Tag Archives: fiction

Saved by Giraffes, a Christmas Flash [325]

Santa’s hand hovered over the plate for several moments before he decided upon a particularly festive Christmas cookie. Mmm, it looked buttery and delicious…

As soon as he lifted the treat from the plate, an alarm shrieked. The lights in the house came on and a couple ran out from a back room. They looked incongruous ~ wearing happy holiday pajamas but holding scary baseball bats. Santa didn’t have any bats in his sack, just some stuffed giraffes, an electric toothbrush, and a pair of slippers. It was the end of this route.

“Hold on there,” Scary Man said. “We need to see some ID.”

Santa backed up. “ID? But I’m Santa. Look at my beard! And my red suit.”

Scary Woman laughed. It was a scary laugh. “Anyone can buy those at the party store. We looked outside and didn’t see any reindeer. Explain that!”

“They’re tired and hungry,” Santa said. “I let them hang out at the diner down the street and wait for me. The lady there said she’d give them some oatmeal.”

Scary Man remained skeptical. “Where’s your driver’s license?”

Santa reached into his bag.

“Hey!” Scary Woman raised her bat. “What are you doing?”

“Offering you a gift,” Santa said. “It’s what I do. Your other ones are wrapped, but this is extra.”

Scary Man rejected the overture. “A giraffe? Honestly, do you think we’re idiots?”

“Wait, honey,” Scary Woman said. “When I was little I had a book called A Giraffe and a Half, and it was one of the last books Mom read to me before she died.”

“Awwww.” Scary Man hugged Scary Woman, and they weren’t so scary after they put down their bats and held stuffed giraffes instead.

“Can I have my cookie now?” Santa asked as they went upstairs to bed.

Whew, that was a close call. He picked up his sack, stuffed in all the gifts, and left with his cookie. It really was delicious.

~*~

Photo courtesy of HW Daily Writing Prompts

Advertisements

Sunday Night Ramble

So, it’s been a few weeks since I finished NaNoWriMo (did I mention that I surprised myself and wrote 50,000 words?) and I want to keep the good writing momentum going. You’re actually not supposed to edit what you wrote until January, so I’ve been working on my poetry collection and (of course) noodling around on here.

I’ve also been reading a lot of news. Not gonna jabber on about the political dumpster fires because there’s enough of that elsewhere, but there is one thing that bugs me. I’m sad that the PC police have managed to ruin “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Seems that some folks just can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality. What’s next ~ eliminate the romance novel section at B&N? Plenty of iffy consent scenes in some of those books… I’m surprised there haven’t been boycotts already. Some people can’t stand swear words; others can’t bear gory violence or horror on the screen. To each their own, eh?

Remember the old joke… to some people, kinky means tickling with a feather; to others, it means using the whole chicken. Subjective stuff, a matter of opinion. And in my opinion, opinions should be off-limits to the nannies. Dreamy song lyrics, fantasy art, and fictional novels/plays/films are in the realm of opinion.

I used to enjoy watching beauty pageants when I was a teenager, but now I think they’re boring and dumb. So, I don’t watch them. Wow! What a great solution to the problem of disliking an entertainment offering. Don’t watch it. Don’t read it. Don’t listen to it.

I’m not talking about trolls spewing death threats on the internet or engaging in hate speech. I don’t believe people should be free to engage in this behavior ~ in fact, I think they should be penalized severely.

But as far as fiction and fantasy triggering traumatic memories… there’s no end to that cascade. Some people find it cathartic to recreate a bad memory in fantasy and change the outcome. It’s a form of power. I do this. In fact, most of my writing may be this in one way or another. My NaNo work in progress definitely is.

Back to the writing momentum. Going forward, I’ll probably do fewer blog games and questions and awards because I want to keep my focus on actual writing, such as the prompts and poetry and such. Plus I have to catch up on reading too ~ real books, not just blogs. The games etc. have been a fun break though. Hope everyone understands!

Here’s a cute kitteh to console you.

Prophetic Graffiti [flash 99]

She wrote at night, streaking the wall with crimson paint and demonic black scrawls. Swirls and waves and death and pain. The moon provided a teaspoon of resentful light. In the morning, the townsfolk chased her away, ignoring the warnings she’d painted. Crazy witch, they muttered. Birds screamed off into the pale sun and rodents scurried for high ground. Horses refused their feed. Late that afternoon it came, with a shrieking wind and a sudden crack. Then there was water. So much water. It covered the town and the wall and the warning. A raven circled overhead for days.

~*~

Prompt and pic via the Carrot Ranch

10Q’s

This time from Sandmanjazz

1. You have to take the setting from one book, plot from another, and characters from a third to create a new book: What did you take?

– Ooh fun! Let’s take the main characters from Game Of Thrones, put them in the setting from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and use the plot from The Shining.

2. What is your favorite candle scent?

– Cinnanom.

3. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

– Cookies and tea, but I usually have a Clif bar and tea.

4. Did you play video games in the arcade? If yes, what was your favorite (pinball counts too)?

– No video, occasional pinball, & I don’t remember any names.

5. Pool, darts, beer pong, or something else?

– I like pool, but not if people are going to play for money or be freakishly competitive. It would be great to be rich and have my own pool table to play on alone…

6. What was the last thing you saw that made you do a double take?

– That disgusting pic of a coughed up blood clot that looks like a lung (it’s everywhere!). Apparently we’re all too fragile to hear “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” without date-raping someone, but seeing blood and disgusting violent images all the time is just fine.

7. How do you like your peanuts?

– Smashamated into butter.

8. What is your favorite lunch meat?

– Cheese.

9. Do you believe in magic?

– Oh sure. 🙄

10. What song best describes your mood right now?

– Cold As Ice.

*

Update: My bad, these questions were originally from the QoQ, Teresa!

White Elephant 🐘

The lovely Sadje has tagged me in the fun White Elephant game begun by The Haunted Wordsmith.

Sadje has given me this wonderful prezzie:

“A big bookshelf for Paula as she is a great writer and would need to store her growing collection of books here.”

Awwww! Thank you, Sadje! 😀❤️ I am going to need this. Not only is my next poetry collection almost finished, but I am stoked about finishing NaNoWriMo this year and hope to have Ghosted on the shelves by the end of 2019. I also have other WIPs to complete after that ~ no shortage of ideas here!

Anyway, onto my (imaginary) gifts for other bloggers.

To Pensitivity I give tickets for a luxurious cruise for two plus Maggie on the barking friendly ocean liner Queen Mary. I think they could all use a sweet vacay!

2. To Laura I give a month of gluten-free meals, so she can take a break from cooking.

3. To Michelle I give a yarn shopping spree, wheeeeee!

Recipients, please gift three more bloggers to keep the White Elephant game going ~ and use Teresa’s THWWE tag so she can find you! 😀🐘🎁

Writing Questions! 😀

Via The Haunted Wordsmith

The Writers Tag was created by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen for writers to connect with each other and help expand our writing community. To participate, we answer 12 tag questions and are encouraged to tag other writers. So, here we go:

THE QUESTIONS

Name one novel which inspired me to write.

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

What’s your favourite genre to read and write?

– Romance

Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series?

– Stand-alone

Use three words to describe yourself.

– funny, reliable, intense

Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your main character or setting.

(Coming soon!)

How long did your first manuscript take to draft?

– Six weeks

Who is your author idol?

– Jennifer Crusie

Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.

– Idk that I am. It’s often difficult to stay motivated, especially to write full-length novels while working full-time. I don’t do much else besides work and write. But right now I’m very into my WIP.

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.

– I’m pretty ordinary. Just a divorced woman who raised her kids and is now trying to get by and hopefully have a not-terrible retirement.

Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it.

– It’s having enough time of course, and I haven’t overcome it.

What’s your favourite social media and why? Share your link.

– I like this current WordPress blogging community. People are supportive and kind, and I find poasts to be generally fun, creative, and motivational. I’m very happy with you lot!

Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

– Life is short; eat dessert first.

Questions from the Queen

Aka Teresa 👑

1. What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator right now?

– Pickles probably (they don’t go bad, right?).

2. If you were picked to be on a game show, what type of game would it be (family feud, Jeopardy, etc.)?

– Jeopardy or WOF.

3. You’re walking in the woods and see a man waving to you…what do you do?

– Pretend I don’t see him and walk away.

4. It was a perfect snowfall…what do you build?

– Snowman!

5. What is the worst thing someone could put on popcorn?

– Spicy stuffs.

6. What flavor of potato chip (crisps) do you like?

– Lime.

7. Do you cry when happy?

– Not unless I’m laughing like a maniac.

8. ET lands back on Earth and invites you to go home with him…do you?

– No, I’d miss my kitty!

9. Who is your favorite actor/actress?

– Tom Hanks & Sandra Bullock.

10. Northern hemisphere, Southern hemisphere, or equator…which would you choose to live in?

– SoCal (Northern).

11. If you were on an awards committee and had to pick three books published in the last five years as winners, which would they be?

– Haven’t read enough books to judge.

12. You have to create a role-playing character, what do you create?

– 008.

13. Which song best describes you when you are: happy? sad? angry? bored?

– She’s A Rainbow 🌈 (happy)

– The River Cried (sad)

– You & Ur Hand (angry)

– Break On Through (bored)

Regarding Twitter

I’ve been thinking about Twitter lately. Unlike Facebook, which I deleted in March (along with Instagram and Messenger), Twitter isn’t a time sink for me. I don’t get heavily involved in threads, conversations, private chats, etc. on Twitter. It’s basically a big nothing burger. I was using it for poetry prompts, but lately I’m not finding them that inspirational, so I’ve been reading more politics there, which is a bore. I can find that anywhere. 🙄

Trying to engage with other “tweeps” has accomplished nothing. I’m too late to the game. I’m not politically witty enough to come up with killer tweets to go viral… and even if I had one, then what? Would that translate into book sales or death threats? Now there’s a interesting question. I’m not anonymous. 😱

Here’s the thing. I’ve lightly promoted my writing on Twitter… to no effect. My promo tweets immediately slid into the giant sea of writers all doing the same. Everyone on the planet has written a book! Yesterday I met a successful writer and she admitted that her success was due to a completely random interview (not even a good one) in a relatively obscure print magazine. She’d done the other traditionally hyped ways of book promotion to almost no sales until the interview.

It’s very discouraging ~ if you’re writing to make money, that is. I have to look at it as a labor of love: the poetry, my romance novels and short stories, and my current WIP, which is a suspense/romance with supernatural elements. Plus I have lots of writing in various stages of drafts to work on as the spirit moves me. I hope to get it all done before I die. 😀

But there’s no reason to delete Twitter. It doesn’t annoy me the way FB did with the fake friends. I know the tweeps aren’t my friends (99% of them anyway), and Twitter doesn’t suck up my time with stupid notifs. But I do think my once a day or so quick check for poetry prompts and such is coming to an end. There’s no point in pretending to stay engaged there when I know it’s not going to do a damn thing to help me market my next book.

I’ll just let my blog poasts flop over as they do, and that’s all my timeline will be filled with eventually. Probably tweeps will unfollow me, or not… if they don’t bother checking Twitter any longer either, which is what I suspect in many cases. 😂

Rule of Three

Name three things (via Rory) –

That you cannot under any circumstances live without ?

– Hot shower, hot tea, internet connection

That you write about every week?

– How I don’t miss Facebook, how I don’t miss dating, how it’s so great I’ve moved on from things I’ve given up and don’t discuss them endlessly and forever like a boring person 🙄

That you wouldn’t recommend doing whilst holding one foot in the air?

– Meeting Queen Elizabeth, reciting your wedding vows, tickling a grouchy tiger

That you say to people every day?

– Just coffee, thanks, goodnight

To do with your street?

– Ugly, noisy, busy

That you can eat with brown sauce?

– Don’t know, what this, is

You like about your favourite bloggers?

– Funny, smart, creative

That you don’t eat every week?

– Frogs’ legs, chocolate covered ants, prairie oysters

That you wished you could eat every day?

– Guacamole from Avila’s, Cathy’s chocolate chip cookies, mangoes

About your favourite pair of shoes that you like?

– Comfy, black, moccasins

That annoyingly always arrive in three?

– Unexpected expenses, work stresses, social dramas

About books you really don’t like?

– Twin mixups, getting back with exes, main characters who must return to a small town to confront their demons…

Into the Dark [flash 99]

“Is he sure this is the right spot?” Z47 whispered.

Z13 gasped. “Do not question our leader!”

“Our ship is far away.” Z29 observed.

Their leader approached. “We have planned for this moment. Fifty soldiers. This precise location. Line up and prepare to detonate when I signal.”

They followed his orders. And indeed the land spasmed and the waves heaved as the ship sailed into the dark. Would the blast be strong enough to shift the plates and cause a 9.7 earthquake half a world away at the G20 Summit as their leader had calculated?

They would never know.

~*~

Prompt via the Carrot Ranch.