12 – has left most of with our jaws on the floor and I have only had time to scaffold my effort. Very 80s and worth being part of Flash Nano for this prompt alone.

Day 13 – was one I enjoyed (although it hasn’t helped the Nano count at just 13 words) but it was fun to edit and re-edit. I changed the story idea twice too, I am happy with the final result.

I also played catch up with the Day 6 challenge – the 100 word story. I wanted to write 150 words so I could submit it and I did just that (well 149). I will keep you posted on this one.

nano_15_poster_image_0

I look forward to the next week of prompts.

NaNoWriMo

I collected a few more award buttons and have 13 stories and 11,548 words so far

10000 word_count_earned

Nancy Stohlman FLASH NANO

FLASH NANO – 1 week in

Standard

FLASH NANO has been going well, it makes a change for me to write prose and Nancy’s prompts have been inspiring, these tales would never exist without this challenge. I have started to think about how these prompts can be used, rather than just collecting stories that will just gather dust in my hard-drive.NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square

 

So here’s what has been happening since Day 2.

Day 3 Monologue.

I created a character who was fighting the setting in of age (we had to write a monologue), this flash had feet and I think I can rework it and use it in the future. The central character not only bears witness to something but suspects she knows the culprit.

Day 4 Fire.

I read an Australian traditional tale about a crocodile and reshaped it into something a little different. The crocodile needed help with his drilling of sticks to make fire and the clever lizard invents fire sticks. It takes a while before the crocodile can make a fire that stays alight and the animal who helps him is one he has never eaten to this day.

It was fun writing this tale and may work well as a story for children.

Day 5 A childhood toy.

I knew instantly which toy I was going to write about and parts of this Flash were based on a real-life experience. The ending took me by surprise (I love it when writing does that) and it works well as a story for a variety of markets.

Day 6 A 100 word story.

This is still to be written (see my TOP TIPS) but I have researched where I may be able to place a short flash and have decided to make it 150 words so I can potentially submit it.

Day 7 Writing about the seventh day, the day of rest.

I still need to tackle this. I haven’t thought about it yet.

nano_15_poster_image_0

I do not panic about falling behind because these challenges are under 1000 words and the average recommended daily allowance is 1667 words a day for the 50K challenge, which is not something I am trying to achieve this year. I have extended some of the original flashes into short stories and so far have written 8242 words.

So how is Nanowrimo going for you? Do share your updates with us. Here are some tips to keep you in the write frame of mind now that you are a week in.

TOP TIPSnano rabbit

  • Forgive yourself if you haven’t written daily, some days are busy. I haven’t managed to write daily, but I do check the prompts daily and scribble some rough outline notes. This means that when I get time to sit and catch up I am not trying to create the story from scratch.
  • Check prompts daily (even if you don’t write)
  • Make some notes of plot/ideas (for another time)
  • Sit down and make up the word count as soon as you possibly can. Even if you haven’t time to finish the whole piece.

 

  • Research – I use google to search keywords and generate ideas, or to make sure there is historical/ factual accuracy in my stories.
  • Purpose – Rather than just writing try to give your NANO writing purpose, research possible markets for submission, mark the best ideas and don’t forget to make note of any ideas that come out of the writing.
writing

Good luck and keep writing!nano_15_mug_back_detail

 

PS today is the day for Double donations and a double writing challenge. Double up your word count, a great idea if you are doing Nanowrimo because all extra words under your belt count.

It is also the first official Nano write in for my regional group, I attended back in 2013 when doing Nano for the first time. Check out your regional groups, a write in is fun and motivating, not to mention sociable.

 

RELATED LINKS

nanowrimo.org

http://nancystohlman.com/flashnano/

NaNoWriMo: Update on Flash NANO

Standard

nano_15_poster_image_0 This year I am working on writing projects already and know I haven’t time to write 50,000 words, so I was delighted when I discovered Nancy Stohlmn was posting daily prompts for 30 Flash Nano pieces, flash fiction being prose under 1000 words and a genre I have a better time with than short story writing.

As far as NaNo rules go this unplanned approach means I am a pantsher_badge– but being a panster when you’re not planning to reach 50,000 words is fine by me. Plus with Nancy’s prompts I am not a total panster, there is at least a daily starting point.

 

Day 1

Nancy’s first prompt was a hard write for me, it was based on a real-life story (not my own), maybe that was one of the reasons it was difficult, or maybe it was the challenge of setting a story in just one setting. There was no dialogue to move the story forward.

I managed a complete flash fiction of 969 words. One of the character’s talked about was called Nancy and I have only just realised the connection in writing this blogpost.

 

Day 2

This story was much easier to write, maybe because I sat down with a cup of coffee. nano_15_mug_back_detail

I did some micro research to manage the technical vocabulary I needed and this flash actually turned into a short story of 1414 words, which I am not going to worry about. In order to use the flash fiction stories in the future they may have to be extended into short stories.

I have also noted 3 fresh ideas that have spawned from writing the flashes.

nano 15

How’s it going for you? Let us know.

NANO: No Time for NaNoWriMo? Try FLASH NANO instead

Standard

I did NaNoWriMo in 2013, the year I started writing again, the year I started blogging. I completed the Spring and Summer Camps as well as the main event. 2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

This year I thought about dipping my toes in again, but I am working on several poetry projects and know that I don’t have time to complete 50,000 words. Tonight I decided to spend some time browsing my reader as it has been 10 months since I looked at blogs out here. I discovered a post and a challenge that might match my schedule and give me more to work with in the future.1 nb

Nancy Stohlman is posting prompts for flash fiction, which I do have time for. http://nancystohlman.com/flashnano/

Imagination Rain.eps I headed over to http://nanowrimo.org and signed back in. I headed to the Pep Talk page which has a lot of good advice and encouragement for a positive mental attitude, which believe me all NaNo-ers need! See what Gene Luen Yang has to say here

I am unlikely to reach the 50,000 word count by writing incredibly short, short stories but I will hopefully end the month with 30 new pieces and if I can I might mix it up with some poetry too.

So let’s get started!

Good luck to everyone making NaNo part of their November.

nano-postcard

My Writing Life: News

Standard

Yesterday I had no internet connection! This is an offline post I wrote:

Mr G and I went out on Sunday, for treats and garden/house shopping, after a lovely morning together, (on the last free Sunday I have for about 5 weeks) I popped onto the blog to leave a few posts… low and behold, the phone lines were down in my town… last time I remember this was after a storm many years ago… cannot believe it in the 21st Century, but there you go no internet.

I have decided to write all my posts offline ready to post and go out with Mr G for a lovely Steak meal and forget all about the world I could access… where some very important news was waiting for me in my inbox!

I am very excited about all the wonderful things happening to me right now in the world of writing.

Firstly, at the end of May I applied to Naked Lungs to take part in a pop up poetry event at the next Birmingham Literature Festival this year in October. It is a paid gig too! WOWZERS! Typically they have been inundated with creatives applying to be part of this half hour event, so we have been invited to meet/interview with them to discuss our proposals. blf logo

Unfortunately, it was a day I was working full time, I emailed with possible solutions to this problem, then late last week the agency rang and my days got changed about into 2 half days, freeing up potential time on Monday and Tuesday, I now need to decide which slot will be better for me, traffic-wise I guess Tuesday morning is the better option, just hope I can get to work on time! (I received confirmation today my interview is Tuesday morning.)

It is exciting and I hope it provides an opportunity.

Secondly, it is the 4th Worcester LitFest & Fringe starting at the end of this week and I am happy to announce my involvement.

wlf pop

I have been asked to take part in the Pop Up Poets event on Sunday 22nd, it looks great fun.

WLF 42

I am also one of eight performers who will take to the stage at 42, have to get some dark poetry ready for that set. I think my recent poem about Martha Graham, written for the 52 project may be a suitable starting point. Maybe I will dust the Zombie poem off for another outing.

WLF sp

The SpeakEasy Worcs LitFest special was originally invited guests only, I was one of the poets asked to do a 6 minute set. I am looking forward to both of these events and the headline acts.

I am busily involved in other open mic events and workshop/ performances right up until the end of June. Living the dream… 8 months in!

There are even more exciting events taking place in July.

I am performing on stage with The Poetry Army – Brainfruit, in my hometown and also hope to attend the pre-show workshop if Writing West Midlands can find cover for the Worcester group.  poetryarmy

I am attending the Born Free Anthology Book Launch, reading my poems from the book, along with others at various venues in Birmingham, starting with The Ort, where I was hoping to perform with Tim Scarborough again but he has other commitments for the rest of the Summer on Fridays and can’t manage it. I am performing a solo set instead. born free

Tim and I hadn’t actually seen each other for weeks as we were both performing individually for the last Mouth and Music. Where he performed an incredible set of poetry written about his late wife, poems I was honoured to help him edit. Not that they needed much work. We decided mm that we will collaborate for the next Mouth and Music on the theme of Summer. I look forward to squeezing some rehearsal time in!

I am going back to Acton Scott Farm to take part in a celebratory afternoon of Jean Atkin’s residency, including reading some ASF poetry from the workshop day. acton Where I also hope to finally buy my copy of DIP by Andrew Fusek Peters.

I am going to Stratford-Upon-Avon, where Jo Bell is the resident poet for the annual Literature Festival, she has organised a 52 picnic, where there will be so many of us hoping to perform we will be selected from a raffle to perform our 52 poems.

I have been so busy this year that I haven’t always managed to write my weekly poem in time to submit it to the 52 group, I have however, tried to catch up, I still have a few missing weeks and I really miss reading other people’s poetry because you learn so much, I hope to catch up with it this summer. Morning-Sun-mit

AND excitedly I share news that came after this was written and will have a post of its own. I got published!

 

Friday Fictioneers – The Perfect Place

Standard

It has been ages since I had a chance to write for any online/blog writing challenges, I am looking forward to trying to manage my 100 words this week for FF – Friday Fictioneers.

Join in and check out the challenge at Rochelle’s blog. Click the icon friday-fictioneers don’t forget to read the RULES.

 

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright -Jennifer Pendergast

 

PHOTO PROMPT
Copyright –Jennifer Pendergast scalpel

They leant the bikes against the wall where the others were.

“It’s the perfect place to film.”

“We’ll struggle getting the equipment up, there’s no room for the van.”

“We don’t need it, we’d cycle again.” Adele sighed.

Stephen always picked holes in her ideas, no matter how good they were.

“I’ll phone them.” she said, finding the perfect excuse to turn away.

Stephen made a quick sketch.

 

“They won’t do it. They say it’s haunted.”

“What rubbish!”

The pair got back on their bikes, Stephen glanced up and saw the windows were open. He knew he’d drawn them shut.

Latest Submissions

Standard

I haven’t submitted any writing since the summer, this month I have gone back to the desk (not strictly true as I don’t have one yet!)
I made a 100 Flash Submission to the Reader’s Digest Competition earlier this month. My 16th submission this year.
 rd1 This is the competition I posted a poll about as there was some question over copyright. I posted a similar question via social media and was assured by what some writers said and at the end of the day, the only bad thing will be not realising when my work is published.
They retain copyright (which is unusual) but they say it to use for advertising or future publications, generally the latter if last year was anything to go by. If I am lucky though I win the cash prize or runner up book tokens.

 

And tonight I spent the time between the shower and getting ready for the Book Launch writing poetry.

1 emmap
I managed to finish before the deadline, speed edit and send emails full of hope to the next two anthologies planned by Emmapress for publishing next year.
7 poems in total, 2 more submissions, that’s 18 this year. I wonder if I will make it to 20?

 

Friday Fictioneers – Bohemian Business

Standard

I am so delighted to be back with the challenges this week – I haven’t written flash fiction for ages, although last week I did perform extended versions (300 words) of flashes I wrote for Rochelle’s challenge. It is much harder to perform a flash than a poem!

Here’s the prompt for this week, click the icon to discover more! friday-fictioneers
Copyright -Randy Mazie
Copyright -Randy Mazie

Ornate bars and wild flowers on the outside, wooden planks nailed from the inside let horizontal shafts of light through. Tam started the group with three others, now they attracted quite a crowd.

Artists were happy in humble surroundings, glad of somewhere to share their work. It was bohemian with a capital B. For an afternoon of spoken word Tam charged £3.00, he provided old mugs for the ‘bring your own’ drinks. No one questioned the fee.

What they didn’t know was this was where Tam lived. He counted his money. Nearly enough to take him on the Writers’ Retreat!

 

scalpel