Flash Fiction – To Have It All

Well, this is my entry for the contest going on over at The Clarity of Night. I turned this in a minute or so before the deadline. Just in time, as they say.

This one is a bit different than most of my other writing. I’m not really sure how good it is, to be honest with you. In other words, this one is less on the silly side and more on the serious side. I tried to get all writerly with it.

Anyhow, here it is. I’d love to hear what you think.

To Have It All

Greed was his poison, folly his chalice. It clouded his judgment and blackened his heart. And it was worth it.

Ras knew it was madness to trust pirates, be they the eye patch variety or their machine gun toting, 20/20 eyesight contemporaries. Yet he sailed with them nevertheless.

As they tightened the ropes on his wrists and ankles, he could have avoided this fate. He needed provide the location of the gem. And yet, even as their boats disappeared, he did not call out to save himself. It would not let him. It would not be shared, no matter the cost.

The restraints had been easy. Thanks to the poor quality knotsmanship of modern day piracy Ras had worked himself free from his restraints in less than a day’s time. Soon after Ras had extracted his treasure from its unmarked spot in the sand.

In my hand I possess more wealth than all of the kings throughout history have ever dreamed,” he said, his cackles muted by the vulture songs. The land and sea remained silent.

“Did you not hear me?” he said, holding his hand in the air. “With this, I could bathe in the most expensive wines in the world. I could dine on only the finest dishes for my lifetime and four, and never grow hungry.”

Ras failed to see another moon. His body receded over time into the sand. A stone remained where his stomach had been, worthless and rare, nourishment to none.

Return of the Mack

We just returned from a weekend trip to Rhode Island for my wife’s family reunion and a trip to Salty Brine State Park/Beach. We arrive home this morning around 2 AM and T Mike had me up at 6:00 AM. I drove the entire trip because I feel sick when I’m the passenger. So I’m a bit tired today. This will therefore be a short post.

My next post will most likely be about the GPS I bought and how it makes driving my much like a video game for me. I mean the “estimated arrival time” is like the Top Score to beat and the little car on the screen is like the car from Pole Position. And the kids in the back seat are the lack of quarters in my pocket.

A Whole New Appreciation

My wife is my hero. I have discovered this in the past few days I’ve been home on vacation with her and the kids. I also have a new understanding why she falls asleep at 9:00 every night while I come home from work and have plenty of energy.

I already knew from other times I’ve stayed at home that being a stay-at-home mother is one of the most difficult jobs around. But these three days I have witnessed it first hand. Let’s just say I only made it halfway through day one and I had to take a nap.

Now, our daughter is 4 years old now. It wouldn’t be too bad if you just take her into account. But then you throw in the 1 year old daredevil crazy person. Little T-Mike had been exploring his surroundings lately, to put it lightly. In other words, I’m still not sold it was a smart idea of ours to teach him to walk.

T Mike is at the stage where you turn your head for one second, and he’s on the top of the love seat. Or, he’s climbing on the dinner table. Or falling off the dinner table. Or, he’s eating something he shouldn’t eat, possibly even the keys he’s pulled off the computer keyboard. When he’s not exploring, he’s wrecking whatever cute game his sister had set up for herself. Oh, and he loves to feign a hug and dig his four teeth into our flesh.

The kid takes an hour nap a day. The rest of the time is just trying to keep up. Throw in preparing breakfast and lunch, cleaning up from the meals, and taking the kids out of the house for playtime, and general sanity, I really don’t know how my wife does it. What I do know is I’m going to think twice the next time I tell her what a rough day I’ve had. Chances are, she’s lived three lives in the same amount of time.

Clarity of Night Flash Fiction Contest

Jason over at The Clarity of Night is havinganother flash fiction on his blog. This one is the biggest yet, with a $100 prize for first place.

From The Clarity of Night:

The Challenge and the Prizes:

Here’s how the contest works. Using the photograph above for inspiration, compose a short fiction (or poetry) piece of no more than 250 words in any genre or style. Send your entry to me by email at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com before 10:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 28th (Eastern Time, United States). I’d prefer attachments formatted in Microsoft Word (please see the format request below), but if you have something more exotic, you can paste the text into the body of an email (no docx formats, please). Forties Club entries will be posted and indexed.

Now for the goodies. Thanks to an anonymous donor who loves writing, the prizes have been PUMPED! Serious money is up for grabs:

1st Place: $100 Amazon gift certificate and a signed copy of THE TAVERNIER STONES
2nd Place: $50 Amazon gift certificate
3rd Place: $35 Amazon gift certificate
4th Place: $30 Amazon gift certificate
5th Place: $20 Amazon gift certificate
Readers’ Choice Award: $40 Amazon Gift certificate and a signed copy of the THE TAVERNIER STONES
$15 Night Owl Prize (chosen at random from the entries not posted)

So, yeah, pretty epic. I’ve entered this contest many times, with varying degrees of success, but had fun every time. You can read my entry from the previous contest here. I was particularly proud of that one.

When I get my entry for the current contest finished, I’ll post it on the blog. As always, let me know if you enter. I’d love to read it.

The Alphabet

Having small children, I feel as if I’m swimming in the alphabet most days. By the time we had taught kid one how to learn to read and write the alphabet, it was time to begin teaching kid two. In fact, when I’m rocking my son to sleep each night, I always sing the alphabet to him. As a side note, did you ever notice that Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star and the alphabet are the same tune with different words?

Of course, as writers, our job is to take that alphabet and corral those twenty-six letters into the proper sequence to build our stories. Without the alphabet, there would be no way to pass on our stories other than the spoken word.

I’ve come across some cool alphabet related “stuff” recently. First is this awesome song by the band Barenaked Ladies titled Crazy ABCs. We’ve heard this on XM Radio and got a big kick out of it. I couldn’t find video of BNL singing the song, so here’s a video of a couple kids performing it. I think they did a pretty good job if it.

And just today, on “The Big Idea” on John Scalzi’s blog AlphaOops! H is for Halloween by Althea Kontis. Here’s a synopsis from Barnes and Noble:

H gets top billing — but a stubborn B has something scary to say — as the inside-out alphabet gives a howl-arious Halloween performance.

Ack! It’s time for the show, and A isn’t ready. But then again, Halloween can only start with one letter, no matter how the A-B-Cs normally go! The misbehaving alphabet is back, and there’s no telling who will take the stage next. Z for zombie? P for pirate? Will X think of something good in time? Neon-bright, comically detailed illustrations show a cacophony of costumed letters, each with a mind and personality all its own. Along the bottom, tiny pumpkins arrange the players in proper order, making this alphabet story letter-perfect for Halloween.

I haven’t read this one yet, but to read more about how the author came up with the idea for the book, head over to John Scalzi’s blog.

I Feel Melty

So, we’ve had 90+ degree weather here for the last week. My lawn is slowly turning to dust, the flowers now require twice a day watering (just to maintain their nearly dead status), and our sleeping arrangements have been…altered. This has made evening writing for me nearly impossible.

Because of the heat, the kids and my wife have been sleeping in the downstairs of the house with the in-window air conditioner there and I’ve been sleeping in my room with the air conditioner there. It has been interesting. I’ve felt a little like a bachelor, sleeping up there alone. The only real perk of that, though, is I can spread out as much as I want on the bed and nobody will yell at me.

Since I’ve had no TV at night and the computer is downstairs, I’ve been reading a bunch of Scott Pilgrim in anticipation of the movie in September. Such a fun read. The only bad thing about reading these graphic novels is the more I read, the closer I get to the end. There are only 6 volumes (well, the 6th comes out in a few weeks), so I almost feel bad reading them because I don’t want it to be over. I’m sure you’ve all felt the same way about a book.

My hope for tonight is that it’s a little cooler and that I get some computer time to do some writing. That would be peachy.

Time Keeps On Slipping

You are probably wondering why there has been no new blog post since Friday. I wish I had some grand reason for that. I do not. Time just got away from me, I guess.

Monday, I had a vacation day from work (for the 4th of July since the real 4th happened on Sunday). We went to Barnes and Noble and I didn’t get a chance to blog. I did get to pick up Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of Scott Pilgrim. That was sweet.

Monday night the kid had us up most of the night, so I was an absolute zombie on Tuesday. Thankfully, he slept better Tuesday night.

It has been abysmally hot the past week or so. 95+ degrees Fahrenheit every day and mid-70s at night. No respite from the heat. I long for the cold of winter. Remind me of this when I’m in the cold of winter.

On a positive note, I did a little writing yesterday for the contest I mentioned Friday. I’m not finished, but I like my idea and my writing so far. Plus, it feels really good to write again. Yay me!

Anyhow, this is me posting a post about not posting. I hope to post at least one more time this week.

Flash Fiction Contest With Prizes!

In honor of Sarah Hina (Sarah is a good friend of the blog)’s debut novel, Plum Blossoms In Paris, impending publication there is a Flash Fiction contest being held over at FlashFiction.in. You can check out the contest announcement here.

The rules are pretty simple. All you have to do is write a story of 1,000 words or less based on a photograph at the contest site. The winner gets a copy of Plum Blossons In Paris. I have not yet read the book, but if it is anything like the writing Sarah posts on her blog, then this is a pretty great prize indeed.

I hope to break out of my mental block (I’m not calling it a writer’s block) and get an entry done for this contest. I’ll post what I write on this here blog. Let me know if you enter, because I’d love to read what you’ve written too.

Note: Contest deadline is July 20th, 2010