Writing ideas 2015

Someone in my extended writing tribe started a blog to track his writing projects for the year using mountain climbing as a metaphor. I thought it was a neat idea, and the part where he identified the projects he was going to work on to reach his particular word counts/ mountain heights resonated with me.

Now I have numerous lists of various works-in-progress at various stages, but I decided to drafted a new list of all the writing projects I was interested in working on and thought I could make real progress on this year. While I’m not dedicating an entire blog to my goals like Dave is, I am posting my list here so I can a) use it as a touchstone during the year and b) have outside accountability – because if I tell you, my fine readers, what I intend to work on, then there is a chance someone will ask how it’s going, aside from the nagging voice of guilt that has camped out in my mind.

writing_goalsSo, here is an updated version of the list I created last week. New additions are in gray so I can keep track of the original list, as well. Let the accountability begin.

  1. listen to Writing Excuses 10.1, do the homework  [do all of Writing Excuses Master Class exercises for 2015, post on CrushedMuffin]
  2. review critique notes from Whatever It Takes [~3150 words, urban fantasy(?)] , edit and try to find a home for it
  3. try to find a place to submit Sam, Unrequited [identify genre (psychological horror?), ~6,555 words] (Clarkesworld?)
  4. Devil’s Daughter – [urban fantasy novel] figure out character/plot a bit more (or just discovery write)
  5. Devil’s Daughter world based short story for Baen Fantasy contest (?)
  6. Foxglove and Queen Anne’s Lace– write second draft from outline [YA urban fantasy novel]
  7. Divine Madness – outline draft two (three, whatever) and write it [Epic/ Quest Fantasy novel]
  8. time travel story – outline, determine length, write [science fiction]
  9. The First Line prompts ? – evaluate if I want to write and submit
  10. Snow White retelling – outline for novel length [currently ~12,000 words, non-genre fiction, working title The Redford Reflection]
  11. Post a  piece of fiction each Wednesday on Presumed Human; try for new stories, not just posting old work as much as possible
  12. Participate in Alissa’s Finish That Thought contests as inspired (possible fodder for item 11)
  13. Participate in Chuck Wendig’s Friday Flash Fiction Challenge as inspired (possible fodder for item 11)


Finish that Thought- judgement passed

Last week I entered a story into the Finish That Thought contest (a flash fiction contest that challenges you to write a story of 500 words or less using a set first line). I won the challenge for the week with my story “Prophet

As winner I got to set the first line and special challenge items for this week’s contest.  The prompts were as follows:

Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-19 is:
How did you get in [there]?

Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:
Include a strange addiction AND the names of at least two games (but not as games).

I got 7 amazing entries, which can be found in the comments below the contest post.

Coming up with the challenge was relatively easy. Deciding the winners, less so. But all the entrants rose to the challenge, and I has a great variation of stories to choose from. Last night, I read and re-read, and finally came up with my winners. Check out the results of the contest here.

Retro Post, Fiction: Finish That Thought #2

Originally posted on my writing livejournal site, nanoweylyn.livejournal.com, this is a story I wrote for a flash fiction contest. The Finish That Thought contest happens every Tuesday, and you are given the first line from which to create a story of up to 500 words.

I always like seeing what I can do to twist expectations.

[cryout-pullquote align=”center” textalign=”left” width=”85%”]

Finish That Thought #2 entry

“Watch out for that tree!”

Margot dives into a roll, but not quite fast enough, and the branches scratch her arms, tearing her shirt. She steps back a few paces and flashes me a quick smile before turning to face her new opponent.

The oak only has a few rings beyond sapling, but is a determined fighter – better strategy than I’ve seen on most foliage that size. The young are usually, pardon the pun, greener. But this one seems to have absorbed techniques older trees use, diverting an opponent’s attention while sliding into position for a better attack.

If Margot were a lesser ‘jack then she’d be in trouble, but the extra hours put in after classes, and coveted holiday hours spent in groves has paid off. The other fights have drifted away from hers. The burrowing tortoise has found a softer belly in other contestants, letting her concentrate on the flora.

The oak rains down acorns on her, but Margot is prepared for the move. Her shield scatters most of them, but a few find flesh. Her eyes are bright with adrenaline, but her brow furrows as she glances at the fallen seeds. She nudges one with her steel-toed boot, and frowns. A rustling alerts her, and she jumps back. The oak’s leaves shake as though a tropical storm disturb them, but the day is dry and still.

Margot is treading more carefully now, concentration replacing her reassured smile.

I lean closer, trying to determine what’s wrong, but a holly bush slides in and blocks my view. The kid hacking at the other side is greener than a sapling, his arms covered in small scratches from the sharp leaves, his blood as bright as his opponents’ berries.

A rustle and thump from beyond the bush, and I hear Margot let out a little yelp of surprise. Growling in frustration, I squeeze past the other viewers, and run for the little hill beyond the observation deck. The field is full of motion, flora and fauna paired off against human fighters, a twisting of nature and brutality where our youth prove their worth to become full ‘jacks, sanctioned to go on missions with the adults.

There are always those who try too early – I’m going to wait until I’m sixteen, personally, but Margot, at fourteen she’s better than most who have the full two score most ‘jacks do.

I scan the grounds again, trying to pick out Margot. My eyes finally settle on the one spot in the field where stillness reigns. Splintered branches of the oak are jarring sight, but my heart stops as I see Margot, still as the tree, propped up against its bark. Tears form in my eyes as I realize the leaves that surround do not belong to the oak.

It is as lifeless as she.

The glossy foliage is inherent to an older plant. Craftier. Pulling Margot into a final embrace, waist and throat.

A creeper vine.[/cryout-pullquote]