Fruit Salad & Flash Fiction

 

A few years ago, Charli Mills decided to run a flash fiction challenge. People turned up at Carrot Ranch to pen a few words from a prompt. Practicing their craft, exercising their writing muscles, or just having fun.

The responses each week ranged from silly to deadly but always entertained and always told a tale in 99 words.

She had a vision to turn these 99-word tales into a collection from an international community.

The diversity and creativity of participants brought both beauty and complexity. A lot of tweaking, thinking, changing, and rearranging went into this collection. As editor, I had the privilege of participating behind-the-scenes to help create a unified, organized anthology of vastly different pieces by many different writers, all with their own unique style and voice.

Somehow, somewhere in the process, we turned this lovely bunch of writers into a lovely bowl of fruit. Strawberries, bananas, blackberries, and blueberries. Pineapple, kiwi, grapes, and tangerines. (It was quite a mix.)

These tasty treats needed a cohesive element to hold them together. I thought of how sweetened gelatin could suspend within it all sorts of fruits. And that is how I originally presented the ‘blueprints’ for the book. “Hey, Charli. It’s like…erm…a Jello fruit salad. You know what I mean?”

This fruity analogy has stayed with me.

Have you ever made Jello fruit salad? You have to find the right mix of fruit. Then, examine each piece to find the perfect selection. After that, you wash it and trim it. Finally, you add the colored, sugar gelatin. Voilà. A scrumptious dessert.

We worked hard. And I’m proud to share the fruits (and Jello) of our labor with you.

With over 30 writers whipping up flash, short stories, and essays, The Congress of Rough Writers: Volume 1 is a cornucopia of delights.

 

Huge thank you to all the anthology authors. For being a part of the writing community that Charli created and, ultimately, part of this anthology. By lending your voices, sharing your experiences, and penning great fiction, you have all made this book what it is. Rock on, fellow Rough Writers.

 

 

Where you can buy the book: 🙂

Congress of Rough Writers

Amazon Global Link

 

Where you can write some flash: 🙂

Carrot Ranch

 

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Featured On the Reef ~ Rough Writers Anthology

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

Featured

 

The Congress of Rough Writers (Flash Fiction Anthology)

Volume 1

Witness great feats of literary art from daring writers around the world: stories crafted in 99 words.

Flash fiction is a literary prompt, form, and tool that unites writers in word play. This creative craft hones a writer’s skills to write tight stories and explore longer works. It’s literary art in thoughtful bites, and the collective stories in this anthology provide an entertaining read for busy modern readers.

Writers approach the prompts for their 99-word flash with creative diversity. Each of the twelve chapters in Part One features quick, thought-provoking flash fiction. Later sections include responses to a new flash fiction prompt, extended stories from the original 99-word format, and essays from memoir writers working in flash fiction. A final section includes tips on how to use flash fiction in classrooms, book clubs, and writers groups.

CarrotRanch.com is an online literary community where writers can practice craft the way musicians jam. Vol. 1 includes the earliest writings by these global literary artists at Carrot Ranch. Just as Buffalo Bill Cody once showcased the world’s most daring riding, this anthology highlights the best literary feats from The Congress of Rough Writers.

 

You can get your copy here: 🙂

Congress of Rough Writers

Amazon Global Link

 

Contributing Authors:

Charli Mills (Series Editor)

Sarah Brentyn (Editor) *

The Congress of the Rough Writers (contributors):

Anthony Amore, Georgia Bell, Sacha Black, Norah Colvin, Pete Fanning, C. Jai Ferry, Rebecca Glaessner, Anne Goodwin, Luccia Gray, Urszula Humienik, Ruchira Khanna, Larry LaForge, Geoff Le Pard, Jeanne Belisle Lombardo, Sherri Matthews, Allison Mills, Paula Moyer, JulesPaige, Amber Prince, Lisa Reiter, Ann Edall-Robson, Christina Rose, Roger Shipp, Kate Spencer, Sarah Unsicker, Irene Waters, Sarrah J.Woods, Susan Zutautas

 

* As editor of this anthology, I had the privilege of working with these amazing writers and helping shape this collection. 🙂


Enlightened #WritePhoto

 

 

I was alone.

My boots clicked on the stones. Ahead of me, a shape blurred and shifted. Behind me, another. But I didn’t look at either now. It wouldn’t change anything. They would still be there and I would still be alone.

The arch at the end of the walkway glowed with the promise of knowledge.

I wanted to run to it. I wanted to run from it.

With each step, I grew more uncertain. My thoughts a whirlpool.

Curious. Apathetic. Eager. Detached. Anxious. Calm.

Petrified.

I stopped. My body fought to escape its skin, pushing, pulling, stretching. Trapped, it grabbed my mind, twirling it like cotton candy, and tucked the feathered bits into a crevice I couldn’t access.

I straightened. Continued walking. Reached the arch directly after my first shadow and slightly before my second shadow.

We were alone.

And we were ready to step into the light.

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

writephoto-logo

 

Turning comments off as I won’t be available to approve or reply. Just wanted to write a little something for Sue’s wonderful writephoto prompt. It’s been too long. 💕 Be well, my friends. 

 

Beneath the Frosted Pines #Haiku

 

 

Slender shoots shiver

Wrapped in winter’s frozen soil

Waiting to blossom

 

 

 

This week’s prompt is to write a poem with synonyms of the words ‘green’ & ‘patience’ in it. (I think I took some liberties here…) 

A small haiku-like contribution to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. You can write any of the following: Haiku / Tanka / Haibun / Cinquain / Senryu. Check it out and challenge yourself to some poetry.

 

 

Turning comments off as I won’t be available to approve or reply. Just wanted to have a bit of fun with Colleen’s lovely challenge. 💕 

 

Chaos in Black & White

 

We talk, words spinning around each other like flurries caught in a gust of wind.

Eventually, our thoughts drift down and settle on the ground in a blanket of confusion.

With an incredible vocal range, we sing a song of misunderstanding. High notes, encapsulated in love, float through the air. Low notes, heavy with meaning, cling to our faces and hair. They are a jumble of uncertainty.

His world, in black and white, frustrates me.

My world, in greens, yellows, and blues, frustrates him.

We never tried to understand.

Now we do.

Only to discover we are mutually colorblind.

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

February 1, 2018 prompt: Black and White In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features something black and white.

 

 

The (Mis)Adventures of Bomb Girl: Villain Extraordinaire ~ Episode 1

 

Episode 1

“Frenemies”

In which Bomb Cyclone realizes she can execute more plans (and people) with a partner-in-crime

 

 

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Bomb Cyclone.”

She nodded. “Greetings, Ice Shrapnel.”

“What’s a hot-head like you doing in a place like this?” Ice Shrapnel sipped her frozen mocha and inched toward her snow throwing star.

“Oh, Ice…may I call you ‘Ice’? I was in the neighborhood and thought, hey, why spend time and money for a trip to a frozen wasteland far, far away when there was one right,” she tapped her finger on an ice table and a small bomb appeared, “here?”

“Ah, B…may I call you ‘B’? Needed to cool down after your hot date last night?” Ice snickered. “Saw your mishap in the paper this morning – thwarted again. Now where did I put that news…oh, yes, it’s right,” she tapped her finger on the side of her drink and an ice dagger appeared, “here.”

B rolled her eyes. “Duh…you’re way over there. I can throw a bomb.”

Ice leaned forward. “I can throw a dagger.”

“Why do you bother with those toys?”

“Why do you wear a mask?” Ice snarled.

“Why do you carry a snowflake?”

“It’s called a shuriken, bomb-for-brains!”

“It looks stupid, slush-for-brains!”

“Hey!” Ice threw the dagger at B’s feet. “You’re melting my floor!”

B jumped then looked down at the puddle by her feet. “Oh. Sorry about that. So. You saw the paper?”

“Yes. Rosebud Rain. Blasted, little twit. I’d like to… Wait. What just happened here?”

B looked at the now-empty table. “Huh. I’m not sure. Well, I guess I’ll be going.” She turned to leave. “Rosebud,” she mumbled, “what kind of a name is that?”

Ice Shrapnel barked, “the kind for a fool with flower powers.”

B stopped. She sunk to the floor, shaking.

“If you’re going to be sick, be a dear and blow a hole through the floor first. Throw up into that. Better yet…”

“Fool…” B hiccupped, “with…” she turned, tears streaming down her face, “flower powers,” she burst into laughter.

Ice stood, frozen. “What is this?” She turned to B, frowning. “You. Go.” She pointed to the door.

“I’m leaving,” B got up. “Except, you know, there is a slightly better chance…nah, never mind. Later, Ice.”

“Oh, please. Don’t try to bait me with your psychological crap. You need help beating that…” Ice chuckled, “flower power.”

“Well, with my bombs and cyclones, your spear and snowflake…”

“Shuriken…”

“How about…snow throwing star?”

Ice sighed. “Fine.”

B smirked. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

 

Stay tuned for more action and adventure with Bomb Cyclone…

 

Choosing #WritePhoto

 

 

There was a prophecy.

I didn’t believe it.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to or that it was, necessarily, bad, I just didn’t hold with such nonsense. Someone foretold something about someone at some time. Vague, much?

Also, these things always seem to be in riddles. They can never come right out and tell a person that he will die next Thursday or he will inherit ten goats from a long-lost uncle, named Fred, in three years.

Anyway, I heard the prophecy, as one often does, from a seer over a cup of tea that tasted like a mixture of cinnamon, dirt, and confusion.

I was a chosen one.

I scoffed.

Or someone near me. (Near me in bloodline or proximity?) One who would do great and terrible things. (Well, shit, were they great or terrible?) And I, or the person of undisclosed closeness to me, would know the prophecy was to come about on the eve of the day of his birth (now she’s precise) 15 years after the death of a loved one.

Well.

Fascinating stuff, eh?

I had questions. She refused to answer them. Said she wouldn’t even if she could. Which led to more questions (which she wouldn’t or couldn’t answer). Ah, such fun we had that day.

As I recall, I left before the tea got cold but not before she grabbed my wrist, imploring me to take this seriously, and telling me to watch for the day the world turned blue.

Delightful tea notwithstanding, I left in a hurry.

And, of course, I saw the blue of twilight (not altogether unusual) as I wrapped my son’s birthday gift. He would be turning 15. Still, I dismissed the old seer’s words as coincidence until he peeked his head in the room and gazed out the window. “Whatever you’re wrapping, I don’t want it. I want this,” he tossed a photo of my late wife in my lap. “It’s been 15 years. Time we bring Mum back, eh, Dad?”

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

writephoto-logo

 

Featured On the Reef ~ D.G. Kaye

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

New Release

 

Twenty Years: After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye

Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

 

You can get your copy here: 🙂

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

About D.G. Kaye:

 

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, and Words We Carry. D.G. is a nonfiction/memoir writer. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcomes some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything, and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favourite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favourite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).

Website / Blog
Amazon Author Page  (Please check out her other books here)

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Friday Feature

 

Self Care

 

She looked in the mirror at the woman she swore she would never become.

A soft, almost-youthful face with fine lines.

A handful of grey hairs hiding beneath dark blonde strands.

A pudgy middle pushing the waistband of her favorite pair of jeans.

The image irritated her. Angered her.

How had she become this…thing? This wife of a man who created her with perfectly weaved words of manipulation and cruelty then cheated on her for becoming his creation.

Time for some self-care.

She grabbed the prescription bottle, smiling for the first time in months, and dumped her husband’s heart medication.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 30, 2017 prompt: Self Care In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes self care.

 

 

Featured On the Reef ~ Allie Potts

 

 

On the Reef is a series featuring fabulous indie authors from around the blogosphere and beyond. Titles, covers, and blurbs that catch my eye, new releases, great reads… Basically, authors I’d like to highlight and works I’d like to share with my fellow book-loving word nerds. Happy Reading!

 

New Release

 

The Watch & Wand by Allie Potts

Project Gene Assist series (Book 2)

Fifteen years have passed. The future no longer seems as bright. Between a war declared on all but the most basic technology, worldwide economic collapse, and a plague-spurred global panic, governments have collapsed leaving law and order to be defined by those left behind. Stephen knows he should be grateful, but can’t help wishing his life was more than survival.

That was until he met a girl on the run from a group known as the Watch.

Now, caught between rival factions with their own hidden agendas, Stephen has no choice but to go on a mission to reclaim a piece of missing technology.

He is told the device is the key to a better future, but in the new order, one person’s salvation can be another’s total destruction.

 

Available for pre-order now. You can get your copy here: 🙂

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Out next week! December 5th.

 

About Allie:

Allie Potts, born in Rochester Minnesota was moved to North Carolina at a very early age by parents eager to escape to a more forgiving climate. She has since continued to call North Carolina home, settling in 1998 in Raleigh, halfway between the mountains and the sea.

When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day or chasing after children determined to turn her hair gray before its time, Allie enjoys stories of all kinds. Her favorites, whether they are novels, film, or simply shared aloud with friends, are usually accompanied with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand.

A self-professed science geek and book nerd, Allie also writes at her blog (link below).

Website/Blog
Amazon Author Page (Please check out her other books here)

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Friday Feature