Mar 30, 2013

I am ... - Flash Fiction Friday - all audiences

Hello again, my friends.

Yes, it's that time of the week again. I know you've been impatient (I could tell by the number of views!!!), so here it is. It didn't really come out the way I was hoping for, but I hope you'll enjoy it nonetheless.

I am …

This is my story.
The story of me.
A story like you have never heard one before.
This, is the story of my life.

My life is simple.
I have but one purpose.
My only purpose in life, is to eat.
I live to eat, I eat to live.
If I do not eat enough, I will not survive.
I must eat.

I eat from the moment I see the light of day, starting with what is closest to me … the egg I hatched from. It provides me with everything I need to begin my journey in this world. A journey that is all about food.
I must eat.
I must.
I have no choice.

My jaws are powerful enough to cut through the leaves I feed on.
My body functions solely around the food I ingest and my growth.
Massive growth.
I expand my body mass up to 1.000 times.
I bet you did not know this.
I told you this was a story unlike any you had heard before, did I not.

My body, always growing, always changing, contains over 4.000 muscles, all working together to bring me from one meal to the next. I shed my skin as it tightens and can do this several times before I am fully grown, fully fed. My legs, all of my legs, work to propel me from one meal to the next.
I am always hungry.
Always feeding.
My legs, six of which are real, grow with me to support my growing weight. All of my other ‘legs’, are merely there to help me move forward.
Always forward.
Always hungry.
Always eating.

I am a master of deception.
My hind legs are not real legs, they are used for balance, traction and forward motion, waving forward, always forward.
My colors vary from camouflage brown, to bright – almost screaming – colors.
I may be toxic, depending on the food I eat.
I may play dead, pretend to have a dozen eyes at the back of my head or grow bristle hair in protection against attack.
I may look like a leaf or a branch to hide from predators.
I may leave a silky, sticky trail.

But above all, I will eat everything I find on my path.
No plant is safe from me.
No leaf will be left untouched.
No chance left untaken.
I live to eat.
I eat to live.

For I, am caterpillar.

More entries can be found here

Mar 24, 2013

The power of true beliefs ... or something like that.

I realize I probably haven't been posting as much as I could have.
Problem is, I'm not entirely sure of what to do with this blog exactly.
Am I going to limit it to my stories?
Or should I just blog about whatever I feel like?
Will people be interested in what I have to say?
Who's going to read it?
Will they comment?

If you know me, you know I'm what might be called "a comment whore". I know, it sounds horrible and it really doesn't describe me all that well, but it's the "common term" for it, so I might as well use it.
I love to read your comments on my work. I long to log on and find all kinds of comments, good or bad, encouraging or discouraging.

If you think what I do sucks, feel free to let me know. If you can do it in a polite and articulate way, I will probably read your words with much interest and see if they can help me grow or be better at what I do.

If you think what I do is wonderful, inspiring, enjoyable or otherwise brightens your day, I would love to know. It will brighten mine to know you enjoyed my work.

You're probably wondering what the title of this post has to do with anything and whether or not this is going to take a turn for 'the worst'. It probably won't. Not the way you expect it.
I started this blog in January, so it's been about 3 months now, and I joined the Now Hark This! weekly flash fic challenge a while back and that is exactly what this post is all about. You see, this challenge is doing something to me, with me. Before this, I had never - not ever - written any non-fiction. When I first read about the challenge, I figured I would participate every other week, when the challenge is to write a fiction story (or essay). I got entangled with the first non-fiction prompt though and I kinda liked what I did with it. I've been putting in my little 'extra effort' every week since. Now, I don't know what you think about it, but I think I've been doing pretty good on the non-fiction posts. (this is where the importance of your comments comes in, if you want me to know better, let me know what you think)

Thing is, this week's challenge didn't inspire me and I thought I was going to sit it out. Maybe (depending) I would end up writing something if the other entries gave me what I needed to get started. I needed something to point me in the right direction because the prompt didn't kickstart me the way it usually does.
Eventually, it wasn't even the other entries that gave me that boost, it was realizing +Krisann Gentry was expecting my entry. It was listed at the bottom of her own as "coming soon". That made me think again. What good is it to accept a challenge (I've been participating weekly since Feb. 3rd) only to back out when the going gets a little tough? What does that say about me? About my intentions? About the kind of person I am? Wouldn't it be easier if I changed that welcome text to: "never mind me, I'm a gutless excuse for a writer"?
I'm not ready to call myself that, so I took the boot to the ass and let it kick me in gear. The result may not be fabulous, but I can say this: Challenge Accepted!

And you know what else I realized this week?
Aside from the fact I'm not ready to balk quickly.
I realized my blog has a steady flow of viewers/readers.
I realized that, on Friday, my little 'neck of the woods' gets its visitors.
You know what that told me?
It told me folks know I'm doing this weekly Friday Flash Fic Challenge and they're expecting something.
It told me what I need to know.
I may not be in the top 10 of Blogger's most frequently visited blogs, but I get my traffic, especially on Fridays. From here, things can only get better.

So, to you, my visitors, I say this:

Come back often! Because I intend to keep writing on this weekly challenge and if you enjoy my work, bring your friends. They might enjoy it, too.

If you're a writer and you're ready to take the challenge, jump on over to the Now Hark This! blog, read up on next week's prompt and get cracking!!!

Thank you all, you're making this 'little old lady' feel a little less old.

Flawless - Friday Flash Fic Challenge - all audiences


This week’s prompt didn’t really inspire me, so I figured I’d sit this one out, but then I went to read the other submissions and saw this listing: “Moody’s submission – coming soon”.
Now, I had absolutely no idea whatsoever on how to even get started on this, or where to take it, especially since it has to be non-fiction, but seeing this made me rethink my approach. Isn’t this exactly what I came here for? Why I joined in on this? On this “weekly challenge”.
Isn’t that what I label these posts with? Challenge.
What the heck kind of a writer would I be, if I balked at the first sign of adversity?
Not much good of any kind, I’d say.
So, here I am, sitting at my computer, tapping the keys on my keyboard while listening to some music and wondering what the hell I’m going to do with this. Where can I take this? Why am I even bothering if I have no idea? What the hell am I doing here, at nearly 1 a.m.?
What the hell am I doing here at this time of night?

What I’m doing is very simple, I’m trying to write something. Something that will make sense and that will follow the guidelines … or at least one of these. Hopefully.
So, where will I take this?
Sure, I’ve had some thoughts milling through my mind. Have you ever known me not to have thoughts milling through my mind???? Seriously, I have a dozen ideas bouncing around in there. They’re not always connected, nor are they always clear, but they’re there. That’s me. That’s who I am and how I ‘work’. But to create order in the bouncy castle … there’s a challenge!

So, my favorite character flaw.
See why this one’s a tough cookie?
Because you see, a flaw, per definition, is an imperfection. A fault. A defect.
It’s something ‘bad’.
Or negative.
How can something negative be favored?
Then again, who decides if something is negative?
Who gets to decide whether something you do is good or bad, positive or negative?
And how?
How can anyone determine whether something that makes you who you are, is good or not?
What do they base their judgment on?
On society? On what society thinks is acceptable?
Who made them experts on human behavior?
The way I see it, society is an expert on absolutely nothing.

For instance, I like to sleep. I love my bed and I love to spend long hours in it.
Is this good?
Or is this bad?
Is it being lazy?
Is it procrastinating?
And what’s so bad about that?
What would the world be like, if everyone had tons of energy?
We’d all be like the Energizer Bunny. Imagine that!
A big bunch of bright pink bunnies, hopping along without pause. The world would be a madhouse!
No, I think it’s a good thing to have folks like me, who like to sleep.
Besides, sleeping isn’t the only thing I do in my bed … okay, you can get your head out of the gutter now … my bed is my favorite place to think about my writing. It’s the place where I’ll ‘play out’ the scenes before I write them down. Where I’ll wake from a dream with a perfect scene for the project I’m working on, or a perfect plot for a new story. The place where most of my writing originates.
So, I ask you again, is it such a bad thing to like that place?
Is it a flaw to be lazy?
If it is, it might very well be one of my favorites.
But yeah, society might just think of me as a lazy ass.

If you think I care, you should think again.
Society has never been on my side, so why would I care what it thinks?
Why would I be held back by what others think are flaws, imperfections, faults?
Why would I let that determine who I am, who I want to be?
I know who I am, because I know where I’m coming from, what I’ve been through and what’s been done to me. I’m still here, I’m still standing, going strong, despite everything, despite my flaws, my imperfections. Despite my faults.
Over the years, they have changed, evolved, as have I. Some have grown, others have not, others yet may have been lost forever.
I guess it remains to be determined if that is a good thing or not.

We all have our flaws, as we all have our talents and I think we should just accept that little fact.
It is who we are.
Nobody’s perfect.
Maybe that’s my favorite flaw: accepting I’m not perfect and will never be, regardless.

More entries can be found here

Mar 15, 2013

What'll you have - Flash Fiction Friday - All audiences

This week's flash fiction prompt were the words "What'll you have".
This is the idea I've been playing with all week.

I hope you'll enjoy the read and if you feel like participating in this weekly challenge, check the link at the bottom of this post.
There are no restrictions, no obligations and no voting involved, the only 2 things you get are the fun of writing a new - short - story every week if you feel like it and the pleasure of reading other people's take on it.


What’ll you have.

It had been one of those days, filled with thrills and awesome new finds.
He loved days like that.
They were the ones he liked most, because they proved beyond a doubt their hard work wasn’t going to waste.
What was going to waste right now though, was his time.

He had volunteered for a test and now he was standing in line with the other volunteers, waiting.
It was the worst part of it.
The waiting.
The seemingly endless waiting.
Waiting to start the test.
Waiting to get assigned to a specific subject.
Waiting for that subject to arise in the chain of events.

Why had he volunteered again?

Oh, yeah, he remembered.
It earned him extra notes on his own work.
Right now, those extra notes weren’t worth it.
Really not.

He was topless, standing in line with a good dozen others - also topless - and he felt out of place.
Hopelessly out of place.
They were all trim, muscular, tanned.
He stood out with his milky-white tone and wispy arms.
He stood at least 5 inches shorter than the shortest one of them, his torso only half the size of the thinnest one of them.

Why had he volunteered again?

Finally, the line started to move.
One by one, the men in front of him moved up to the counter and made their pick.
Finally, he reached the counter, too.
The man behind the counter looked down on him, a mean grin on his face.

“What’ll you have?”
He pointed and the man handed him his pick.
“Have fun.” he said, barely able to suppress his laughter.

He shook it off, or at least tried to, and followed the others to the large door.
The closer he came to it, the worse he felt about himself.
The worse he felt about participating in this test.
The worse he felt about the item he clasped tightly in his hand.
It weighed heavier with every step he took, pretty soon, he would be unable to hold it, let alone lift it.

Why had he volunteered again?

The doors opened slowly, creaking on badly oiled hinges and the light spilt into the dark hall where they stood waiting.
On the left, a row of helmets reflected the light.
They looked like they weighed half a ton, but he knew he would need it.
One by one, the men advanced, taking a helmet off the shelf and cradling it under their arm, after what they stepped through the open door, into the light.
The drumming of his blood in his ears drowned out any noise there might be and he felt the nerves soar through his body, shaking his slender limbs up.
Finally, he picked up a helmet and stepped out of the hall, into the bright light, onto the hot sand and into the packed arena.

“Gladiators, prepare for combat!”

Why had he volunteered to test the time-traveling machine again?

More entries can be found here

Mar 9, 2013

To write or not to write - Non-Fiction - All audiences.

This week’s Friday Flash Fiction prompt was “write a short essay from the starting point: being a writer”.
I have been playing with it all week, but never got around to writing anything down or working anything out. I had an idea of where to go, but none whatsoever on how to get there.

I guess that’s what “being a writer” is all about.

I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was a kid. In elementary, those were my favorite assignments, my favorite kind of homework. Take an idea, a paragraph or a handful of keywords and do something with it. Create something. Make some magic.
As a kid, I never thought of it as magic, I just really loved doing it. The words usually came naturally to me and I never tried to put a stop to that, never limited myself to the “minimum requirements” for the assignment. Sometimes that minimum requirement would be expressed in number of pages, other times it was expressed in a minimum number of words. I never had my eye on those. I would just get started and finish when I was done, not when I had reached that “goal”. It never was a goal for me to “write 500 words” or “fill 4 pages”. No, I always wrote a story, as requested.
I’ll never forget that one day in 6th grade. My teacher had a habit of taking my assignment and putting it at the bottom of the stack, while every other one was put on top. I had been wondering about it, but at age 12, I was nowhere near confident (or ballsy) enough to ask her about it, so I complained to my mom (who worked at the school cafeteria). Mom’s wouldn’t be mom’s if she didn’t take my hand and take me to find my teacher to ask her. I got a reply I will never, not ever, forget.
My teacher, Miss Martine, told me she had several reasons for doing that, for putting my assignment at the bottom of the pile. The first reason was that my stories were always the longest, so she needed less time to read all of the others and kept the longest one for last. That already made sense to me and would’ve satisfied my desire for an explanation to her behavior. But that wasn’t the main reason. The main reason was that, not only were my stories always the longest, they were also always the best, so she kept mine for last to have something to look forward to while reading all the other ‘crap’.

Imagine being 12 and your favorite teacher tells you that!

That was my first boost.
It wasn’t the last.
In middle school (or junior high if you want to call it that), my French teacher (very eccentric, but awesome lady) convinced me to take part in a national writing contest. It happened on a Wednesday afternoon and I think I was 15 at the time. We had 4 hours to write a story. No prompts, no keywords, no topic, no directives, no limits, no nothing. You have four hours, start writing.
Out of almost 300 contestants, I came in 9th.
You were saying?

Nowadays, I fill my pages and my time with as many words as I can possibly squeeze in. I have switched from writing in Dutch (my mother tongue) to writing in English (and you have Jack Bauer to blame for that, so don’t look at me!!) and I have grown massively over the years. When I go back to read my earlier stories, I keep thinking “Did I write that crap?” and even more so “And people actually liked it????”.
That’s right!
People actually liked it.
Good people. Smart people. Educated people … Well, most of them anyways, there’s always the odd retard who finds his way to your neck of the woods.

Am I a writer?
Maybe, I don’t know.
Sometimes it feels weird saying that, or writing that.
But, what else could I call myself?
An amateur writer?
But why an amateur?
I don’t like that word.
I may not be a published writer, but does that really mean I should call myself an amateur?
Does the fact your work is published make you a writer?
If not, what does?
What qualifies someone as ‘a writer’?
Is it enough to write to be called a writer?
Write stories that is, not poems for instance, because then you’re a poet. But isn’t a poet also a writer? And isn’t a writer also a poet, for instance when a description is poetic enough to move the reader?
Is that what makes someone a writer? To have readers?
If that’s so, I’ve been a writer ever since I was in elementary!

As for the ideas I had flying around my head all week about this prompt … this wasn’t one of them!

I guess that is what ‘being a writer’ is all about!

More entries for this week's challenge can be found here

Mar 2, 2013

A Frightful Night - All audiences - Flash Fiction Friday

I had a bit of trouble before I started working on this because I didn't really know what to do with the prompt "Fairy Tale with a Twist".
I hope you'll enjoy the read.

Frightful night.

For the first time in years, they dared to venture out of the house and into the forest. It was impressive and frightening to them, dark and powerful because of the threat that lived within. The threat that loomed over their lives, commanding and overwhelming. Unspoken and unseen but very real. Too often already had they seen others venture into the forest without ever returning. But Edward was certain they would return. He had prepared well, the bag of breadcrumbs on his hip was full and the long dagger in its sheath, sharp. He would leave a trail for them to follow home and if any trouble arose, he would defend Jessica, his little sister, with his life.
Many long hours of handling the dagger left him with enough confidence.
He could and would protect his sister.

Jessica was scared, but she did not want her big brother to know. If he could do it, so could she. She was a big girl now. If Edward wasn’t scared, then she wasn’t scared either. She would make her big brother proud of her.
Finally, he would be proud of her.
She wanted, no needed, him to be proud of her, so she sucked up her fear and followed him out of the house. Close behind, just half a step really, she followed as he led the way through the garden, down the path and to the forest. The big, dark, looming forest. It grew taller and darker with every step she took, but Edward would protect her. She knew it. She believed it.
Edward would protect her.

At the outer edge of the forest, Edward stopped and looked at his little sister.

“Are you scared?”

NO!” Jessica yelped as if in pain.
It made Edward grin.

“Then why are you clutching my hand?”
She didn’t even realize she was and let go quickly, a blush rising to her cheeks.
“Don’t worry, little sis, nothing will happen to us.”

“I know.” she said.
At least she thought she said it even though no sound came across her lips.
Maybe she shouldn’t have agreed after all.

“Come on.”

Edward dropped a first breadcrumb on the path and stepped over it.
She followed hesitantly, her eyes glued to the tiny crumb on the immense vastness of the forest path.
They would never see it.
She panicked and ran after him, clutching his hand once more.

“I’m scared, Eddy.”

She did not need to tell him, he knew.
Her voice trembled and her hands were sweaty.
That alone told him how scared she was.
The way she called him Eddy made it even worse.
Eddy, teddy, teddy bear, big cuddly teddy bear.

“Don’t worry, Jessi.”
She would not let go.
“Here, you drop the crumbs.”


“Maybe you should go back.”


If she wanted to go back, she had to let go of him and walk through the forest alone. Looking back, she could barely see the edge of the trees.
She wouldn’t let go.
She reached a hand into the bag of crumbs and dropped a few.

“Hey, not so many. Just one is enough and not too close together.”

“We’ll never find the way.”

“We’ll find the way.” Edward promised.
He tightened his grip on her hand and continued walking.
Every few steps, he felt her reach into the bag and drop a crumb.

The forest grew darker around them and Edward felt his sister’s fear crawl into him. He refused to let it stop them.
He was going to prove there was nothing to be afraid of. How could he do that if he let Jessica’s fear into his own heart?

“There’s something in the forest.” Jessica declared suddenly, gripping his hand tighter yet.

“No, there isn’t.”

“Yes, there is. Look, the breadcrumbs are gone.”

He turned back so suddenly he almost lost his balance.
The breadcrumbs were gone.
He couldn’t see a single one.
Jessica’s fear was now his own and he felt his heart pound furiously in his chest.

“How will we find our way back?” Jessica asked in alarm.

There is no way back!
The harsh, raspy voice startled them and Edward’s dagger was in his hands before he even realized he was reaching for it.
What are you going to do with that little thing?

“I’m not afraid of you.” Edward called, the tremor in his voice and the trembling of his outstretched arm betraying his words.

I think you are, little boy.”

Suddenly, she was there.
A dark shadow with fiery eyes. Her hooked nose and evil snarl visible under the large, black, pointy hat. Her hands protruded like spiky claws from the long, black robe she wore and behind her, a black cat licked its chops.

Jessica screamed in horror and she laughed at the fear she caused.
It was an evil laugh, echoed through the forest and coming back at them from all sides.

Come here, little girl.”

“Stop!” Edward shrieked, “Get away from her!”

He lashed out and – more to his surprise than to hers – actually cut her with his dagger.
She hissed in pain but did not pull away. Instead, she struck with her bleeding hand, leaving a sticky trail on his cheek and across his mouth.
Edward fell to the ground and curled up in fear as the shadow fell over him, threatening to swallow him whole.

Are you afraid now, little boy?
Her hand hit him again, leaving more blood in his hair, but then she turned away.
Come here, little girl.”
She grabbed Jessica’s arm, making her scream again, feeling the bony fingers dig into her skin.
There isn’t much to eat, but the two of you will have to do.”

She turned again, finding Edward no longer cowering on the forest floor.
Instead, he stood tall, a wicked snarl on his blood covered lips.

“Leave my sister alone.” he commanded.

Your sister is my dinner and you will be dessert.”

She took one step and her arm came forward.
He bared his fangs and the fire in his eyes grew to match hers.

What are you?” she shrieked in fear.

He leapt at her, sinking his fangs into her throat.

Twilight descended over the forest as he sucked the life out of her.

More entries can be found at the following location: