Should You Enter A Writing Contest?

A fantastic post originally reblogged by my wonderful friend Jex. It contains great advice on how to become better known in the literary circles. It also promotes wonderful creativity and the experience of entering competitions; revising, editing and submitting your work. Enjoy 🙂

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Contest season is upon us. If you write poems or flash, short stories or creative nonfiction (personal essays or stand-alone pieces of memoir), then you may be thinking about entering a few of the many writing contests coming up. For first-timers, that means it’s time for worrying about whether or not your writing is up to snuff and second-guessing yourself over which piece has the best chance of winning–not to mention endless kvetching about where to hazard your chances, such as they are.

I may review particular contests in a later blog. At the end of this one, I’ll provide links to viable contests. But for now, let’s linger over an even more important issue: how do you know when you’re ready to enter a contest?

This may come as a shock to you, but I think this post could be proof positive that you are ready. If you are…

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#FlashForFriday – Wasteland

This is a brilliant example of flash fiction for #FlashForFriday. The description is immense and you are sucked immediately into the story. Want a go? Think of an idea and you’re good to go 🙂

Flashing for Fridays – Saviour?

Hello lovely bloggers.

I have decided to take up an idea that my wonderful friend Jex has begun. I know the title of this post can lead one’s imagination to wander but it refers in fact to flash fiction; these are wonderful bursts of creativity that keep your skills going and your grey matter flourishing 🙂 This is my little flash entitled Saviour? Lets see if we can make this a regular thing ay? Happy #FlashForFriday everyone 🙂

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Pain like she had never known screamed through her veins. What was happening to her? The last thing she remembered was the fighting. There was always so much fighting. She had joined the corps to serve with purpose and honour but had she done that yet? Had she buggery. She sighed. Now she seemed to be lying among bodies upon bodies beginning to sink into Lake Andola’s waters. She should freak out, she couldn’t swim, but she was tired. Let oblivion have her.

She marveled at the strength of their foes. The Orcs (Oppression Radical Combat Soldiers) had seemed to be in such a rage that perhaps the Human army never actually stood a chance. They were heavily armed today, their body armour gleaming, and their green tinged muscles bulging from God knows where. There had been a wave of fear on seeing them. They had fought bravely however and a tinge of satisfaction seeped into her mind. They were now wiped out much as the Human army was. She let out a heart felt laugh. Only silence met her but she hadn’t expected a response; she was sure everyone else was dead and she knew she herself was on the way out.

She felt something heavy slither over her leg. Surely it wasn’t the enemy. Did they slither? There was a growl and she knew it was no Orc but an alligator. She had thought they were extinct. Great that’s all she needed. She tried to move her arms, gripping her gun as she went, but only harsh pain was her response. She managed to lift her head and was greeted by an even worse sight. Beyond the menace she could just make out, through the darkness, a party of Orcs moving towards her. Great, what would she do now? She couldn’t even take on a ‘gator.

Suddenly, there was a great explosion of golden light and a figure appeared in its midst. She couldn’t be sure but they seemed to be floating. How the Hell were they managing that? The figure eventually came into view and she could see it was an elf. They were an elusive race that very rarely showed a presence in their universe. What could have brought this one here, now? She had flowing hair that alternated colour the more she looked. The main body seemed black and then deep, deep purple; the undercut and fringe tinged orange and then neon pink and then light blue; she was getting a headache from just looking. Her long corseted black robes blew in an unfelt breeze and her staff was sapphire topped. She felt comforted by her presence alone.

With a soothing smile, the elf lowered her staff so the sapphire was pointed at the battlefield. Closing her eyes, blue light poured forth. It dazzled and sizzled, both comforting and combating at the same time. She had to close her eyes against the brilliance but she could feel that it wasn’t malicious towards her. When she could finally open her eyes again the Orcs were gone, as was the ‘gator. The dead remained but she could cope with that; they had done it to themselves. The elf had floated down to stand next to her.

“Be not afraid Human. I am here to help,” she said in a voice that was nothing but melody. By then she had managed to scramble to her feet… somehow.

“Who… who are you?”

“You may call me Genevieve. I am an elf of the High Court. We are sent out to sort the foolishness of all races, and here I am.”

“I’m Andanna. I guess formerly of the Human Army Corps,” She couldn’t help but glance at the dead. “What are you doing here?” The elf hesitated. Do elves usually hesitate?

“I am here to save your soul.” And with that the elf enveloped them in blue flame, the oblivion Andanna had longed for coming a heck of a lot quicker then she had ever imagined.

END

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There we go, that’s my first attempt at flash fiction, written only today. It was an idea that came to me, merging sci fi and fantasy; and explaining the concept that lives can change in the blink of an eye.

I hope you enjoyed it and see you again next Friday for more #FlashForFriday 🙂

Dark Desire by Christine Feehan

Time for another book review you wonderful bloggers you 🙂 Dark Desire is the second book in the Dark Carpathian series by the wonderful Christine Feehan. I have done many posts about her writing before but I have only ever reviewed the first book in the story Dark Prince. As with the first, Dark Desire will not disappoint you. It is an ingeniously written insight to a dark World of fantasy, possession and lifemates.

Shea O’Hallaran is a remarkable surgeon for her age. She is brilliant, gifted and almost wills even the most serious cases to live through her surgery. One night she experiences that most horrific pain imaginable and collapses from the stress on her body. That’s when the strange happenings begin. She goes on the run after being accused of being vampire and is drawn to a small abandoned cottage in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains after dreams of a tall, dark handsome stranger beckoned her there…

Jacques Dubrinsky is crazy. Well, that’s what he believes anyway. He has been tortured to the brink of insanity and left to die buried alive in the wall of a cellar. His tormentors pierced his chest with a large wooden stake but they missed his heart. They should have hit his heart for now he will make them pay. He connects with a beautiful red-headed woman during his torture and not only does he have to suffer the pain but watch as well as she collapses from sharing it. He tried to protect her as a lifemate should but it was no use. Eventually darkness consumed him from blood loss but not before he thought that if she was his lifemate he would protect her; if she was his tormentor he would make her suffer…

What follows is a whirlwind of passion, possession, anger and love. Jacques can’t remember his life before the torture and Shea is desperate to find out why her mother, who had committed suicide when she was eighteen, was somehow linked to these mountains. Shea doesn’t want to fall in love with Jacques as she has a rare blood disorder which can only cause them both pain but he is determined to bind his lifemate to him; she is the light in his darkness and he hoped his apparent insanity wouldn’t matter. Could they survive together with so many unknowns? and what would they do when Mikhail, Jacques brother from the first book, comes looking for him after discovering Jacques is alive and not dead as he had thought?

Ms Feehan immerses you in a wonderful World of fantasy as she has done with every book. The World is created in front of you with the use of words only, you feel the passion stir your soul and you come to love the characters, both male and female, and care what happens to them. Ms Feehan’s writing is so all consuming that you could quite easily lose yourself in the novel for hours and not mind the time loss. I myself am about to start Dark Lycan her newest book and the mere thought of losing myself in more of her writing has me desperate to be home with a good cup of tea. I can’t stress this enough; buy these books, you will not be disappointed in the slightest.

Now to pop the kettle on… 🙂

Writing, Working and the Trials of Pregnancy

Recently I have come to realise that separating your attention three ways can be exhausting. In my eyes writing should always be your main focus when you are a writer; think of story ideas while you’re working, editing ideas while you’re cooking, heck even think of detailing ideas when you’re sleeping. Recently however my writing has suffered and I am actually ashamed to admit that.

As previously mentioned in both a post and a brand sparkly new page I am expecting my first child and I have gotten to twenty-seven weeks, that lovely time when tiredness REALLY smacks you round the chops and doesn’t go away 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly excited to have my baby but the symptoms of it definitely interfere with your writing time 🙂

Next I have just accepted and started a part-time job. Yes it is only part-time totalling twenty-five hours a week but that is time I could be dedicating to writing lol. Added to that the tiredness from work then you just don’t feel like doing anything apart from climbing into bed and watching questionable tv 🙂 I shouldn’t complain though, I am lucky to have a job and can now finance more things for the baby.

I became painfully aware of this predicament just recently when I decided to work on my short story Requiem for an up and coming deadline for the epic Dagda Publishers. When I was sat with my laptop on in front of me I felt like I couldn’t be stopped; the story just seemed to flow from me like water. Sit me down after a shift, or distract me with something like shopping and there was no hope. I feel bad about it now as I have only just sent the story to my wonderful beta reader Jex, I am painfully aware that it still needs work and I have nine days before the deadline. Eeeekkkkkk O.o

So all I am trying to say I think is ignore my thinly veiled excuse for a whine 😉 and if you find yourself in my position, or a similar position, don’t give in to the tiredness like I did. Plow ahead and you will be left with writing you can be proud of and know you put your all into. Don’t be left with the panic and stretching deadlines like I obviously have 🙂 Trust me, the stress isn’t worth it lol. Although don’t get me wrong, you better believe the next nine days will be dedicated solely to making sure my short story is worthy of Dagda 🙂 I love writing 🙂

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Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.