Friday Funny with a Side of Wonky and Flash Fiction

Attention, everyone! Attention, attention: It’s Friday!

So, to be perfectly honest, I spent the majority of my week doing this:

Daydreaming. Pondering. Staring off into La-La Land…

I’m not quite sure if I’m so tired I couldn’t focus on anything, or if I’m so focused on everything, I couldn’t focus on anything. Wait, that didn’t make sense. Let’s go with the first thing I said…

Yeah, yeah. I know. I need a vacation. But that isn’t happening, so let’s move on, shall we?

On a positive note, my life was much calmer than last week, and I no longer feel like I’m on the verge of a royal meltdown.

I spent all last weekend hermit-ing it up to regain my footing and get back on track with my manuscript–which I did. Phew! Better yet, I sent my beta reader new chapters, and her feedback was positive. Her exact words were: “All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!”

I’m hoping to send her one more chapter before tonight, when the 2nd round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge begins.

Dun, dun, dun…

Yes, yes. It’s time for another round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. Buckle your seat belts!

So, yesterday I received my results for round 1. I don’t want to bore you with the details of the competition’s point system, so I’ll just say my story, Inevitable, took 11th out of the 40+ writers in my heat. Yeah, not too shabby, though I’d kinda hoped to crack the top ten. But whatever. For me, it’s not really about winning. It’s about challenging myself, improving my writing, and connecting with other writers.

Plus, I have to admit, Inevitable isn’t one of my favorite pieces I’ve produced. I’m proud of it and everything, but I wish I’d dug deeper and pushed myself harder. Suspense is one of my favorite genres to write, so I’m disappointed I didn’t try to take things to the next level.

Oh well, oh well. Onwards and upwards!

Round 2 begins tonight. At midnight, I’ll receive a new assignment (genre, location, object) and have 48-hours to write a 1,000 word story. Since I received suspense in round one, I’m betting I’ll receive comedy, romance, or–God forbid–political satire as my next genre.

Seriously, if I get political satire, I’m doooomed.

Anyway, in honor of my…hmm…I don’t know how to categorize this week. Wonky? Ha! Yeah, let’s go with that. In honor of my wonky week, here are a few random Friday Funnies. Enjoy!

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10257893_288674234658465_2390867437885549490_nHow was your week? Anyone have fun plans for the weekend? If I finish my writing contest early, I might crack out the Halloween decorations and gloom up my house a little. Of course, that means I’ll need to enter the dreaded Crawl Space of Spiders…Nope. Forget it. I’m not decorating this year 😉

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Set Fire to the Rain – Adele

You Know You’re a Writer When…Dishes

10 Questions Your Readers Shouldn’t Have to Ask

Photo credits:

http://partyofoneblog.com/2013/07/finally-friday-is-funny.html

http://www.rowdychicken.com/media/19-dilemmas-every-book-lover-has-faced-at-least-once/

http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/86751220.html?page=2

http://reactiongif.org/gifs/gif-cry-crying-lose-meltdown-sad-wine-work-gif/

http://www.urbansmoothie.com/2013/10/the-devils-reprise-devils-2-by-karina.html

http://hollygrass.blogspot.com/2014/05/hallelujah-its-friday.html

http://graphitedoll.tumblr.com/post/30306748060/everything-i-do-this-is-no-different

http://www.pinterest.com/slynnk94/i-want-to-be-a-writer/

http://thepeopleproject.com/writers/wine%20quotes

Friday Funny with a Birthday and Woot Woo

Happy Friday to one and all!

Well, I had one heck of a distracting week. In fact, I was so busy, I didn’t even get one word written for my manuscript. I didn’t even think about it that much. Eeks!

First off, I had my birthday on Tuesday.

Overall, it was a quiet celebration this year. Actually, most of my birthdays are on the quiet front. Believe it or not, I’m not a fan of the spotlight. Opening presents in front of people, having a group sing happy birthday to me, getting a cake with my name on it…Yeah, I pretty much burst into flames and go up in a flare of mortifying smoke every time. If I could, I’d happily hide in my house all day on August 19th, and then– slowly and cautiously–creep back out on the 20th.

Don’t worry. I didn’t do that. I went over to my family’s after work for my favorite home cooked meal–breakfast for dinner–had some cake (best part of a birthday in my opinion), and opened some great gifts. My family knows me way too well. They gave me a book, gift cards for more books, my favorites snacks (Craisins and granola bars), and a hilarious card.

unnamedI have a few other plans with friends, but they’re aware they’re not allowed to make a big deal about my birthday, so we’ll just be going to dinner and hanging out like we’d normally do…And if my friends are reading this, I mean it. This is your warning: No singing waiters or I’ll put you into one my stories and give you the boot! 😉 )

The other big part of my distracting week was the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2014. On Wednesday, I received confirmation for my entry, Inevitable, and was able to post it to both my blog and the competition’s forum. For the past couple of days, I’ve been doing nothing but reading and reviewing other people’s stories, and also receiving feedback for my own.

So far, the reviews for Inevitable have been positive!

Here are a few comments from my fellow competitors:

Suspense is right, I actually held my breath at one point.  And that ending!!

Damn! Just…damn.

I felt like I was there! It unfolded like a suspenseful movie, and I was totally on board with being along for the ride.

Amazing! Everything about this moved me.

The biggest compliments I’ve received thus far have been about my dialogue and character development. Everyone seems to agree I nailed both, and that makes me so happy! I’ve been working my booty off lately on improving those aspects in my stories, so it’s awesome to see my hard work paying off.

Of course, there have been constructive criticisms as well–which I’m more than happy to hear. One of the main reasons I do this competition is to learn and grow, and I can’t do that unless I hear what’s “wrong” with my story.

Anyway, that’s about it. Busy week, but a good one. I will be plunging back into my manuscript this weekend to get back on track with that. It shouldn’t be too hard. I’m right at the juiciest chapters of the book, so it’ll be fun once I rev up the creative engines again.

In honor of my birthday this week, here is today’s Friday Funny–well, Funnies. I couldn’t decide, so you get two!

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633d5e26caa8877ac29ef931b73abf3fHow was your week? Distracted? Focused? Anyone else have a birthday? August seems to be a popular month for them, so I’m sure someone out there had one.

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

I Made It – Round 1 – NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2014

Inevitable – 1st Round Entry – NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge Entry

5 Things to Know When Pitching to Literary Agents

Photo credits: 

http://imogenpoots-rph.tumblr.com/post/29738573493/did-i-really-hit-200-followers-within-a-week

http://verymerrydisneybirthdays.tumblr.com/post/28191748051/happy-birthday-alice

http://bitsofada.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/hugh-laurie-at-the-annual-sag-awards/

http://hellogiggles.com/amy-poehler-life-coach-15-things-shes-taught

http://imgfave.com/view/2106241

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ae/b9/76/aeb97696b7c0bbe74cd13230d11ead11.jpg

Writing update with a side of Friday funny

Happy Friday! Hope you had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend. I know I am. My plans are pretty simple: Go see Catching Fire and then write, write, write! I plan on hitting the 50,000 NaNo word count later today or early tomorrow (YAY!), but I still have half a book to go, so my journey isn’t over yet.

Plus, as the month of December approaches, I have a couple of other projects I need to temporarily shift my focus to. One is a short story for an open call submission for an anthology about ghosts. This will be a challenge since I’ve never written a ghost story, but what the hey, right? A bigger challenge will be my second project: Writing/creating two children’s books for my nephews. Each Christmas, I write them a story based on their life and then manipulate real photos of them in Photoshop to use as illustrations (here is the one I created for my nephew Dane last year). Writing children’s stories doesn’t come naturally for me, and with all the Photoshopping and book designing involved, they take me FOREVER. But, they’re worth it when I see the reaction from my family on Christmas morning. And, more importantly, the reaction I hope to see from my nephews someday when they’re older and can look back at the colorful series about their lives.

So, as you can see, even though NaNo is over for me, my weekends will continue to be mini writing marathons. But, I can’t complain. How can I? I LOVE writing!

Anyways, to send you off for your weekend, I thought I’d share one of my favorite How I Met Your Mother moments. It made me laugh this morning, so I thought it might make you laugh too.

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Have a great weekend!

Take that NaNoWriMo

On Friday I told myself I was going to do nothing this weekend but write. Write, write, write, write…And that’s what I did. When I woke up on Saturday, I was over 2,500 words behind on my NaNoWriMo project. By the time I went to bed last night, I was over 2,500 words ahead! I managed to write 7,ooo words worth on Saturday, and I squeezed out another 4,000 yesterday. Phew…

demotivation.us_Exhaustion-Is-the-best-proof-that-the-day-wasnt-wasted_132767036027Now, I know most of the stuff I’ve written so far will be heavily revised–most likely crumpled up and trashed–but it’s okay. I’m thoroughly enjoying the new path Fallers has taken so far. It’s a 100% new book. Even my protagonist isn’t the same. I’ve changed her name, her physical appearance and most of her personality. I’ve also taken the lead male from my previous drafts and bumped him up to co-star status. Now the chapters go back and forth between his and her POV’s (much like the Legend series format, but in third person). I’m finding this new structure is adding a deeper dynamic to the plot and driving the story forward in much more intriguing way…

Of course, it could all be junk and I’ll end up returning to a single POV. Who knows? This is what first drafts are all about: Risks, errors, victories, epiphanies, more errors, more epiphanies…Fun, fun, fun. Right?

Right.

So, how was your weekend, NaNoWriMo’ers? Catch up? Get ahead? Give up? DON’T GIVE UP! Go grab that piece of chocolate and take a deep breath and maybe cry a little. It’s okay to cry, remember?

Now, go get to work. Go, go, go! You can do it!

Jen’s Entry: FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: Horror in three sentences

Okay, here’s my entry for Chuck Wendig’s weekly Flash Fiction challenge: write a scary story in three sentences. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I kept coming up with ideas that needed four or five sentences. Cutting it down to three was irksome and, as planned, challenging. I ended up writing ten different options and giving them to my two harshest and most reliable critics (my mom and sister). Without talking to each other, they both chose number four as their favorite. So, that’s the one I posted:

5260514016_ae337cd403_o“Two Silhouettes”

“Need help with your groceries, ma’am?”
I shook my head, coolly ignoring the new bag boy’s greasy black hair and even greasier grin.
In the empty parking lot, I shoved the keys into my Chevy’s door, all too late realizing there were two silhouettes reflected in my car’s window.

My mom and sister had second favorites, as well. My mom liked number 3:

“Don’t look back, don’t look back!”
“Trust me, darlin’, you don’t wanna look back.”
Against my better judgment I looked back and saw my death reflected in his raised axe.

And my sister liked number 1:

Ignoring the dubious expression on the realtor’s face, I accepted the ancient keys to the decrepit house on Sutton Hill.
I stood in the dark, staring fearfully at my bedroom door and the mad scratching and crazed giggling on the other side of it.
The heaving walls blew their rotten breath on me as I barreled down the creaking stairs to the front door, knowing I’d never reach it before the stalking shadows reached me.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m a fan of any of them, but I got what I wanted out of the challenge: EXPERIENCE! So how about you? Did you enter? You still have two days to do so before the Friday deadline. I encourage you to give it a try. And if you want to post your story in the comment section here for others to read as well, be my guest.

To read more about this challenge, click here.

FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: Horror in three sentences

Who’s in the mood for a little Friday flash fiction challenge? Hmm?

Psycho-mother-4-5-10-kcChuck Wendig posted his weekly prompt and I thought it looked like fun (hard, but fun). In this one, you have to write a  horror story (with a beginning, a middle and an end) in only three sentences. I don’t know if I can do it, but I think I’m going to try. And I think you should too.

As I’ve mentioned before, I believe participating in these challenges is a great way to improve your writing. They quickly teach you how to show a story rather than tell one. So, even if you have no interest in becoming a short story author, these challenges will help you, trust me. Just remember: Enter to learn, not to win. That’s my personal motto.

To read more about this challenge, click here. You have until NEXT Friday to finish it, so there’s plenty of time.