Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Are You Inspired?

February 27, 2013

Happy Wednesday, my friends! It's time for the next round of Writer Wednesday Blog Hop inspiration.

If you've been following along, we've been gathering the most wonderful stories from the photo prompts and our community is growing! Carrie, Nicole, Tena and I are so grateful to all of you for your participation and creativity in the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. Thank you!

 If you haven't yet joined in, please know you are welcome to hop in anytime. All are welcome!

 Before we get to this week's photo, take a look at the stories that came in from last week. They are truly wonderful!

 1. Last Train Out by Randy Lindsay
 2. Journey to Huge Stone by Christopher Shawbell
 3. A Decision For Peter by Scott Taylor
 4. A Ghost of Herself Emily Jean Roche
 5. Fading Tracks by CK Sorensen
 6. Granddaddy's Pocket Watch by Leanne Sype
 7. This is Where the Nightmares Started by Nicole Pyles

 Be sure to take some time to read these and show some love to the author by commenting on their story. :) O
kay... a quick reminder of how all this works:

 1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
.2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

 Drum roll please.... badabadabadabada

Car and Mountain big

Photo courtesy of here.
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This is Where the Nightmares Started - A Bit of Short Fiction

February 26, 2013
Yay, I finally have managed to write a response to the writing prompt! Make sure to check out the link from last week and submit your own if you feel inspired!

This is where the nightmares had started and why they continued.

The train had long since driven on, and hadn't returned in years. Nothing but the ghost of its tracks remained behind. Janet walked down the side of the tracks, the gravel crunching underneath her feet. She hadn't known why she returned, except she remembered this was the place she saw them first.

She sighed deeply and shuddered. The kept her eyes forward on the city up ahead, refusing to look down.
A soft creak broke her thoughts. No, it couldn't be. He couldn't still be here
She turned her head and looked into the distance. It was an old house, the type you usually would see out by these old train tracks. It nearly blended in with the dust and the dirt. She felt hot underneath her wind breaker. He was waiting for her.

She stepped away from the tracks and walked towards the vision. It was her cosmic calling and time she faced him.

The wind picked up as she walked. A wind that seemed to urge her to go back. To turn away.

It was the same wind she felt when she was seven. Playing with her friends. A game of tag. A flash of something metal on the ground. A hidden pocket watch under the  old wooden train tracks that made her stop. The memory flashed before her eyes like a piercing needle in her mind. And when she knelt down...

...Janet tore herself back to the present. The house was closer now. Clearer. She could see him on the wide porch, rocking back and forth. He stopped. Stood. Ready to face her.

...at that time, when she knelt to pick up the watch, she screamed. A terrorizing scream that filled the air. Yet no one else saw. When her friends ran forward, they didn't see what she did....

The steps to the house were broken and torn up. The weeds from a dying vegetable garden clung to the sides of its walls. If she looked, she could see underneath, but she kept her eyes forward. When she got closer, she noticed his eyes. They were the same. Those eyes that had nothing inside them. The eyes of someone not even human. The hatred. The evil. He was the reason she saw those bodies under the tracks. 
And why no one else did.

At least, not until they searched the house at the end of the tracks. 
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On Ghostwriting - Not as Bad as You Might Think

February 21, 2013

Today I am a guest writer over at one of my favorite writing blogs, "Men With Pens."

I am talking about ghost writing and it's benefits, so please come by and read the post, and share your thoughts!
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Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Are You Inspired?

February 20, 2013
Goodness gracious, people! Who forgot to tell me it was Wednesday??

I'm not exactly a day late though (although I'm several dollars short, according to my bank account), because it isn't midnight yet.

So, first, let's do a quick shout out to my fabulous upon fabulous co-hosts, Carrie K. Sorensen, Tena Carr, and Leanne Sype.

Also, make sure to grab a blog hop button if you love us as much as we love you!

writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code

Now, let's check out the amazing stories from last week -

Thank You Again by Chris Shawbell

A Bitter Sun, A Hazy Sky by Scott Taylor

Abandoned by Heather

Cloaked by Leanne Sype

Good job everybody!!

Just as a reminder, here are the rules - 

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Wednesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess when you're done via the inLinkz linky.
5) Have fun, don't stress, let those creative juices flow.

Now, here's the fun part. 

Here is the photo for this week (found here)

Houston Skyline, from Old MKT Railroad Trestle over White Oak Bayou, near Studemont & I-10, Houston, Texas 0330090947BW

And here are the five words -

Pocket Watch





When you are ready, submit your link below!
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Things Every Writer Should Have

February 18, 2013

I've been a writer a good chunk of my life. I've not published (yet), but there are things I've learned that I think every writer should have. Like everything else in life, though, these are things I've picked up the hard way. I thought I'd share these tonight, mostly for my own sake so I don't forget.

1) Every writer should own a printed copy of all their stories - finished or not.

If you live with a writer, you will know they are the eternal pack rat. I am a pack rat, because there are days, I find myself pouring over my laptop and papers to find a draft of a story I thought I had given up on. These are moments of bravery where I want to dust off that story and see if I can breathe life into it. 

Often times, though, I find myself disappointed because the story isn't anywhere to be found. While I can't encourage organization, as it is not something I can promise myself, I encourage you to keep everything. Because one day you will look for that one story that once seemed impossible and you will want to know you have it. 

2) Every writer should have a critique partner, who is also a writer of the same caliber.

There is something about how a writer will read a story from another writer. It is more honest and more specific than anyone else you may ask. Best of all, if you can find someone that you trust that can give you good feedback, without making you cry, you have found gold. I am lucky that I have found someone like that (thanks to blogging, actually). I am also a strong believer that both parties should have fairly equal success - otherwise it's more of a mentor - mentee relationship, which doesn't seem fair and equal to me.

3) Every writer should have a person who will always, without fail, tell them their story is good.

While not many people would agree with me, I think every writer needs that person who will coddle them. We need the person who will always tell us our story is good. It's wonderful for that fragile writer ego of ours. Some days it's not easy to put the pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and we need to know that there is someone out there will help us rebuild our confidence, no matter what.

4)  On the other hand, we need someone who will tell it like it is.

Coddling aside, we also need that person who will always tell the truth. This is different than the critique partner relationship. This person probably isn't asking for something in return. I also have this person in my life and I have learned (the hard way) that I should only show them work at its very best - and that isn't a bad thing.

5) Knowledge (and acceptance) of our best writing times.

You could give me all day Saturday by myself with a beach front office for me to write and I probably will not get much work done. Yet, plant me on the couch with a glass of wine beside me (and yes, even the television on) at around 7 o'clock pm on, and I will come to life and the writing will get done. I have fought this for a while - I've always admired writers who can get up early or spend the day writing and that is just not me. I work better at night and that's just how it is. Which means I may also be part vampire, come to think of it.

6) The ability to quit comparing ourselves to other people.

I struggle with this one a lot. If I see someone on the blogs I read have fantastic success, and I realize that they aren't that much older or more experienced than me, I think - see? I should have that success. Yes, I know this isn't very kind, nor is it very mature. Yet, we cannot compare ourselves to other people. We only set ourselves up for failure and disappointment if we constantly think we aren't good enough.

7) The ability to write past the distractions.

We all have reasons not to write. But whether it's just writing one page or writing ten, we must learn to write past them. I also struggle with this. Don't let the distractions get to you. It's tough, but even if you can get a page of random thoughts down, it's better to fight past this than to let it bring you down.

8) A realistic writing dream (as well as the "out of this world" dream).

When I was ten, I dreamed about popping a cork of champagne and toasting my latest published book with my editor, agent, and publisher (okay, maybe the champagne came later).  I have also dreamed about being on the tonight show as well as accepting an academy award for my writing work on my book-turned-movie (oh yes, I went there). At the same time, more recently, I have also fascinated about self publishing my book and seeing sales go up on Amazon and good reviews across more than half of the blogs I approached. It's fun to have our idealistic dreams, but don't forget to bring yourself down to reality.

9) Your own special writing gift to give yourself.

Whenever I'm feeling down or inspired, I buy myself a new notebook. This is usually the colorfully designed ones you buy at the grocery store, but to me, it represents a new start. I love new notebooks and it's my favorite writing gift for myself. Have one for you.

10) Knowing when to just write.

We all know the importance of marketing, having a day job, having a platform, social networking, writing to pay the bills, writing to get your name out there...at the end of the day, make sure you don't forget to write what you were meant to write. Write for your creative outlet. Write for that unfinished novel you want to see published one day. Write for poetry. Write for short fiction. Write for flash fiction. Don't forget to just write.

What do you think every writer should have?

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Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Are You Inspired?

February 13, 2013
Leanne has the reins for this week's post! Hope you are having a great week!
My turn! This week I have the pleasure of hosting this week's blog hop. I hope you all are enjoying the challenges as much as I am... the stories that birth from these photos are truly fun to read. And this past week was no different.
Check out the stories that sprung from last week's inspiration: Hunter's Moon by Randy Lindsay An Invitation from the SECONYC by Scott Taylor As a Polis Slumbers by Chris Shawbell Stormy Love by Leanne Sype Runaway Moon by Cindy Also, Chris Shawbell was this month's ad contest winner! Congrats Chris! For more about the contest part of the blog hop click here. Show him some love and fellow writer support with this button on your site:
graveyard button

You're invited to jump into the blog hop anytime! Certainly the pictures are thought provoking, but there's something to be said about writers inspiring other writers... Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday at midnight to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow. Without further ado, here's this weeks picture and mandatory words:


Your words:
Yikes! Tough! We can do it though... ready? GO!
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Permission to Be Distracted from Writing

February 9, 2013
Weapons Of Mass Distraction
On occasion , I like to wander over to the New York Times' blogs and read about what the writing elite have to say about the world. Every now and then, I run across an article that sort of gets me and gets what I'm looking for at the time.
In an article entitled, "Upside of Distraction," the writer Benjamin Nugent describes how when he finally had the opportunity to immerse himself in writing and only writing...it grew stale. It wasn't until that he allowed for a variety in his life that his writing flourished and managed to grow and get better.
Last week I blogged about being n a rut, and I think after reading some of my comments and then reading this article, I realized I needed to give myself permission to get distracted. It isn't like I've immersed myself in writing lately (ha), but it isn't like I've been having the time of life these days either.
I think I just need to find a way to balance my writing self with everything else. I need to cut back on the have-to's in my life as much as I can, and add in more things I enjoy without feeling guilty for enjoying something other than writing. Because after all, it will only end up helping me in the long run.
Has distraction ever helped your writing? What is your favorite writing distraction?
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Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Are You Inspired?

February 7, 2013
I can't believe I forgot yesterday! I'm still recovering and I'm just exhausted lately. But her is our "Wednesday" writing prompt!

This is my third week of having control of the writing prompts. :D Ha! I'm a control kind of girl, so this is fantastic for me.

Of course, I like sharing, too, so I don't fight the co-hostesses when it's their turn. Except for this week. This week is mine because I get to choose the winner of the monthly ad contest!

This month, that would be ....

Congratulations and thanks so much for your contributions to our blog hop writing prompt. We will be happy to take a button you already have, a photo for us to create a button for you, or we can make one from scratch. Just let us know. :-)

Now, on to the fabulous stories from last week.

Summertime Dreaming by Krystal Wade

Oh, Edward by Scott Taylor

Gray View by Randy Lindsay

Discovered by CK Sorensen

Something for Nothing by Heather

And last but not least, we move on to the prompt. It's a new month to get your name in for the contest - remember, one entry per story submission, with up to 4 entries total. Good luck!

The prompt rules are:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.

2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.

3) You have until next Wednesday to link up your post.

4) Link up with your blog hostess when you're done via the inLinkz linky.

5) Have fun, don't stress, let those creative juices flow.

The photo:

architecture,buildings,Chrysler Building,cities,cityscapes,Fotolia,full moons,landmarks,Manhattan,metropolitan,midtown,moons,New York City,nights,nyc,Photographs,skylines,skyscrapers,urban,views

The words:

flea - river - denim - creeper - catastrophe

If you love our hop and want to share, please grab a button for your blog.

writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code

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Anyone Else Ever Been Stuck in Writing Rut?

February 3, 2013

It's official - I'm stuck in a writing rut.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I think the struggles of 2012 left me worn out for 2013. Lost a job (in fact, both my brother and I lost a job), lost my internet access, lost my computer, and then...I think somewhere along the way, I just lost my motivation.

Things have turned around  - I found a new job in August of last year, finally FINALLY received a working internet connection this past week, got a new computer for my birthday...and my brother has a lot of interviews lined up the next couple of weeks so it looks like that struggle might be over soon too.

...yet here I am...stuck. In a rut. It doesn't help that I've been sick all week.

I'm bored with my fantasy novel, I'm kind of bored with my blog, I'm just...restless and tired of the daily grind.

Without a doubt, there is a strong chance this is more like a "life" rut than a "writing" rut, but I figured I would just start there.

So, have you ever been in a writing rut? What did you do to get out of it?

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