Friday, February 24, 2012

Flash Fiction: The New Kid

The first challenge in the Platform-Building Campaign is here and, even better, I finished!  Woohoo!

The challenge was this: Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count.

For an additional challenge (optional), we could do one or more of these:

  • end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)

  • include the word "orange" in the story

  • write in the same genre you normally write

  • write make your story 200 words exactly!

Well, I wrote my story and, seeing that it began at 570 words, I trimmed and edited and trimmed and edited some more until I whittled my story down to exactly 200 words.  And yes, I ended the story with "everything faded," included the word "orange," and wrote for children/middle grades (my current genre).  What can I say, if I'm going to participate, may as well take the full challenge.

Now that I'm done writing, I'm going to visit the other campaigners to read their stories.

Here is mine:

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The New Kid

Shadows crept across the wall.  Max pulled the blanket snugger under his chin. His new room was uninviting.

Max was scared to start a new school, especially since he was beginning fourth grade.  Everyone knows fourth graders are the big kids.  Big kids know everything: where the classrooms are, what to wear, and who to avoid.  Max felt unprepared.

            Looking out the window, he could see only a few stars.  The sky was blank.

            What if there was a bully?  He missed his friends.  On their last day together they folded paper airplanes.  Max’s plane had flown far until it landed in the neighbor’s hair.

            Max drifted off to sleep.  The next thing he knew, his mom was waking him for pancakes and orange juice.

There was a knock on the door.  “Hello!  I’m Kim and this is my son, Joey.  We thought we’d show you to the bus.”

            The moms talked the whole way while the boys shuffled behind. At the bus stop Joey said, “Maybe after school I can show you my treehouse.”

            Max’s mom smiled. “Not even on the bus and already you’ve made a friend.”

Max’s fears about bullies and not finding his classroom… everything faded.

The End

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Fellow campaigners: I'm #198 at Rach Writes. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Wish, a Request, and a Challenge

A Wish for the World and a Request

Wishcasting badgeIt's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. This week Jamie asks, "What do you wish for the world?"

I wish for the world to return to a community mindset.  It really does take a village to sustain life.  Only when we work together do we truly succeed.

Speaking of coming together, I have a special request.  A good friend of mine, Joules, needs prayers, wishes, positive energy... whatever you have to give.  After 6 wonderfully smooth months of pregnancy, she hit a rocky road in her third trimester.

As of yesterday she was admitted to the hospital (nearly 2 months early) and told she would have to stay until the baby was born.  As of last night, it seemed that the baby might be coming early.  Needless to say, my biggest wish today is for a healthy baby and a healthy Joules.

So I'm doing something I haven't done here before.  I'm asking you to send love her way.  A prayer or good thought would be beautiful.  If you want to actually send a note, consider leaving a word of encouragement in a comment on her blog.  If you leave a comment here on my blog, I will make sure she gets it.  Thank you.

Update 2/16/12: I'm happy to announce that Joules had her baby and they are both doing well!  Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.  It was inspiring to see how many people left notes, people who don't know me and don't know Joules.  You all are amazing.  Please keep it up so mom and baby can go home soon.

A New Challenge

I'm challenging myself.  Since I've found that I work on my writing most when I have a true deadline (i.e. not just one I make up) or if there is camaraderie (we're all in this together... woohoo!), I've decided to join a writing challenge.

Rachael Harrie is leading the Fourth Writer's Platform-Building Campaigner Challenge.  The first challenge will be presented to us on Monday (yikes!  Or, you know, yippee!).  A second challenge will come on March 5th.  The campaign as a whole runs through March 17th.

I have no idea what to expect, but I'm excited to give it a try.  Fellow writers, you can join in the fun, too. Today is the last day so be sure to visit Rachael's site and jump in now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

When It’s Not All Sunshine and Butterflies

Life is not always filled with sunshine and butterflies. Some days are just different. They’re a little rougher. A bit tougher on our soul. And, you know what? That’s okay. Really.

You’re not always going to be perfect. You’re not always going to get it right. The point is that you keep going. Keep trying. Change directions. Take a break. Here are a few links to things I’ve read recently that have inspired me. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration, too.

Ending Something
Sometimes good things come to an end. Brandi Reynolds has been one of my favorite bloggers for the past few years. I’ve read along as she’s explored art, photography, yoga, and life. One of my favorite things about Brandi is she’s never afraid to try something new or change directions if she feels called to do so. This month she has announced she will no longer be blogging. At least for now. It may seem weird that I’m linking you to someone’s final post, but I love it as yet another demonstration of her bravery, her willingness to switch things up: This is me giving up

Teenagers. They’re a tough breed. I’ve been studying a little about how to make it through the teenage years and have come across some interesting things, including this article: 11 Mistakes Parents Make With Teen Discipline

Marriages, like all establishments, have good days and tough days. Hopefully more good than tough. Ann Voskamp wrote an insightful post about one root message behind our anger: 5 Ways to Fight Through to a Loving Marriage

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feeling Healthy? Give Thanks

I'm thinking a lot today about health.  I am so thankful for my health.

How often do we take time to acknowledge our health?  I tend to think about it only after an illness.  And yes, today is one of those days since a stomach virus took over our house for the last 24 hours.  Yay for us.

So today I'm asking you to acknowledge how you feel.  If you're feeling pretty dang healthy (despite any other woes for the day), take a moment to say thanks.

The rest of my story is at Working Mother today.

Wishing you good health.