Monthly Archives: March 2014

Whatever Wednesday – Writing Contests!


I used to have a page on this blog with a record of writing contests I’ve entered, the title of the story I wrote, and how the judges scored me. Maybe I’ll bring it back, but I’m not sure it truly fits the purpose of the blog now. Although…. What is the purpose of this blog again..?

Oh right! It’s to increase my writing portfolio! I want to write new things here, whether they are actual complete or good is up in the air, but that probably works out for the best as things I write here can be used to generate new ideas for longer stories!

But anywho… Contests! I only enter a few here and there. Once in a while I will submit something to the Writers Digest Your Story Contest, but my all time favorites are the NYCMidnight Short Story and Flash Fiction Challenges! I’ve been entering both of these contests each year since 2011 (and a stint way back in 2008 that we don’t talk about because I was so terrible at writing back then…).

The thing I love most about the NYCM contest format is the way they do their prompts. Writers  are split into groups a search group is assigned a genre, subject, and character (or object) that have to be included in your story. The best part about this is how creativity is encouraged and you can interpret the prompt in unique ways and try to invent a story that no one else could think of!

Tomorrow at midnight we are supposed to get our Round 2 prompts for the NYCM Short Story Challenge. I can’t wait to see what I get so I can twist them into something completely different!!!!

In honor of the contest, I will post a story I wrote based on NYCM-like prompts for this weekend’s Story Saturday!

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Mission Monday 1.1 – Discovering the Ideal Writing Location

My quest to find the ideal writing location has been going for about one week. In that one week, my intended journey to several cafes pre-work has gone slightly differently off-book. Instead of visiting multiple, I have visited one cafe three times! In fact, I’m there now. I even have my own corner table because I arrive right when it opens…

I know, I know… I still need to visit many more places to truly learn anything. And it’ll happen… Eventually… It’s not my fault really. It’s all the mocha latte’s fault, blame that! It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had! I accidentally ordered one because I have no freaking clue how to order real coffee… All I know how to say at a coffee shop is “medium iced caramel swirl, cream only, extra caramel.” And even that I struggle to say unless I’m talking into the little brown box at Dunkin Donuts.

But let’s face it. Finding the ideal writing locations isn’t only about the coffee.

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Story Saturday – Dystopian America 1776

The warmth of the flames relieved Father William Kensington from the winter chill, but melted his heart to a puddle of tears. He could do nothing but watch as the steeple of the Old North Church crumbled and fell into the fiery inferno that engulfed the base of the building. He didn’t preach at this church, but he still felt God’s pain like a knife.

Suddenly a small boy pushed past him towards the wall of armed Redcoats between the crowd and the burning wreckage. He held a sword in one hand and a clearly homemade American flag in the other.

“For America!” the boy shouted as he charged at the nearest soldier. He couldn’t have been older than ten, yet here he was, pretending to be a killer.

The Redcoats simply laughed and one knocked the sword away with an easy swat of his bayonet. The boy fell to the ground and his flag dragged through a muddy puddle. The Redcoat picked it up and threw it into the fire. “Stupid boy. There is no America. There never was an America. And there never will be an America.”

“You’re wrong!” The boy cried. “We’re going to beat you.” There was such bitter confidence in his voice it was almost palpable.

“You won’t be doing anything.” The soldier raised his rifle and aimed it at the boy’s chest.

Father Kensington burst from the crowd and slid to the ground before the boy. “Please no! In. God’s name! In King George’s name! He’s only a child!”

“Am not,” the boy grunted.
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Whatever Wednesday – Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines!

Wouldn’t it be the funniest thing if this week’s WW was posted late!?!? No, no it wouldn’t. It would be terrible and silly and embarrassing. That’s why I have to throw this together and wrap it in duct tape before midnight tonight…

We all remember this past Saturday when Story Saturday never really happened. (No worries, it’s on pace to be completed for this Saturday and has been pretty fun so far!) Typically I am quite strict about high priority deadlines. I absolutely hate being late for things, especially important things or if there are consequences to missing the deadline. During college, my professors had extremely strict deadlines. Some would subtract significant points for each minute late past the start of class. Some wouldn’t even accept assignments turned in late. For the most part, I agreed with these policies. If something doesn’t meet a deadline then there should be consequences. If there are no consequences, then there is no incentive to accomplish tasks on time. The difficulty with meeting deadlines arises when they are low priority and there are few consequences.
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Mission Monday 1.0 – Discovering the Ideal Writing Location

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Before you say anything, yes I know last week’s Story Saturday never showed up… Unfortunately, not having a computer or a free second all weekend made things difficult, so that story will be used for this week instead! Lucky you! (This little ‘incident’ has also spawned what will be the topic of the next Whatever Wednesday… Deadlines!)

But today is Monday, not Wednesday and not Saturday. That means it’s time for Mission Monday!

There is something I feel I am missing that every writer really should have. If you are lucky, you can create it for yourself and design it to be exactly the way you want, but I feel like many people don’t have that luxury, including myself. Therefore, my mission for the next couple weeks is to find my ideal writing location.

Before we start, let’s analyze the current situation… Continue reading

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Whatever Wednesday – Dystopias and Me

Welcome to the HISTORIC first ever Whatever Wednesday! I have no idea what Whatever Wednesday is really going to be, but maybe that’s the whole idea. Who wants to wander over to this blog and read a couple paragraphs when they already know what’s going to happen? It’s more fun for everyone if we just use an open format and keep everything a surprise until it finds its way onto paper!

Now to get down to business. There’s something that’s really REALLY been annoying me lately. I’m not just talking about the kind of annoying where you’re like “that bugs me, so I’m going to avoid it.” It’s more reminiscent of the annoying where you’re like “WHAT THE HELL YOU KEEP RUINING THIS FOR EVERYONE!” I think you know what I’m talking about… In fact, I think you are most probably experiencing this exact same feeling regarding the exact same topic as me.

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“Leverage, says you. I think I feel a change in the wind, says I.”

It’s true. Change is coming to this “blog!” Now that I have accomplished the daunting task of seeking employment, I can actually spend time on what really matters. Like being employed… And writing!

I enjoyed reading and reflecting on articles about new technology and interesting science. I also enjoyed writing stories that went with those articles. However, I think the format needs to change a little bit. That can’t stand alone as the sole purpose of this website. And let’s face it, the whole “Oh, I’ll just post whenever I get a chance/am in the mood” thing wasn’t really working out that well for anybody. I think we will start having specialized days of the week, which will make it easier for all your folks to follow and will hold me accountable if I fail. Always a good time.

Nothing is set in stone, but my vision is this…

Whatever Wednesday – This could be a review about tech/science, it could be just random ramblings. It will conclude with the prompt for Story Saturday.

Story Saturday – Story that goes with that week’s prompt.

Mission Monday – …Because it’s always nice to have a goal, I will post about whatever (writing-related?) mission I am currently trying to accomplish.

Revised theme, layout, About Me, and other things too. Hooray!

No one knows when these changes will actually become a reality–most likely within the next few weeks.

And yes, that is a quote from Pirates of the Caribbean.

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