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Flash Fiction excersize

From the Rose Metal Guide to Flash Fiction… i took a class that uses this book.

Thought you might get a giggle out of this. I enjoyed writing them.

Describe a favorite place, encyclopedia style, but lie.

San Francisco has always leaned a little to the left. They can not help it, as they are on the left coast. This makes them susceptible to rocking and rolling, which can be seen in the way the streets rise and fall, always drifting to the left where the Bay is.

San Francisco is known for the Bay and its cable cars. The two perform an intricate dance, an admirable work of wonder. The tracks & lines are laid carefully and precisely so that when the cable cars make their loop, the end up going under the Bay into the Bay Area Repeating Train tunnel to loop around and start their route over again. Visitors often forget to jump off the old-fashioned trolley cars, going under the bay for a view that is beyond compare. Sharks are often caught peeking at these out of reach snacks.

Lumbar street is the spine of the city. Unfortunately, it is a crooked, cobbled street that the cable cars cannot access except at its cross streets. Tourists must trundle up and down its steep incline on the power of their own two feet. Those who have tried to ride down on bicycle or skate board have found themselves at the bottom of the bay after a wild ride, facing off with hungry, hungry sharks.

Write a second version, as a blog, Instagram Post, travelogue, etc.

2nd version different narrator

So, like, I went to San Francisco to see Lumbar Street. More specifically, I wanted to ride down it. They told me there were gnarly wipeouts, but come on! How hard could it be? #Adventure! Especially if I used a long board and rode it down… while sitting on the board. I mean, like, they SAY it leans to the left…and you’ll end up in the bay… but you have to be there. You don’t get it till you get it. #hungryhungrysharks

I went down Lumbar Street towards the bay like a bat out of hell. I even got air! #SweetMoves. I was wearing heavy leather gloves along with all the safety gear #helmetssavelives. I had thought, like, I could use my hands to slow myself down before launching myself into the Bay. Unfortunately, #IamaKlutz. I started to take my arms down from around my knees, the board wobbled and hit a rock, launching me into the air, over the barrier and into the Bay.

Thank you to the Aquarium on the Pier for starting #vegansharks #peoplearefriendsnotfood. Thank you for also calling #caltrans to come fish me out. I am really sorry about the dented BART car #sosorry. And thank you to SF General for the #topnotch care that like, really really touched my heart. And thanks for the tee-shirt #Isurvivedbeingsharkbait

Copyright 2020 Wynelda Deaver

Guest Author Nicole Givens Kurtz

Nicole is one of my favorite authors. The Cybil stories are addictive and have more energy than the first cup of coffee in the morning.

 

 

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today.

A: I’m Nicole Givens Kurtz and I’m visiting today to discuss my upcoming release, Cozened: A Cybil Lewis Novel.

What inspires your stories?

A: Strong women inspire me. Life inspires my stories. “Strong female” is a very conscious effort on my part. I went this route because I’m a woman, but moreover, I wanted to depict women doing in fantastical stories what we do in real life. We’re strong, talented, and multi-faceted in our abilities. So why wouldn’t we be all those things in fantastical stories? We would! Cybil is the most independent character, because she had come to rely on very few people. It makes her a challenging character to write, but it also allows for deeper exploration too. Far too often in speculative fiction, it’s the male saving the universe, or the white character saving the day. I wanted to see the women, but moreover women of color doing the saving, solving the case, and being awesome. Because we can and we do.

 

Who is your favorite character in the book? Why?

A: Jane is my favorite character because without her, Cybil would most likely be dead. Jane is the grounding that Cybil needs. The calm, realistic voice that speaks up and notes the things that Cybil may miss due to her rushing in where angels fear to tread personality.

Nicole, you’ve been writing for quite a while now.  What are some things that you’ve learned on this journey from aspiring writer to writer with multiple titles under your belt?

A: Learn the industry, and be fearless. Many times I failed to listen to my instinct, but instead let fear and in some cases, intimidation, cause me to miss opportunities. There are so many avenues for success, but you have to learn those roads before you travel. I leapt right in and found myself in some scary places, publishing wise. My advice is to talk to those in the industry, trust but verify, and be fearless in your belief in your craft and where it can take you.

 

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

A: I’m currently working on a short story in the Lawless Lands Weird Western Anthology and my novella, Akuba: The Devourer will be released in 2017.

 

Read on for an excerpt of Cozened.

cozened_coverart-300x450

Something about seeing someone smeared over Freedom Square with its historic quotations and long dead implications made me shudder. It wasn’t right.

The shiny moonlight revealed glistening drops that led off from the man’s body on to the impenetrable trees that dotted the pavement along the square. A reminder of a time when the United States wasn’t a jigsaw puzzle of territories, the vegetation had part of continuing Thomas Jefferson’s law to keep D.C. beautiful.

Now, no one even flew their vehicles this close to the ground unless landing.

“What the heck?” Without even realizing it, I’d drifted over to the violation scene once more for closer inspection. My eyes squinted as they tried to focus on the substance.

“Stop!” A regulator resembling a brick wall with a tan jumped in front of me just as I reached the liquid trail’s beginning a few feet from the cautionary beam. Between the beam and the brute, they’d managed to keep all citizens out of the violation scene. Beneath his uniform, muscles bulged against the fabric, threatening to rend the material.

“You’re not authorized to be here!” The monstrous regulator’s deep voice sounded like it had been modified from an audio file. Lips firmly pressed together and trunk-sized arms crossed over his chest, I knew immediately that my usual sweet-talking charm wasn’t going to melt his ice.

“Well, Regulator Tom said…” The lie formed on my tongue and slid off like a snake.

“I said what?” Daniel quipped from behind me.

I groaned. I needed to see those stains closer.

“She’s leaving, Ron.” Daniel frowned at my actions, no doubt. He grabbed my arm and directed me over to a somewhat secluded spot several paces away.    “Are you trying to get me fired?” he asked heatedly once we were out of earshot.

“You invited me here!” I removed his hand from my arm. I turned slightly away from him. His fingers brushed my arm in a half-hearted attempt to reclaim it.

“If the captain finds you here…”

“I know. So why wake me up just to jerk my chain?” I didn’t want to argue with him. Daniel’s arguments could go on for eternity, even if I’d died midway through the debate.

“No, but go home. I’ll let you know when I get more.”

I didn’t quite know how to respond to that and retain my dignity, so I stood with my arms crossed and my face fixed at pissed.

“I needed you to ID him, all right? You keep telling me you don’t know who he is, though the look on your face tells me you do. Since you won’t make the identification, I’ve got to put you back with the citizens.”

With his hand on my shoulder, he moved me toward the crowd of hungry spectators. Perhaps it was more guiding than dragging. I seemed to gravitate to my wauto. I didn’t tell him or anyone about the inky dark spots. No doubt the regulators’ vioTechs would locate and misinterpret them. This wasn’t my case and I wasn’t getting paid. Home sounded better and better.

I paused before getting into the pilot’s seat. Behind the caution beam, doctors removed chunks of the body into a body bag and hauled it away on a levitating dolly. Flashes from digital cameras lit up the early morning sky. The cool air seemed to suck all the strength out of me.

Death.

No matter how often I saw it, regardless of what form it took, it made me reflect on just why I did this kind of work. The loss of human life always unnerved me. Well okay, not always. When someone is trying to silence you truly permanently, then no, I don’t weep for the bastard who eats the other end of my laser gun.

Yet, this accident dropped a sharp stab into my emotional soft spots, the ones I usually keep covered with my own internal Kevlar vest.

As I sank into my wauto’s leather seat, images of him swirled across my vision like contact lenses—suctioned on, refusing to let go until the tears washed them out. I didn’t cry, not then. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.

The body no longer resembled a human being, but a battered hunk of meat.

Once he had been handsome, healthy, and one hell of a lover.

His name had been Carlos Rodriguez.

 

 

NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ is the published author of the futuristic thriller series, Cybil Lewis. She also writes horror and dark fantasy. Her novels have been named as finalists in the Fresh Voices in Science FictionEPPIE in Science Fiction, and Dream Realm Awards in science fiction. Nicole’s short stories have earned an Honorable Mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest, and have appeared in numerous anthologies and publications.

New Year + New Goals = New Novel

So, I’m setting myself up with a goal for 2016. It’s a goal I haven’t achieved since 2003. Yes, my lovelies… I’m going for the novel.

Novella.

Novellette.

Too many definitions abound. I am trying for 55,00-75,000 words of one story. There. Clearly defined.

Wheee!

So. In order to meet this goal, I’ve been getting ready. Started kind of sort of plotting it out. I have most of the arc of the story, as well as a few bright bits to write towards. I like having those bright bits… It’s like a way-point reward 🙂

One thing I will have to be careful of is that this story uses characters defined and originally written in my first novel (If There be Dragons), that was never published. I think that’s ok, that I can work with it. My writing style has changed, but..  Of course, my world building and description have always been spotty so am going to have to work on that.

Work on that a lot!

So I asked my very dear friend, my sister from another mother, my favoritest editor in the whole wide world if she can coach me through this. Because knowing me, if the descriptions aren’t there… by the time I’m done with the rough draft I will make tweaks but not add majorly with description and world building. I suppose I could… it’s just that historically I never have.

I’m really excited about this. I’ve started writing (is it cheating if I start now? or does anyone really care? I just want to write it to completion, edit and be sending it out this time next year).

Hopefully, we’ll be going on quite a nice journey together. I know I’ll be having fun playing with my favorite imaginary friend.

Let’s go play with dragons!

 

 

 

Character Letters

There are so many ways to get the creative juices flowing, and having your character write a letter is one of them. Yesterday, I woke at 3am with a heavy heart. I miss writing fiction, and my son wants me to try again at the real novel length…. so I wrote a letter to the character of the first novel I ever completed. Yes, I write my imaginary friends letters. Here it is:

Dear Alexandria Draconia, Mistress of the Dragons,

I miss you. I miss having you inside my head, living under my skin and behind my eyes. You were my first, and best, alter ego.

I am dreaming of riding dragons again.

I first “met” you while in college. You proved my instructor wrong, when he said not to even attempt genre, because most in the class couldn’t sustain it. He allowed me to write you, though. Mom loved your story, what was written before she died. And you were with me, grieving as well, when she died my senior year. Writing with you got me through the darkest days I had ever known at that point.

You’ve always been more than a character to me. More than an imaginary friend. It’s been 20 years and more, and still I miss you terribly. Hell, I’m writing a letter to my imaginary super hero.

Yes, super hero. You live in an Epic Fantasy setting, ride dragons and kick ass. But I’ve never been able to go all in for the super heroes. Super Girl is ok, and so is Wonder Woman. But as much as I want to love them, I just can’t.

I have my superhero. She wears trousers, not an ice-skating skirt– because trousers are more practical. She flies– on a dragon. And she carries a sword.

She’s not invulnerable. She kicks ass precisely because she does not commit to battle unless she is willing to die for it.

I need my super hero back.  I’m trying to raise my son the best way I can, but sometimes I get overwhelmed. (Although, I have raised him to believe in & love dragons) Pops is asking me to go through photos, and it’s a heart wrenching job because of why he wants to go through them now.

I was in over my head when I first wrote your story. I had no clue about world building, how to add depth and feeling. My writing style is still kind of sparse, but I’m getting better. I don’t know if I have the skills to do you justice this time around or not… But I do know that if I never try, it will never be written.

I also know a really great editor now, too.

I haven’t written a novel length work to completion in over a decade. I’ve been sprinting lately. But I think it’s time. Don’t you?

I want to ride a dragon, feel the wind in our hair.

I wrote nonfiction and poetry over the summer. I needed to deal with the situation with Dad and my own issues without the veil of fiction. It was very therapeutic– like writing in a journal, with more intent. But now, now I need my Super Hero back. Someone I can believe in, even if she happens to be fictional. When the chips are down, she always come through.

Sincerely,

Wynwords

Now, that would be so freeing, even if that’s the only thing that happened. But soon after, I received a (wrong number)  text that read “Congratulations Alex! Call me if you’re up!”  For some reason, I think the universe is telling me something….