Some Reminders

Just some reminders today before I write a bit about Harry Potter.  Tomorrow (Friday, Sept 14)  at midnight is the deadline for Kaitlyn’s “I am sister to the Octopus” writing contest.  You still have plenty of time to whip an entry together.

Saturday the 15th is the final day to vote for your favorite short story in the writing contest I entered over at Small-town Big-world. You can read all of the entries here. My entry is the one titled Harry’s Discount Exorcisms.  I’m not asking you to vote for me, I just thought it’d be cool if there were a lot of votes.  There are four entries.  Vote for your favorite.

Check back later for a Harry Potter post about Snape.

First Line Contest: 500 word story

Kaitlyn is holding a writing contest on her blog and she is hoping to get as many entries as possible.  For those of you who are looking for a little writing spark, why not give it a shot?  The deadline is Friday, but that’s plenty of time to write 500 words. The challenge is to write a story containing the phrase “I am sister to the serious octopus”, a phrase her daughter said.

I’m going to see what I can whip together and I’ll post it when I’m done.  Good luck to all who enter.  Should be fun.

Writing Contest Update and Reminder

I hope everybody is working on their entry for the writing contest at Small-Town Big-Shot.  I’ve been working on mine the past few days and I’m pretty happy with it.  Remember, the deadline is September 1st.  Also, I was reading the rules for the contest and I made a mistake the first time.  The 750 word count is a minimum, not a maximum, so all you wordy people can write as many words as you want, as long as you write at least 750.  Good luck!

Writing Contest

You all remember the writing blog I mentioned the other day, Words, Words, Words, the one with the post about writing a fight scene? Anyhow, they had a link to a writing contest over at Small-Town Big-Shot. The contest is a 750 word short story contest. The prize is a $20 Amazon gift certificate. Here is the challenge and the rules directly from the site:

Challenge:
Write a comedy story involving at least 2 out of the following:
exorcism
mermaid
angry mob
black box
banjo

Rules:
Story must be at least 750 words (no maximum)
Stories must be your own original work
You must actively use at least 2 of the items listed
Try to keep it somewhat appropriate for this site
I will judge only on humor and creativity
You may submit as many entries as you like

For those of you who have read any of my work, this is totally in my sweet spot. Most of the stuff I write tends to be on the funny side. Check out some of my Ficlets if you don’t believe me. The only downside is the deadline is September 1. Anyhow, check out the contest and let me know if you plan on entering. We’ll see if I enter.

My Halo Short Fiction Contest Entry

Well, I finished my entry over at The Clarity of Night and it is now entry #74 on the site. I’m pretty proud of this effort and so far it has gotten a very warm response over there. Head on over and check it out and also check out some of the other entries. Amazingly there were 84 entries, which is pretty darn good for a contest in the middle of the summer.

As far as my entry goes, my inspiration came on my drive to work one morning, where the sky was completely gray. I just imagined what it would be like if the sun never came back. This entry is my first real attempt to be “writerly”, so I was nervous to post it. Anyhow, if you have the chance read my story over at the site or below and let me know what you think. It’s only 250 words long after all.

Out of the Darkness


Alistar wept, his tears tracing the curve of his sunken cheek. The sky had been a murky gray for ages, the sun and moon and stars, his onetime companions, having long ago taken their leave. His tears were tears of joy, for the light had returned to him, filling Alistar with hope for the first time in his life.

He had been bound to the tree facing this spot for months, possibly years, possibly his entire life. Alistar could not recall. The forest was all he knew, all he could remember. It was his world.

There were times Alistar felt himself on the verge of starvation, ready to give in to the hunger that gripped his being. Each time a mysterious man would appear out of the shadows, giving him something to eat and something to drink. Alistar had begged for mercy, hoping the man would release him from his entanglement or let him die, but the stranger would simply smile, wipe away Alistar’s tears, and slink back into the shadows. Despite this, Alistar felt no ill will towards the man.

And so it was, on the day that the day the sun peaked once more through the treetops, that the stranger unbound Alistar’s hands, wrapped a towel around his thin frame, and led him to the cottage beside the rippling stream. “You have endured,” spoke the stranger. “Now rest.”

It was on this day that Alistar began his journey to the throne, as the Great Book had said.

Writing Contest at The Clarity of Night

Jason over at The Clarity of Night has announced this morning another short fiction contest over on his blog. This is his sixth contest and they are usually pretty competitive, with one of the contests having 100 entries (I even earned an honorable mention that time).

The way the contest works is that Jason posts a picture and entrants write a maximum of 250 words using the picture as inspiration. The picture he chose this time is a particularly good one. Here is a link to the post announcing the “Halo” short fiction contest. Good luck to all of you who enter.

Here is a list of rules directly from the site:

  1. 250 words maximum.
  2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
  3. One entry per person.
  4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
  5. The copyright remains with you, the author; however, you grant me worldwide first electronic publishing rights to post your entry on this blog.
  6. Judging will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of judging and helpful hints, see A Note on Judging.

K. F. Gallagher Writing Contest Entry

As I promised, below I have posted my entry for Kaitlyn’s Tom Petty Short Story contest. She gave us the first line of “You think you’re gonna take her away, with your money and your cocaine.” and we were to use that to build a story in roughly 500 words. I completed my entry just before midnight last night, minutes before the deadline.

I tried something new with this one and I have trouble writing in 1st person, so please forgive me if this isn’t very good. Sometimes I think you have to just stick with an idea and write it out, even if it doesn’t completely work. Or maybe it is good. I have no idea. I’m too scared to re-read it. Anyhow, I’m posting my entry here before I lose my nerve.

Get Petty Contest Entry

“You think you’re gonna take her away, with your money and your cocaine.”

Those are the words that keep running through my head as the blows pour down on me like Schlitz on Homecoming weekend. I’m not really sure where that line came from, though a tiny part of me thinks I uttered this phrase when the men in the trench coats first accosted me. I’m unable to say them aloud at the moment, my jaw was broken a few minutes ago, but repeating that maxim in my mind is keeping me going.

From the moment I first met her, I knew she was out of my league confident I would never be able to truly keep her happy. She is a Dodge Viper kinda girl and I’m a Hyundai Accent kinda guy. She let me hold her hand and told me I made her laugh, so that was enough for me. I was almost happy to give her my savings, if only to smell her perfume and feel the skin of her cheek pressed against mine once more.

Getting your butt kicked really isn’t as bad as you would think, or at least that’s what I keep trying to tell myself. It’s hard to tell what’s reality and what’s a dream. I know my ribs really are broken, but I’m not quite sure Yosemite Sam really is behind my assailants calling me a wuss, though I wouldn’t blame him. If I don’t act soon, I don’t think I’m going to survive this, and part of me wants to give up. And yet, even as I begin to feel myself give in to the darkness, a small fire starts to burn in the back of my mind. “You think you’re gonna take her away, with your money and your cocaine?”

It was really hot this evening. What an odd thought to have when most of your body is being tenderized by two Neanderthals. I had worn a loose button down shirt out tonight, and by the time I started my walk home I was down to the last button. If I were to slip out of my shirt I may be able to work myself free from the man who is holding me and reach the Taser I had been carrying since the threats had first started. Fail at that, and it was all over.

A wise man once said,”You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down.” Well, I guess for the first time in my life I refuse to back down.

“You think you’re gonna take her away, with your money and your cocaine?”

An Idea

Have you started your entry yet for Kaitlyn’s Tom Petty writing contest?  The deadline is July 17, so you still have some time.

I started my entry last night and hope to finish today.  I’m pretty excited about it.  It is a departure for me in that I don’t think there is any type of funny hook in my story.  Hopefully it will still be good, though.  I’ll post my story here when I’m done with it so you all can read it and point and laugh at me.

Writing Contest based on Tom Petty Song

KF Gallagher announced a writing contest today on her blog. The contest is based on the first line of a Tom Petty song. Here is a link to the contest announcement and rules. Here is a description of the contest from the blog:

rules: all entries must begin with the following text: “You think you’re gonna take her away, with your money and your cocaine.”

length: 500 words max

deadline: midnight, july 17 07

genre: any

hints: be inventive. edit mercilessly. surprise me. have a spanking good time.

winning: one winner and a few honorable mentions will be announced and posted on the blog by july 24 at the very latest.

other rules: this contest is judged by me and is totally subject to my tastes, blah blah. the moon topples is a blog that runs excellent contests and he has a bunch of highly developed rules, so if you need more rules, you can go and read his.

So everybody get writing. I will post my entry here and on the contest site. If you do decide to enter the contest, as I would be interested in seeing what you come up with.

Softball and Weekend

I hope you all were able to make it to a comic book store over the weekend and pick up your free comic books.  I was able to stop at my local shop and picked up a bunch of comics.  There was some good stuff, including the excellent Peanuts comic (contained a bunch of never before collected strips), a pretty funny Simpsons comic, and a Sandman comic I had previously read online.  All in all, I got a bunch of reading material for free.

One more friendly reminder: the contest at The Moon Topples closes tonight, so get your entries to Maht 11:00 PM central time.

My weekend went pretty well.  I got a lot done on Saturday.  My wife, my Dad, and I spent most of the afternoon weeding our flower beds and putting down mulch.  Since we weren’t able to do much yard work last year (due to the newborn) we had almost two years of weeding to do.  I’m happy to say things look much better, though not perfect.

I have my first church league softball game tonight, and am looking forward to that.  I totally expect to be sore for the next few days, especially my hamstrings. Even though I played hockey this winter, I imagine my body won’t quite be ready for softball.  Wish me luck.  I’ll need it.