Aug 30, 2013

The Chosen - WW 24-hour contest - Summer 2013 - all audiences

Heya folks,

We've heard back from Writer's Weekly as the results are in: I didn't win a damn thing!


But hey, that means I can ask you guys to give my story a read and tell me if you think I should've won something, even if it's just a door prize (which is an e-book of your choice). So, here it comes, I've left the prompt in, so you can see what the starting point was on this one.

Enjoy the read and make sure to let me know what you think ;o)

Thank you!!!


Holding the sleeping infant on her shoulder, she gazed peacefully at her surroundings. Tourists wandered in and out of stores, an old man was setting up his easel by the lakeshore, and a
child's balloon escaped into the breeze. A moment later, she looked up as shouts startled her and the baby. Everybody was running in her direction...


The chosen.

Holding the sleeping infant in a loving embrace, she let her eyes drift. Feeling peaceful and emotionally fulfilled, she took in her surroundings. The sun warmed her face and she instinctively adjusted the hat to better protect the small head and face, keeping her baby safe from the sun. Tourists wandered in and out of stores down by the lake, eager to find the perfect souvenir to take home with them and thankful for the momentary escape from the heat. Others strolled along the lakeshore, happy to be near the water as it brought some relief. On the far side of the lake, an old man was setting up his easel, his slender limbs moving in slow motion but with experience. He had probably performed these actions a thousand times before.
Her eyes continued to float as she took in the scenery; a group of children playing near a fountain, their cheerful voices carried on the warm winds blowing across the land; the seemingly endless line of people at the ice cream cart enjoying a clown’s entertainment while they shuffled forward a few inches at a time, their minds on the ice cold treat that awaited them. A young family walked by, the children running ahead, dragging colorful balloons in their wake. She smiled and watched as one of the balloons came detached, causing an immediate reaction in the entire family. The younger boy, his balloon now drifting up lazily, cried out in anguish at the loss of his toy; his brother, a few years older, stopped and turned, his face turning to sadness in a blink; the mother moved forward to comfort her child while the father attempted to recover the balloon. He only missed it by an inch, but the wind lifted it beyond his reach and he turned to his child, an apology ready on his lips.

The baby in her arms stirred and she looked away from the family, giving all of her attention to the child. A moment later, she looked up as shouts startled her and the baby. Everybody was running in her direction. She tightened her arms instinctively, comforting and protecting as her baby cried in alarm, but she could not tend to it now. First, she needed to understand why everyone was running and why they were all running in her direction. She saw nothing that might have caused a panic in all those people, yet they ran as if their lives depended on it. Her eyes found the young family as they joined the others in their inexplicable race; the youngest boy -still sad about the loss of his balloon- now cradled in his father’s arms for safety; his brother pacing their mother with some difficulty, holding on to her hand for dear life. She could not see fear or anguish on their faces. What she saw puzzled her and she turned away from the advancing crowd, looking behind her for answers she did not have.

The mountain slope behind her house was empty, as it had been when she stepped out a few moments earlier. She saw nothing that might explain the sudden rush of the villagers and tourists alike. Even the old man had abandoned his easel and was making his way to the mountain, an eagerness in his halting steps she could not clarify. She could hear their voices, excited and vibrant, rolling up along the path ahead of them. The mountain trembled softly beneath her bare feet as dozens more began the gentle climb some 200 feet away. They would be upon her in moments and still she knew not what had caused the stampede in the quiet and peaceful lakeshore village. She whirled around, still trying to hush the child in her arms, as the fastest men reached the edge of her property. They slowed but did not stop and quickly pushed the ornate gate out of the way, continuing their rush forward as others followed in their wake.

Her fear gripped her tightly as they approached gingerly, arms outstretched, an expression of amazement and happiness on their faces. She took a step back, turning sideways to protect the child, but they were all around her now, filling the garden with their excitement. Their voices blended together, making it impossible for her to understand what they were saying; their hands touched her, gently, reverently. The murmur overwhelmed her with its rhythm and the words became clear.
‘The one.
You are the one.’

She turned slowly, feeling their hands on her body, realizing with a sudden shock her child was no longer in her arms. Her breath stalled in her throat and her eyes scanned the crowd, urgently and desperately. She did not see her baby boy. She did not hear his cries. A tug on her arm made her look down and she saw the young boy who had lost his balloon moments before their irrational rush. He was no longer sad, instead his little face beamed with expectation.

“Can you bring back my balloon?” he asked, hopeful.

“I don’t know.” she answered, her mind racing.

Suddenly, the world went dark and the murmurs ceased, causing her ears to ring with the memory of them. The hands fell away from her and everyone stood in silent shock.

“Cut!” a voice rang out from the darkness, “Who turned off the lights in here?”
“Goddamn it!”

 The end.

Aug 5, 2013

Leap into the unknown ....

As far as "leaping off into the unknown" goes, I've had my share this year already. Not only did I start this blog in January, I have also chopped the head off a good number of other things.

First of all, I joined the group of Fiction Friday writers, discovering a new prompt every week and daring to write non-fiction for the first time in my life. It was quite the experience and I like what I did with those non-fiction prompts. In a way, it's enabled me to shed some light on certain things and to shake some stuff off. It's therapeutic to some extent and I know there will be more.

Next, I joined a number of communities, both on Blogger and on Facebook, expecting nothing but hoping for the best. Not all have proven to be interesting or useful or even helpful. Others have given me so much more than I could ever have expected. One of these Facebook groups (yeah, I can hear your comments all the way across, Facebook of all things!) has turned out to be the best thing I could possibly have gotten involved in. Not only did I find an incredible vibe there, and a bunch of awesome people, but they are also giving me the push I need to do what I want most: get my work published.
That's right, you read that correctly. I am going to get some of my work published because of/thanks to a Facebook group. These folks are fabulous and they are intense. They want to make it work and they will drag you along if you let them. I let them. In November of this year, the group will publish it's second anthology. I will be part of that. One of the short stories featured, will be mine. And there you go, Facebook isn't all bad, mom. It's getting me published!

This group has other plans on the table aside from this second book. There will also be a "Flash It!" anthology before the end of the year, which will feature 2 of my flash fics. A flash fic, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a short stand alone story, written in 1.000 words or less. If you've been reading my blog, you might recognize the stories, I have edited 2 I had already posted here. Let me know if you find which ones they are. I'll be sure to keep you updated on a release date for this anthology as well.

Aside from these project, I have also participated for the second time in the Writer's Weekly 24-hour Flash Fic Contest. I think this story is much better than the one I wrote for the Spring Edition and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a positive outcome. Maybe I'll win something this time. The votes should be in by the end of this month at what time I'll post the story along with its prompt.

Next to all of those projects, I also enlisted in the summer edition of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This usually takes place in November and you have one month to write a 50.000 word novel. Being a single mom with a full time job and a horribly long commute, I didn't think I would manage 50k in just one month, but the Camp version allowed you to set your own word count. I set my goal to 15k, hoping I would be able to juggle everything I had committed to.
I have no idea how I did it, but I did it and I got to a total word count of 16.451. That makes me a very happy camper. In more than one way. Not only did I reach my goal, the cabin I was part of, reached it's total word count, despite the fact one of the cabin mates balked out. One other mate didn't reach her goal, but the rest of us made up for that.

Now, I'm on vacation and I'm looking forward to a relaxing time with my son, possibly a few days at the beach, but not sure if and when and I'm hoping I can continue working on that novel I started. It's well on its way, that's for sure. And I am pretty confident this will be my first ever (self) published book. I will be sure to keep you updated about that, but now that I've found the drive to do this and the support I need to pull me through the hard times, I am definitely going to make that childhood dream come true. Finally!

And for those of you who are interested in that anthology I was talking about: here's a link