…but that’s OK. Maybe when I have enough, I can cash it in for a win! All good though. I made it through to the final round where we had to write a genre mashup: an Epistolary suspense story. 1K in 48 hours. It took a little while to come up with something. I like the story though (even if it turned a little V is for Vendetta) and think I will tweak a few things on it for fun. These competitions are so addictive!!
So this is starting to be a bit of a banner week. Or like I told someone, my rainy season. Not that there won’t be droughts in the future or more rain. Just a cycle. I will post more writing here soon!
The prompts were delivered on Fridays for six weeks in a row. A Japanese historical fiction, an action/adventure with a countdown clock, an alien story including purposeful tropes, a fantasy memoir, a dialog only story, and one set in a festival or bazaar. The stories were due on Monday. Kind of a writing marathon (and honestly, I am just as tired).
Totally surprised when I won first in the last two events. Bonus, I came in third overall! My two placing stories will be published in a print anthology later this year. Sales proceeds benefit Nanowrimo.
Again, I have found the writing community to be the most supportive place. Congrats to all the writers that participated and those that even dipped in a toe. It’s a wonderful place to swim.
Shortlisted for my Poem – Sonnet for the Dreamers Craving Sleep in Molotov Cocktails Shadow Award Contest.
I had never tried a sonnet before…it was so much fun! Now off to see if I can find a publication that might give it a home. Cheers all!
Bright ember’s red fire
Blooms outwards in zinnias
Softly we do touch
This haiku was inspired by the word “hope”, in a challenge issued by author T A Barron. My haiku and a lot of others are posted on his website. There is still time to submit your own! Get writing!
After the TV turned off, Eva was thoughtful and quiet, while the others chattered like birds. She slid open the glass door and stepped into bright sky, her eldest brother a shadow behind her.
“How come I didn’t see him?” She wore the ache in her heart like a beacon. “Grandpa’s watching me from the moon, said he would always.”
Suddenly leaning against his side, she twisted a fist against tears.
“Ah, that’s because rocket scientists don’t know everything.”
“It’s the wrong frequency, you see. Rocket fuel can’t go the speed of love.”
Eva smiled faintly again. “Lovespeed.”
For my piece Before the River previously published on this blog. Now in Beautiful Truth: A Gathering of Voices from Charlotte, NC from Charlotte Lit. Retitled Trees, by the editor.
If you care to see it, here is the link:
Weekends were for alligators, black tannic water, and snakes that swam head up, glistening body behind. Avoiding small cypress knees that could twist an ankle, we carried the canoe across land that was not ours to makeshift launches in the river.
As we walked, just off solid ground, we passed the wetter places where old washing machines, tires, and ovens lay half submerged. They seemed to watch us as we passed, these abandoned pieces that crouched like gargoyles. I tried not to look at them in case they accused us for their disuse.
Other discoveries were exciting, like an old rusted car almost completely hidden, the trees growing up through faded red upholstery and springs. The treehouse too, that was built at partial angles with sagging plywood. You could tell it had once been painted red and blue. The wooden steps that had been nailed into the tree were gone, like Rapunzel’s tower. It was inaccessible and beautiful.
An only child then, I liked to imagine the kids that played there before me, swinging from the now rotted rope and bouncing on the old car’s seats. They rowed shallow boats on the river and looked out for cottonmouths and copperheads. They wore shoes so the mussels wouldn’t cut them.
They were part of a different wild Florida, before they grew up and were replaced by the gargoyles and their memory in my imagination. Before the land was sold and bought and two-story houses with pools and screened in porches were built. The cypress knees somehow turned into a green Bermuda grass lawn.
Before the houses came and we had to drive the canoe to the county dock instead of walk it across the street, my dad dug up an oak sapling from there. It was the child of a massive, centuries-old one dripping with Spanish Moss, that did not survive the waterfront bulldozer.
We planted it in our backyard where it grew with large spreading branches, blessing us with shadows so that we would not burn our feet.
Now 400 miles and 30 years away, but still connected by a tree, a different oak grows in the yard and peeks over the top of my roofline. It shadows the front porch and my own children’s feet as they rush inside on blistering days. Their local wild is limited to the possum that lives in our Mulberry tree and eats the cat food, and the small brown D’Kay snakes we can catch in the layered rock wall. Tame, by old Florida standards.
Even so, neighborhood stories still circulate of foxes that used to roam the streets by night, traveling from one patch of buffer trees to another. And deer that run at dawn and twilight, their territory now pulled into vertical lines that follow the greenway across roads. More so now that the old farms gone fallow are growing “urban farmhouses”.
Weekends now are filled with honeysuckle and the wild blackberries that sprout by the air-conditioner. The clicking sound of a Stag beetle crawling out of our porch’s support beam and wild rabbits that find a feast in crimson clover. Lunch on stone benches by the lake. Baseball games in the lawn seats. How quickly a child grows taller.
Under an oak tree.