#InstaChristmas, at 1:1000

1:1000 is a website that pairs photography with 1,000-word prose. Sound like your cup of tea? Go to Pinterest and select an unclaimed photograph, then write your 1,000-word piece (fiction or creative non-fiction).

My latest piece is live over at 1:1000! #InstaChristmas is my latest attempt at integrating humor and snark into my writing. In-person, I feel like I’m fairly witty. In my writing, it usually falls flat. This was a rare success (at least with the 1:1000 editors). #InstaChristmas also includes a heartwarming, seasonal character arc and somewhat meta (self-)mockery of social media madness.

Have a very Merry Christmas if you celebrate, and don’t forget to tell someone you love them, or at least share that perfectly styled Instagram photo!

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The Old Homestead, at 1:1000

1:1000 is a website that pairs photography with 1,000-word prose. Sound like your cup of tea? Go to Pinterest and select an unclaimed photograph, then write your 1,000-word piece (fiction or creative non-fiction).

Just a quick post today, now that my wifi starting working again (ugh; jury’s still out on whether I can open Scrivener) to let everyone know my latest piece for 1:1000 went live yesterday! I’d describe it as chilly, creepy, and atmospheric. It needed a lot of shaping and molding and whittling down, but the homestead is ready for your reading pleasure – so give it a read and let me know what you think! Thanks!

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Creepy Flash Fiction, 2015 Edition

 

Last year I posted some great books to get you in the mood for Halloween. This year, I’m ever-so-humbly linking to some of my favorite creepy flash fiction pieces I’ve written.

I know, I know, but I adore writing horror and unsettling fiction, and people tell me I kind of have a talent for it, so I figured why not self-promote and get feedback at the same time?

 

Thanks for reading! As always, feedback appreciated – so leave a note in the comments!

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Submissions Manager

It seems like a worthwhile time to revisit writing progress, since I have some minor updates and haven’t done a Beyond the Blog post this month!

I hear back about my Southwestern horror piece, and it wasn’t selected as one of the winning pieces. Normally I would be really upset, but after I posted about the writing experience and “hustling my own damn talent,” one of the 1:1000 editors reached out to me with interest in seeing it. Together we made some more improvements and tightened up a few areas, and it became a stronger, richer piece. I even told Scott that I kind of hoped it didn’t win, because I liked this version more. To add to that, I’ve come across another contest – seriously, wasn’t searching for it, it popped up on one of my RSS feeds from a non-writing site – and it seems like a much better fit. So, I’ll be submitting there this month. Fingers crossed!

I’ve also been working on a handful of pieces for ongoing submissions and October deadlines. I’m really drawn to flash fiction and it’s been my jam for a while now, but a couple of the ongoing sites are more micro-fiction and that intrigues me. I’ve got one submission planned that will be three linked, 500-word pieces, and I’ve been channeling Erin Morgenstern with rich, lyrical descriptions but not much else. Lots to improve there, I suppose.

There are a couple of longer pieces I’m honestly struggling with, in terms of scope and character. I have some good ideas, they just aren’t translating as well on the page as I’d like. I’ve got October earmarked as a short fiction month, because I think I’m going to try my hand at NaNoWriMo (again) this year.

Also, I designed a rudimentary submissions manager tracking spreadsheet – just something to keep me from emailing links to my stuffed inbox or toggling around tabs in my browser. It’s a simple spreadsheet with columns and basic color-coding to help me track submissions. If anyone has a better version (or tips) based on what they’ve created, I’m all ears!

Thanks for reading! What have you submitted lately?

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What the Darkness Hides, at 1:1000

1:1000 is a website that pairs photography with 1,000-word prose. Sound like your cup of tea? Go to Pinterest and select an unclaimed photograph, then write your 1,000-word piece (fiction or creative non-fiction).

As I said on Facebook, it’s time for my monthly reminder I had a totally normal childhood and am well-adjusted and my parents were cool. I’m thrilled with how my latest piece turned out, because it started with a different set of characters and conflict.

I originally planned to write about two women in love with the same man – a case of misunderstanding, with the girlfriend discovering the “other woman” is a foster sister. But, I kind of hated it, and it does sound rather boring, doesn’t it? So I hardcore ramped it up for the next iteration: creepy monsters that are an homage to Lovecraft, the Southern Reach trilogy, and Guild Wars 2’s Sylvari race. I also came up with extensive back stories for the two protagonists, Margaret and Gloria (fun fact, they’re named for Margaret Atwood and Gloria Anzaldúa).

Enjoy the tongue-in-cheek play on borderlands, and understand why one of our editors wondered what goes on in my head. Give it a read and let me know what you think! Thanks!

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One Little Push, at 1:1000

1:1000 is a website that pairs photography with 1,000-word prose. Sound like your cup of tea? Go to Pinterest and select an unclaimed photograph, then write your 1,000-word piece (fiction or creative non-fiction).

My July piece is one of my personal favorites. I loved writing it, loved making it better, and I’m happy it’s out there for the world to read. It features a character that I think a lot of us can relate to – someone who isn’t happy with her lot in life, regrets decisions she’s made, and wishes she could go back to make things different. She compares herself to others and focuses on what went wrong. Oh, and it’s set in an attic that reminds us why we were afraid of the dark as kids.

Give it a read and let me know what you think! Thanks!

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1:1000 | Freshmen

1:1000 is a website that pairs photography with 1,000-word prose. Sound like your cup of tea? Go to Pinterest and select an unclaimed photograph, then write your 1,000-word piece (fiction or creative non-fiction).

Yesterday I wrote about Benjamin Percy going off the rails and needing restraint for his latest novel. And this past weekend, I kind of did the same thing. Luckily, the 1:1000 editors are the best and I can usually be reeled in. My original piece for June was a hot, jumbled mess. I wanted to write the next installment of Tales from the Academy, but it just didn’t work. Backloaded exposition, conflicting character motivations, and minimal reader engagement do not a fascinating flash fiction tale make.

After reading the feedback, I decided to scrap the whole piece and start from scratch. It was easier than trying to rework my current piece, especially because one thread I noticed was maybe this series doesn’t lend itself to 1,000-word installments. With the exception of the first two pieces, they’ve been brutal to write. So, we’ll see what happens with that. I’d like to keep writing the series, I just don’t know if each installment can be captured well with a word limit.

My next attempt was better received, and I’m very proud of “Freshmen.” It features female friendships (#girlpower), one of my favorite things in my writing. I love exploring different women’s relationships, because even if they’re just the characters inside my head they still have valuable things to say. It’s a bittersweet look at college life and how it can be crushing and exhilarating.

Give it a read and let me know what you think! Thanks!

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