Unwritten: MFF#13: A Child Needs His Father by Rebecca Barray

Hello Everyone!! Go over and check out my entry in Mysti Parker’s May Flash Fiction Contest on her blog, Unwritten!! Be sure to leave a comment and tell her how much you LOVE my story! 😉

Unwritten: MFF#13: A Child Needs His Father by Rebecca Barray

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Flash Fiction Picture Prompt: Queen Calliope

I was prompted to write this piece of flash fiction for a friend, Katherine Faulcon, who made the picture and requested some writing to go with it. When I looked at her, this just sort of wrote itself. I hope you guys like it. 😉

Queen Calliope

Her newborn laugh resounded like bells and her parents named her Calliope. Golden curls grew around her ivory face. Eyes shone like aquamarines through a thickening fringe of lashes. As a teenager, she hid behind delicate fingers and downcast eyes.
It was particularly this effort to go unnoticed that first drew Charles’s attention. It took him ages to draw up enough courage to speak to her. She was so refined, a princess, no less. He was the son of a nobleman, so he thought himself not hopelessly beneath her, though nearly. He saw her many times before he was brave enough to approach. When he finally did, he could imagine no sound more melodic and pleasurable than her voice. Always soft spoken, her words came forth thoughtful and deliberate.
He sought her out at every social function, monopolizing her attention, though she never seemed to mind. She avoided large groups, though never outwardly uncomfortable, and he sensed that she preferred his solitary presence.
They would sometimes stand on the balcony and discuss a common love of literature beneath the stars. This was where they shared their first kiss. Pale pink lips brushed softly across his, before her cheeks flared with color and his heart nearly escaped his chest.
On their wedding day, she shone brighter than the stars that witnessed their love blossom. Her creamy skin was nearly as pale as her milky white dress. The jewels of her crown made her sky blue eyes sparkle. Her smile revealed her immense happiness at the prospect of spending her life with him. His soul overflowed with love and appreciation at the outstanding luck that he had won her heart.
As time flew by with increasing speed, he found that he loved her more with every passing day, month, year. Their children had children and he was thankful for every second of his blessed life. They still sat on that same balcony, rocking under the stars and speaking of love and literature. They held hands in silence, basking in their shared accomplishments and lives well spent. They gazed into each others’ eyes, content in each others’ arms, even as they shared their last breath, passing peacefully into the afterlife together.

Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Comment! Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and LinkedIn!!! Interaction is what this life is all about.

Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Photography

I’ve been pretty busy lately trying to avoid actual writing so I’m posting a flash fiction piece and a poem I’ve been cleaning up, as well as a few pictures I’ve taken. The flash fiction story was inspired by a TerribleMinds prompt (from a while back) to write a complete story in five sentences and 100 words, or less. The poem was written in response to one of Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD challenges to write a Tanka poem. I had done this one previously (check it out here) and had a lot of fun with it, so I did it again. Photography has become my latest hobby and I’ve had a lot of fun taking pictures around the house of my flowers and babies. So I decided to share some of the better ones (IMO). 😉

Flash Fiction: KTFO (WC79)

Blood covered my face, but the fight only had thirty more seconds. I jabbed left and she dodged right. I jabbed left then followed with a hard right and she blocked. I leaned back and, when she pursued, popped a straight kick, catching her right under the chin. Her head snapped back just like a Pez dispenser, but no candy came out. As she landed flat on her back, I let rip my victory cry, “KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!”

Baby Girl

Tanka: Baby Girl

Strawberry blonde hair
Wispy, curly, and cowlick’d
Above sky blue eyes,
Ivory skin, and pale pink lips
Little arms reach up to me

Pictures

Pretty Roadside Weeds

Pete the Garden Gnome says, “Go Reds!”
Hot Pink Rose
Pink Roses

Hot Pink Rosebud
Garden Mushrooms

This looks like it’d be a great photo prompt for a fantasy…

Do you like to write or take pictures? What are your favorite subjects? What do you think about my writing and pictures? Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

If you’re interested in my ROW80 progress… well, there isn’t really any.

Appreciation and Feedback: Liebster Blog

Writers, at least most of the ones I know, are always unsure about their writing. Is it good or bad? Will others like it? And the answers I give myself are always changing.

Sometimes I look at what I’ve written and think, “Wow, this is absolutely genius! I’m gonna win endless awards with my innate ability to put words together in awe-inspiring ways!!”

Then, five minutes later, I’ll look at that same passage again, and think, “This is absolute garbage! I’m completely worthless as a writer and I don’t know why I ever attempted to put words on a page.”

Then, I’ll read it through again, and wonder, “What will everyone else think about this? Will anyone like it?” It’s so hard to gauge how others will view your work, especially when you can’t decide what you think about it yourself.

So, I was absolutely thrilled to find that I’d been nominated by Ann Stanley for the Liebster Blog!! I looked it up and liebster means “beloved”. I’m so happy to know that at least one person out there enjoys reading the words I put together. She even went as far as to say this about my blog, “ I always enjoy her lightness of spirit and the fun range of topics and occasional bits of fiction.” I’m a little in awe. Thank you so much, Ann, for your thoughtful appreciation.

The Liebster Blogger Rules are:
1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate five blogs with less than 200 followers.
3. Let your nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites.
4. Add the award image to your site.

Since I’ve already thanked Ann, I’m moving on to my nominees. This was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. There are so many fun blogs out there that I wanted to list here. But, alas, I could only pick five, so here they are for your perusal and pleasure.

1. Dana Dampier’s Crazy, Poetic Life – Dana writes great poetry and has three kids (like me) so I like her a lot!! 😉
2. Lara Britt’s Writing Space – Lara lives in Hawaii and posts about local stuff on Fridays. She also posts about writing nooks, which are my favorite places to be!!
3.Lauri Meyers’s Your Imagination is the Limit – Lauri has a great voice and I often laugh out loud when reading her posts.
4. Kelly Williamson’s This is Mine…Seriously – Kelly has been writing about tough times with a mental illness in the family. She’s in the process of changing up her blog and I, for one, am excited to see where she takes it.
5. Linda Hatton’s The Whatnot Shop – Linda posts about lots of different topics, all interesting.

Okay, now I have to go and comment on these sites and let them know. 😉

Oh, and here is my ROW80 update:
This only thing I accomplished last week was my blog post on feeling overwhelmed. Not a very productive week at all. I’m starting off a little better this week. Hopefully, I can keep it up. 😉

Melancholy… and Overwhelmed

Hey everyone…

Lost in the Fog

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been feeling kinda melancholy lately. I haven’t had much time for writing and platform building. I had a great weekend, though. I got to spend lots of time with hubby, which was a lot of fun. He usually has to work weekends, but didn’t have much that had to get done. We went shopping with the kids on Saturday, and then got a sitter on Sunday and did a little more shopping. (Shopping is one of my favorite hobbies!!) But I didn’t get any writing done, or even those things that aren’t writing, but somehow make me a better writer, like reading craft articles, checking awesome blogs, and interacting with other writers on social media.

So, now I’m 6 or 7 days behind on MNINB challenges, didn’t post an update for ROW80 on Sunday, didn’t post a blog on Sunday, haven’t done any writing, editing, or even reading for almost a week now, and am feeling a little hopeless. I figure the first step in the right direction is figuring out how far behind I am, but when I see the actual list, I just sigh and want to go back to bed. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Okay, I’m feeling a lot overwhelmed. I HATE long to-do lists. I need short, quick tasks so I feel like I’m making progress quickly. Only I don’t feel like doing anything today… It’s just one of those days, I guess.

Well, at least I posted on my blog… and got my ROW80 updates up, only two days late…

How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed? What are your strategies for getting caught up? How do fight off the hopeless feelings? I appreciate any and all feedback. Interaction is what this life is all about.

Happy Writing and Platform Building!!
Becca ♥

ROW80 Update #6: for April 15-21st 

Writing: 1720/1500 words. First time I achieved this one.
Reading: 1/4 books. On track for this.
Editing: 4/10 pages. Still way behind. I should be at page 30, but I’m only on 20.
Blogging: 2/2 posts. Got this one.

Platform Building

Lots of you guys might be aware of the April Platform Challenge going on over at My Name Is Not Bob, a new addition to my Awesome Blogs. It’s a great challenge with a new task everyday to help writers get started on building, or maintaining, a platform for their work. If you are interested but not involved yet, you can see all the past challenges in the archives on the MNINB site. It’s turned out to be the start of a great community of writers, as well. BONUS!

I even participated in my first Twitter chat last night with the group. That was pretty fast paced and hard to follow.  And one of the reasons I started a Facebook group. Typically, I’m not very good at organizing, but hopefully managing this group will help with that. Because you can’t grow inside your comfort zone, right? If you read my previous post Tagged, you know I’m terribly shy when it comes to social interaction. Seems like I’ve been venturing out of my comfort zone a lot lately.

Lots of writers participating in the challenge have started groups/lists/circles on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Actually, I just started the Facebook group last night. 🙂 It’s called MNINB Platform Challengers. Go join up if you are a writer. It’s gonna be a place for writers to chat, recommend resources, help each other with any issues/questions, and/or just hang out. I’m hoping it turns out to be a pretty helpful group. If you have any suggestions or things you want help with, comment below or in the group!! It’s a writer’s group and we’re starting off with posting goals and accountability, but I also want it to be a place writers can share resources and support. I hope it will become a place that writers feel comfortable asking questions (about writing and anything else) and just sharing with each other. Post a link to your latest blog or share a craft article you found helpful! Post a piece of your latest WIP in the Docs section and ask for feedback! Just make sure to give feedback and answer others’ questions if you know anything about it!! I want it to be a community where everyone can help each other grow as writers and/or social beings!!! (I’m excited about it, in case you couldn’t tell…)

What do you guys think about the group? Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

ROW80 Update #5: April 18th 

Writing: 485 words on this Platform post
Reading: One down, three to go!
Editing: Now on page 20!! WooHoo!
Blogging: Platform post, plus update!

Happy Writing and Platform Building!!
Becca





How I Write: Description and ROW80 Update

The Senses

The Five Senses

Everyone knows the five common senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. You want the reader to see, smell, taste, feel, and hear what your character does.

Another Two

There are also “senses” that are not physical or neurologically based, but more like perceptions. The two I like to use are time and space. When trying to convey one of these senses, you have to incorporate one (or more) of the main five. Usually, it will be sight. The position of the sun in the sky can give your reader a sense of time. But sound is helpful in showing a sense of space, such an echo in a large room. 


Which Words??

Ask Questions

There are so many words available to get the world you are writing about across to the reader. To figure out which ones paint the clearest picture of your scene, ask yourself some questions about the experience you are trying to give your reader.

Is it good or bad? Lots of words have connotations that help convey a feeling with your description. Be sure to use adjectives that mesh with the overall idea you are going for. If you are trying to show the reader an upper class woman in a good way, for example, you might use words like slender, elegant, and exquisite. You wouldn’t want to use words like skinny, snobby, or hoity-toity, since these words give a negative feeling. 

Is it strong or weak? With a weak scent, you might say, “A slight trace of roses lingered in the air.” For a strong odor, you might say, “The repugnant stink invaded my nostrils, instantaneously invoking my gag reflex.”


What does it remind you of? What is something common that you can compare it to? If you are working in science fiction or fantasy, the thing you are describing may be unlike anything your reader has ever experienced. In this case, try comparing it to something common that your reader will be familiar with, then tell how it’s different. Speaking of different…



How is it different than other things like it? When describing something common, like a chair, don’t tell us what we already know. Don’t say: it has four legs, a back to lean on and a seat for your rump. Everybody already knows what a “chair” looks like. Tell us what’s different or unique about this particular chair. Maybe the back was carved from a dark, shiny wood to resemble vines climbing a trellis, or the seat is upholstered in the softest grey fabric you’ve ever had the privilege of running your fingertips across. 

Alliteration

Personally, I like to use alliteration in my descriptions. I feel a repetition of consonant sounds makes the words flow off the tongue and leaves the reader with a lasting impression. This is especially true when describing sounds: A cacophony of crashes called me into the kitchen. Okay, that might be pushing the limits a little, but you get the idea. 😉

My Example: The Beach

Here are some examples from the beach. I give one sentence for each of the seven “senses” I listed previously. See if you can tell which sense I had in mind when I wrote each sentence. 
The robin’s egg blue sky stretched forever, meeting the navy blue ocean at the edge of infinity.
The gritty sand rubbed the skin between my toes raw.
The waves crescendoed, culminating in crashes interspersed with the calls of the seagulls.
Exquisite, lime-tinged Corona slid down my throat, leaving a bittersweet residue on my tongue.
The air swirled around me, bringing with it a heavenly mixture of salt and coconut tanning oil.
The toddler’s neon pink bikini was in clear contrast to her pale, ivory skin and butter-colored curls.
The pink dawn and orange twilight were the perfect bookends to a beautiful day.

For practice, make up a sentence of your own for each sense and post it in the comments below. I’d love to see what all of you creative writers come up with. How do you write description? Any great ideas that I missed? Let me know!! I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys. Interaction is what this life is all about.

Also: ROW80 Update #4 April 15th 

You can see my goals here.

Writing: 233 on my “Tanka” post Friday, and wrote on this a little more before posting.
Reading: One down, three to go!
Editing: Still only at 6 pages overall. Gotta work on this! Seriously.
Blogging: This post, with update!! Plus my “Tanka” post on Friday. 😉