Flash Fiction – A Recipe For Love?

This week’s writing challenge was to write 150 words on anything; however verbs and adjectives  ( and nouns where possible) had to have a gastronomic/food connection.

I found this challenge very tricky. I’m not sure I have adhered strictly to the rules, but here is my food-themed tale of nightclub romance. 120 words, excluding title.

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A Recipe For Love?

Drinking at the bar. Smokey room full of dried old fruits and sloppy seconds. Drum sticks roll, beating out a rhythm on skins pulled tight.

Out of the steam she rises, a slice of perfection. With a stirring in the loins, he whisks across the dance floor, cutting through the leftovers, reducing down the competition, until all that’s left is his sweetie.

She turns and freezes, a buyer at the meat market. He’s really cooking now, inexpertly blending cheesy lines with tender flattery. She lets him stew in his own juices for a while, until his passion comes to the boil.

“So, are you hot for me?!”

“Get stuffed,” she replies, grabbing the nearest beefcake and making for the door.

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I try to post these on a weekly basis and I love to hear your feedback so please comment below, follow the blog or join the conversation on Twitter. Why not try your own food related flash fiction and post your links below?

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15k in May – Writing Challenge. Week 3 Update

2 Weeks gone in the 15k in May writing challenge
3 Weeks down for the 15k in May writing challenge

Only a very quick update of where I am in the 15k in May writing challenge – my attempt to add at least another 15,000 words to my WIP by the end of this month.

I’ve found this week to be very tough going and have had 3 ZERO days and also a measly 75 words on another day! Despite this I am still pretty much on target. With 22 days gone, my wordcount should be at 11,000 – and as of tonight I am at 11,126 so just about hanging on in there. I could complain and say it was mostly due to busy work and social life (some of which is true) but it would be more accurate to admit that I have been struggling with self-doubt as I approach the end-game of my story. My mantra of ‘just keep writing’ has taken me this far, but it has also created gaping plot holes and a number of problems that need to be resolved before I can reach a satisfying conclusion. This has meant that I have had a lot of ‘thinking’ time and not as much ‘writing’ time.

However, as of this evening, I think I may have cracked it (or at least given myself a fighting chance) by writing something that at the very least surprised me – so I hope it does the same for my readers!

Here are my wordcount figures for the past 8 days:

May 16th – 714

May 17th – ZERO

May 18th – ZERO

May 19th – 75 (!)

May 20th – 268

May 21st – 328

May 22nd – 851

TOTAL FOR 8 DAYS – 2236 words.

TOTAL FOR CHALLENGE – 11,126

WIP TOTAL – 73,024

How are you finding your writing at the moment? Perhaps you have given yourself some other challenges to work through – how are they going? I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback so please follow the blog, follow me on Twitter or comment below.

Flash Fiction – She Is There And I Am Not

This week's writing prompt.
This week’s writing prompt.

This week’s challenge was to write 150 words using the picture as our prompt. Here’s the 148 word piece I came up with.

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She is There and I Am Not.

One final glance before I leave this place. I know that I should feel pity for the woman responsible for my freedom and yet all I feel is relief.

She stopped to look upon me almost every day for five long years. Five years of incarceration beneath oil and paint, dust and grime. Frozen in time, unable to move, but witness to every kind of human being. Bored runny-nosed brats, rich imbeciles and poor philistines. An unending trail of hollow-eyed magpies looking for a shiny prize to adorn their nest.

From the moment I saw her, timid little dog in tow, I knew she would be my saviour. Each day, the longing looks, the tears and whispered words, until today, she took off a glove and dared to touch the canvas.

Now she is there and I am not. The painted lady set me free.

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I try to post these on a weekly basis and I love to hear your feedback so please comment below, follow the blog or join the conversation on Twitter.

15k in May – Update for Week 2

2 Weeks gone in the 15k in May writing challenge
2 Weeks gone in the 15k in May writing challenge

I am currently in the midst of the 15k in May Writing Challenge.

Despite posting another zero day on Day 9 and a miniscule 177 words on Day 11, I am currently ahead of schedule and am happy to be writing most days. Even though my 15k is only words written on my novel, I am still writing blog posts and flash fiction, including my 2 latest posts:

The Other Woman – 150 Word Flash

Don of The Dead Ep3 – Don Goes Shopping

Speaking of Flash Fiction – this week’s top tip is to use writing prompts, photographs or anything else and simply WRITE. ANYTHING. I was rapidly losing momentum with a particular chapter and yet after spending a short break working on some flash fiction I had recharged my creative batteries and had my biggest word count of the week. If you have read my blog before, you will know this is something I am passionate about and you can read more tips on how to ‘beat the block’ here.

Other inspirations this week have come from the always entertaining Chuck Wendig and his excellent book ‘500 Ways To Be A Better Writer’. It’s jam packed full with useful, motivational and occasionally very sweary writing tips. His blog is also good to dip in to for his thoughts on writing, publishing and lots more. Purely coincidentally I am also reading one of his fiction novels, the urban fantasy, ‘Blackbird’ which is proving to be a great little page-turner and keeping my creative fires stoked.

Another tip is to join the challenge or just surround yourself with like minded people who want to help you achieve your goals. There is definitely strength in numbers and our little group has now grown to include:

Maria Smith
Dee Kirkby
Ileandra Young
Ruth Livingstone
Lynne Collins
Rinelle Grey
Alison Wells
Lisa Redmond

Make sure you swing by their blogs to see what they have been up to during the challenge.

So . . . 2 weeks of the 15k in May Challenge down and here are my word count stats for this week:

Day 8 – 444
Day 9 – ZERO
Day 10 – 724
Day 11 – 177
Day 12 – 905
Day 13 – 685
Day 14 – 500 (exactly – weird!)

TOTAL FOR WEEK 2:  3435 words

Total for Challenge: 8890 words

First Draft Total Word Count: 70,808

We may be half way through the challenge but it’s never too late to join in, so follow #15kinmay on Twitter, comment below or follow the blog.

Don of The Dead Episode 3 – Don Goes Shopping

Don of The Dead - my ongoing comedy series about an inept zombie.
Don of The Dead – my ongoing comedy series about an inept zombie.

Don of The Dead – Series Overview

Don is recently deceased but didn’t quite make it to the other side, so seems doomed to join the rotting ranks of the undead rubbing shoulders with the living who have now begrudgingly accepted that some people just refuse to die.

Each short episode finds Don dealing with the everyday difficulties of being a walking corpse.

Previous Episodes can be found here or by selecting the Don of The Dead category.

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Don Goes Shopping

Finally, after a mere ten minutes of mind-numbing phone conversation, the vacuous teenage sales assistant noticed me standing at the customer service desk.

“Oh great. Gotta go,” she said, before cupping her hand around the phone and adding,”No. It’s one of them.”

She terminated the call and produced a waxwork-worthy smile.
“How can I help you today. Sir?”

Ignoring the prejudice in her voice, I placed the Brainy-Yum-Yum ready meal on the counter.

“I was looking for something in the ‘No Brains’ range. Is this really the only microwave meal you have for those of the Undead persuasion?”

“You mean Zom-”

“Please, miss. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use the Zed word.”

She blinked. “Right. Either way, that’s the only one we’ve got.” She picked up the box, heavily mascaraed eye-lashes fluttering as she read aloud, “Full of Brainy goodness. What’s the problem? Thought you lot ate brains?” She gestured behind me and I followed her gaze to see Grunt by the fridges, his eye hanging out of its socket, groaning loudly as he repeatedly slapped himself over the head with bag of minced meat.

“How dare you!” I said. “Grunt is a valued member of the Undead community. Anyway, he’s probably just trying to read the ingredients. We’re not all mindless monsters, you know.”

At that moment, there was a pop followed by the shlup-shlup of raw meat falling to the ground. I turned to see Grunt face down, as he tried to suck minced beef off the floor.

The girl sighed and leaned over to the tannoy. As I made my way to the exit, her laconic tones echoed though the store.

“Zombie clean-up on aisle four, zombie clean-up on aisle four.”

I sighed. Cornflakes for dinner again then.

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I try to post one of these on a regular basis and would love to hear your feedback on the character, stories or anything else you want to talk about so please leave your comments below. If you want to stay up to date witch Don’s escapades, simply follow the blog by email or check out #donofthedead on Twitter.

Weekly Writing Challenge – Flash Fiction – The Other Woman

This week’s writing challenge was 150 words with the prompt:

If she waits five minutes . . .

Here is what I came up with – a meditation on adultery. 150 words including the prompt.

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    The Other Woman

If she waits five minutes she will see her arrive. The other woman. The one he’s chosen to spend the weekend with, rather than his wife and child. As usual, she parks the car around the corner, walking back to wait just out of sight but close enough to get a look at the object of his affections.

Affections and emotions long since gone. When he comes home, it’s in body only. Her attempted conversations are monologues punctuated only by empty platitudes and nods of the head. Eyes looking through, instead of at her.

Two more minutes. Then what? Confrontation? Confirmation of a truth she has accepted long before the credit card receipts and emails.

She glances at her watch and turns away before she can see the taxi arrive. Turns away just as she has done all those other times.

One more week, she thinks, just one more week.

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I try to post these on a weekly basis and I love to hear your feedback so please comment below, follow the blog or join the conversation on Twitter.

15k in May Challenge – Week 1 Update

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This is the first weekly update for my progress in our 15k in May challenge, of which you can find out more in my previous post.

The Sun has arrived, however briefly, in the UK and with it comes the end of the first week of the challenge. It has been an interesting 7 days, some of which have been very busy with working away, family visits and the all-important barbeques and beers.

Despite breaking the promise I made to myself that I would write something on my WIP every single day, I did unfortunately post one zero word count day. I didn’t beat myself up too badly for this, as I did manage to exceed my goal of 500 on all of the other days:

Day 1 – 1292
Day 2 – 792
Day 3 – 0 (GROAN)
Day 4 – 1045
Day 5 – 852
Day 6 – 875
Day 7 – 599

TOTAL FOR WEEK 1: 5,455 words

So at the moment my WIP stands at 67,373 words on my first draft.

For my next update I will try to give more of an insight in to how the actual writing is progressing, but for now I want to get back to the keyboard as blog posts, flash fiction and anything else I write doesn’t count towards my overall goal for the month!

Please feel free to join in the challenge, or see our progress on twitter by following #15kinmay. I hope you are all enjoying your writing journeys and I look forward to hearing from you all soon.

Weekly Writing Challenge – Monologue.

This week’s writing challenge was to write 150 words inspired by the idea of someone performing a mundane task for the first time.

My effort was inspired by having known someone who suffered a terrible head trauma and had to learn to do very basic tasks again – as if for the first time.

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Getting Better

Getting better. Moving soon.

They tell me 6 weeks. That’s how long it’s been. I’ve been asleep. Since the accident. Happened on a road. I was on the phone. I think. The man didn’t stop. Doesn’t matter. Here now. Too hot and smells funny. Big day today. Jodie showed me. Got to do it myself. That’s what they say. Can’t go home. Not until I can use the spade.

Fork.

Spoon.

Spoon, that’s it.

It was hard. Felt like a baby. Chasing hand to get the food. Trying, forcing, squeezing, shouting. Jodie says getting mad makes it worse. Bite my tongue. Get some in. Rice everywhere. Sticky on my chin. Falling on my sheets. Couldn’t get it all. Doctor watching, writing down.

Hand hurts. Head hurts. Tired now. Jodie cried and kissed me. Sticky rice on her face now.

Try again tomorrow.

Getting better. Moving soon. That’s what they say.

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As ever, I would love your feedback, comments, tweets and follows so please get in touch and join the conversation.

For those of you following the 15K in May Challenge, I have decided to post at weekly intervals – starting with my first progress update on Wednesday. In the meantime, take a look at this previous post for more info, or search for #15kinmay updates on Twitter.

15K in May – my next big challenge.

Join the 15K in May Writing Challenge
Join the 15K in May Writing Challenge

Am I mad?!

Having just completed one challenge (the A-Z Blog Challenge) only yesterday, it’s time to move on to the next! This time it’s the 15K in May challenge (#15kinmay) and I will be updating you on my progress every Wednesday during May.

Starting today, and for the rest of the month, I am aiming to take a big step towards finishing the first draft of my novel, ‘Let Sleeping Gods Lie’. As the title of the challenge suggests, the aim will be to add at least another 15,000 words to my current word count by the end of May.

With a little help from my friends . . .

Fortunately I have the inspiration and support of the other 2 founding members of 15K in May to help me towards my target. Maria of First Draft Cafe and Lynne from Lynne Lives are also taking part. We are all approaching the challenge in our own way, splitting the target in to a daily or weekly target, or focusing on editing a certain amount of pages.

I am aiming to write at least 500 words every day – which sounds very achievable, but I do have a busy day job, family and all the other stuff that likes to get in the way of finishing something!

YOU can help too!

My current word count is just shy of 62,000 and as well as the support of my fellow 15Kers, I would love your help and motivation throughout the challenge to help me get closer to 80K. I will be updating you on my progress on a weekly basis – as well as regular tweets using #15kinmay, so follow the blog, monitor the hash tag and please give me the gentle push/kick up the backside that I will inevitably need during the tougher days and weeks that lie ahead.

Join in . . .

Of course, there is nothing to stop you joining in and setting your own writing goals for May – even if they are less than 15K – so feel free to let me know what you are up to and tweet the hash tag.

You can find out more about ‘Let Sleeping Gods Lie’ in my recent WIP post, but in the meantime I would love to hear your thoughts, tips and inspiration as well as any goals you might be setting for yourself, so please comment below.

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