Flash Fiction Contests

 

Check out the flash fiction contests this month at Carrot Ranch. They start today and a new one is up every Tuesday and Thursday.

 

 

Click here to see the information for each contest.

There’s something for everyone.

Pick one (or more) and join in.

Free to enter. $25 prizes.

 

Go write some flash! 🙂 #FFRodeo

 

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Selfless #Flash4Storms

 

Night is soft, quiet, speaking in layered moonlight.

Listen.

She whispers through trees, between branches.

Do not be afraid. You are not alone…

Beautiful darkness soothes us even though she knows it is her that we fear.

 

 

Written for the hurricane relief flash fiction challenge over at Lemon Shark. I’ve just raised the first $1. 🙂 See? That was easy. Hope you join in.

#Flash4Storms

#LemonSharkCharity

 

Featured On the Reef ~ Sacha Black

 

 

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

 

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

How To Craft Superbad Villains

Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.

Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?

In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:

+ How to develop a villain’s mindset

+ A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up

+ Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible

+ What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs. If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains.

Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

Get your copy here 🙂

 

About Sacha:

 

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Website / Blog
Amazon Author Page

 

On the Reef: The Shark’s Featured Author

 

Circle of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each tweet, alone, is a micro with beginning, middle, and end. But, together, they make a little story.

I can collect tweets and create a post. Normally, they’d be from different dates, have different hashtags, and be inspired by different prompts.

For this one, though, I wrote a few silly tweets yesterday to use as an example for the ‘Embedding Tweets’ post on Lemon Shark. (And it was fun…) 🙂

 

Cerambycidae

 

 

I feel them crawl over my skin before I see them.

Looking up, I notice hundreds of insects skitter across my floor, up the walls. They are everywhere. I want to scream. To call for help. But I don’t.

I study one on my left arm and become entranced with its bright, colored spots and antennae.

I have a memory of school where I learned about this species. The common name, ‘longhorn beetle’, fits well as the antennae extend past the end of their bodies. It’s fascinating. I lean in for a closer look but see only my bare arm.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

May 25, 2017 prompt: Longhorn In 99 words (no more, no less) that includes a longhorn. You can go with any of its meanings or make it a name of a person or organization. Cheese or cattle, technology or place, what can you create from the western icon?

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

Evil Stepmother Support Group ~ One Year Anniversary

 

 

MAY 2017

 

The Misunderstood Stepmoms, a support group started by Cinderella’s stepmother, Caroline, celebrated its one-year anniversary this weekend.

“We were pleased with the turnout,” she said. “And we’re proud that this little group has been around for an entire year.”

Caroline’s statement may be a bit modest. The group is not only still around but, in fact, has swelled to over 600 members. Rumors of branches being formed throughout the country have been circulating for months.

We caught up with Gothel, Rapunzel’s adoptive mother, who had to travel quite a distance for the meetings and recently started a local chapter near her.

“It was good while it lasted but it’s been shut down,” she waved her hand dismissively. “Apparently, I’m not technically a ‘stepmother’. According to some people.”

The “some people” Gothel spoke of are the original three members: Snow White’s, Hansel and Gretel’s, and Cinderella’s stepmothers.

Gothel was awarded legal guardianship of Rapunzel in 2003 but, sources say, there may be evidence the document was faked.

A follow-up with the groups’ founder, Caroline, shed some light on the situation.

“I don’t want to throw stones,” she said, “but, yes, we’ve banned Gothel from our meetings and stripped her of any rights to use our name in future group settings. It’s not entirely about her stepmother status, although it has come to our attention that she is in a cauldron of trouble in regards to how Rapunzel came to be in her care. We, personally, have had…issues with her behavior. I can’t say too much due to an ongoing legal matter. And I want to emphasize that we are a caring group of women.”

Cinderella’s stepmom said, “Caroline’s too nice for her own good. Gothel is nuts. Some stepmothers have a reputation for a reason. Poor Rapunzel. ‘Adoptive mother’, my ass.”

Allegedly, Gothel had lost her temper during a meeting in early May, causing damage to the building and endangering members of the group.

When asked about the incident, Caroline admitted a few of the members were injured during “what can only be described as an ‘attack’.” She has since added a clause to her online ad about the group stating “zero tolerance for violence, magical or otherwise” and plans to hold an emergency meeting to focus on maintaining a safe and supportive environment for The Misunderstood Stepmoms.

 

The group meets once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.
UPDATE: Due to recent events, the location of meetings has been changed from the Fuji Warehouse in downtown Darby to the Braeburn Building on Main Street.

 

Evil Stepmother Support Group

 

 

MAY 2016

 

A new support group started up this week in downtown Darby. They call themselves “The Misunderstood Stepmoms”.

The group is led by Snow White’s stepmother, Caroline, who is fed up with all the hostility.

For years, she was despised and discounted, never being asked to join local book clubs or invited to a girls’ night out. Following this past Mother’s Day weekend, Caroline decided enough was enough.

Needless to say, she did not receive flowers or a card on Sunday.

About Snow, she said, “The girl pigged out on junk food. She was always walking around with her hand stuck in a bag of corn chips or jellybeans. I gave her some fresh fruit and, yes, that included an apple. She took one bite and pretended to choke on it, falling down and accusing me of trying to poison her. The girl didn’t want to eat healthy. End of story.”

Caroline went on to say, “I heard similar accounts of stepmothers being unfairly bashed so I created a safe space for them to talk and share their feelings.”

Cinderella’s stepmom claims she tried for years to get her teenage stepdaughter to “take a bath and change her damn clothes.”

While Hansel and Gretel’s stepmom says she spent months warning her stepchildren not to wander into the woods before their disappearance. “They came home with some cock-and-bull story about a candy house and a kitchen witch. Everyone knows kitchen witches live in the city,” she said.

In both cases, these women were blamed for the unfortunate state of their stepchildren.

“Sadly, these stories are not unique.” Caroline said. The three founding members were joined by fifteen others for their inaugural meeting. While there is no official motto for the group yet, Caroline said, “We want women to know that they are not alone.”

When asked about the group dynamics, Caroline admitted there is some tension. “We have a mix. There are a few members with anger management issues, while others are simply disheartened. But, for a first meeting, things went extremely well. We are a supportive bunch and provide a much-needed sense of community.”

 

The group will meet once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.

 

Gone Fishing

 

 

“This is boring,” Caleb whined.

“It’s father-son bonding. It’s fun.” He wiped sweat from his forehead. “It’s…hot.”

“Something we agree on,” Caleb mumbled. “Can we go now?”

“I’ve got the boat until two.” His father sighed. “Crap. This is boring.”

“Race?” Caleb stood, pulling off his t-shirt.

His father dove into the water. “Head start for the old man!”

She rose from the waves. Glorious and horrible. Eyes gleaming, hair spilling over her breasts.

“Dad!”

“Aw, c’mon…” He splashed Caleb.

“Get back here! Swim back…now!”

She smiled at Caleb, her mouth rows of shark teeth. “Fear. My comfort food.”

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week: A 99-word flash about “comfort food” and a thriller/horror with the word “splash”. It was, um, difficult. But I do love a challenge and it was fun. 🙂

 

#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Week 18 Prompt: Splash
Genre: Suspense/Thriller/Horror

BlogBattle_banner

and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Comfort Food).

May 4, 2017 prompt: Comfort Food In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story write about comfort food.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

*Artwork by Diane Özdamar

February Writespirations: A Collection

 

writespiration-2017-february

Each week, Sacha Black challenges writers to pen a piece in 52 words. Exactly 52. You know I love micro fiction and you know I love a challenge. So, here are my entries for the February prompts:

~~~

Week: February 2
Prompt: Time / Stack / Juice / Pigeon (include all four words in the 52-word story)

Taking Stock

He spent his lunch break stacking juice, cereal boxes, candy bars…pigeon-holed by his supervisors as a dim-witted stock boy. He would never make it to cashier never mind manager.

His position gave him time to think and, within two years, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in quantum physics.

~~~

Week: February 8
Prompt: That moment you see your ex with their hot, new bit and you look like turd

That Stings

I spotted him at the gas pump, a blonde in his car applying mascara.

Unshowered, clinging to a bottle of cheap vodka, I staggered over.

“Sheila?!”

“See you’re hiring hookers,” I gestured to the blonde.

“They’re ‘escorts’. Pricey but worth it.” He grinned.

I smiled, reaching for my badge. “Baker? We got him.”

~~~

Week: February 15
Prompt: The Distance Between

Between Lives

When I was little, I wanted to visit the moon.

My mother laughed. My father explained the distance between the earth and the moon.

My grandparents said I was spoiled. Which had nothing to do with the moon, but they never missed a chance to say it.

My teacher told me about astronauts.

~~~


Week: February 23
Prompt: Choke

Dinner for One

He sat across from me, leaning back, arms crossed. “Go to hell.”

“Maybe,” I shrugged. “Maybe I’ll see you there. But, for me, not today.”

“What’s that supposed…” he grabbed his throat, glaring at me.

“Don’t worry, love. The choking won’t last long. Your heart will give out before it becomes too uncomfortable.”

 

January Writespirations: A Collection

 

writespiration-2017-january

 

Each week, Sacha Black challenges writers to pen a piece in 52 words. Exactly 52. You know I love micro fiction and you know I love a challenge. So, here are my entries for the January prompts:

~~~

Week: January 4
Prompt: The Timer Started

Blonde Bombshell

“I don’t know!” He struggled against the ropes binding his wrists. “I swear…”

“Tick, tock,” she examined her nails. “The timer started,” she glanced at the bomb, “six seconds ago.”

“You have the wrong man!”

“Aw. Now why’d you do that?” She grabbed his chin. “I. Don’t. Like. Liars.”

“Please…”

“Too late.”

~~~


Week: January 18
Prompt: Lost Things

Searching

It hadn’t worked. But she didn’t regret a thing she’d done to try.

She accepted a folded pile of clothes from the guard and shuffled in line with the other women. She glanced back at the man. Fifteen years shifted around the walls in her mind.

She stopped.

His eyes went wide. “Mum?”

~~~


Week: January 25
Prompt: One Hundred

Chilopodophobia

“I wonder if they actually have one hundred legs,” he dangled the centipede inches from her nose.

She shook her head and took a step back, bumping into the counter.

He took a step forward. “No? You don’t wonder? Or, no, you don’t want to know how I’m going to find out?”