Weekend Writing Prompt #186 – Quixotic

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Quixotic

Challenge

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word (see note below).  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.
  • A note on the word: you can use any variation of the word (for example: call, calls, calling, called etc).  If you find you are struggling to use this week’s word you may substitute it for a synonym – just include a note to explain the swap.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun! 🙂

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!


Whispers and Echoes – an online journal of short writing – is always open to submissions *
Check out the journal’s full submission guidelines here

Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology: Outcast and Other Words – Read for free here

Excavating the Archives: The Love Spell

Michelle dabbed some of the rosewater she had been brewing for nine days – whose petals had been gathered beneath the light of the last full moon – behind her ears.  Looking in the mirror next to the kitchen door, she adjusted the rose quartz charm at her throat.  What was that fleeting look she had just seen; nerves?

She frowned.  Then, cross with herself for doing so, she stretched the skin of her forehead with her fingers, trying to smooth out the damage.  That’s better.

The timer on the stove chimed, followed a few seconds later by the oven.  Soon the table was laid – the centrepiece, a homemade apple pie.  She had read somewhere that apples were sacred to Aphrodite.  Next to the pie dish sat a tarot card: The Lovers.  Michelle reached over and picked it up.

Holding it in her hand, she thought over the lengths she had gone to get things right.  No, not right.  Perfect.  Damn, she’d even found an astrologist online to check the alignment of the stars, just to see if they would be in her favour.  This had to work.  Thoughts of him were driving her to distraction.

Not that James had any idea what she had been planning.  He thought he was coming over to complete a report for work.  If she had her way, the office would be the last thing either of them would be thinking about, she mused, grinning mischievously.

For a heartbeat, she wondered if she was doing the right thing.  If she was being fair to him.  Hearts in love, she pondered, were not really concerned with “free will” and “do no harm”.  After all, wasn’t there that saying…”the heart wants what the heart wants?”  Anyway, it was love.  There was nothing evil or dangerous in that.  It’s not like I’m planning to bury a knife in his chest…

Pushing away the remainder of her misgivings, she placed the tarot card over her heart and whispered the incantation one more time.

You’ll be mine.

You’ll be mine.

You’ll be mine.

Now all she had to do was wait…


This was originally posted in May 2017.  You can find the original post here.

Whispers and Dares – Publication News

Back at Halloween, Fantasia Divinity released a new seasonal-themed anthology, Halloween Frights and Autumn Delights. I have two drabbles (Whispers of Autumn and A Halloween Dare) in this collection, one in each chapter.

Here’s the summary for anthology from Amazon:

Halloween is here! It’s time to bring out the ghosts and goblins, the spooks and sweets. What can go wrong on the spookiest night of the year?

But among the frights of Halloween is the beauty of the autumn season. It’s time for the harvest, for giving thanks and blessings.

Celebrate the frights and delights of the season with this anthology filled with 131 drabbles, featuring over 40 authors!

My thanks to Madeline L. Stout for including both my drabbles.

You can find the anthology here.

Weekend Writing Prompt #185 – Dire

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Dire

Challenge

 

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word (see note below).  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.
  • A note on the word: you can use any variation of the word (for example: call, calls, calling, called etc).  If you find you are struggling to use this week’s word you may substitute it for a synonym – just include a note to explain the swap.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun! 🙂

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!


* Whispers and Echoes – an online journal of short writing – is always open to submissions *
Check out the journal’s full submission guidelines here

Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology: Outcast and Other Words – Read for free here

Weekend Writing Prompt #184 – Paradox

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Paradox

Challenge

 

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word (see note below).  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.
  • A note on the word: you can use any variation of the word (for example: call, calls, calling, called etc).  If you find you are struggling to use this week’s word you may substitute it for a synonym – just include a note to explain the swap.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun! 🙂

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!


* Whispers and Echoes – an online journal of short writing – is always open to submissions *
Check out the journal’s full submission guidelines here

Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology: Outcast and Other Words – Read for free here

Excavating the Archives: Old Houses Come With Secrets

The house was perfect.  It was exactly what we had spent the last year looking for: a period property in the middle of nowhere.  It needed a little renovating; it was an old house after all.

The house radiated peace and calm, until the building work commenced.  That’s when everything changed.

The contractors disturbed more than the bones that were found buried beneath the house that day.  My dream home became a house of horrors.  Even after the bones were gone something lingered.

A dark, suffocating presence filled the house.  Noises in the dead of night.  Cold spots in an otherwise warm room.  Clocks that stopped for no reason.  Lights that would flick on and off on their own.

Things changed irrevocably one October evening…

I was home alone, waiting for my husband to return after working late.  As I was walking along the first floor landing, I saw through the window car headlights coming up the driveway.  My husband was home.  But as I was about to turn and go down to meet him, something else reflected in the glass caught my eye, and I went deathly cold.

A misty outline of a figure was standing right behind me, and I knew that they were responsible for the all the strange and frightening things that went on in the house.  Who they were, I didn’t know and didn’t care to know.  I didn’t want to know why they did it or why they were still here.  I just wanted to be left alone.

Frozen to the spot, I heard the front door open and my husband call out.  I couldn’t speak, I was so scared.  I thought about the bones that had been discovered, and I got the distinct feeling I was going to die.

But I was wrong.

It wasn’t my body that would be found at the bottom of the stairs, broken and bloody.


This was originally posted in October 2015. You can find the original post here.

Playing with Murder – Publication News

Back in September, my short story, Playing with Murder was published in Unveiled Secrets, a Fantasia Divinity anthology, and I forgot to share the news…

Here’s the summary for Playing with Murder:

When Theo Reed returns to his room in Drake’s Lodging House after a short work trip out of town, it’s to a nasty surprise: a dead body lying on the floor.  He doesn’t know the victim, but the police believe they know the murderer.  Him.  That’s problem number one.

Problem number two: Theo Reed is no angel.  He’s no murderer either, but he’s going to have convince a lot of people of that.  What ensues is a chase across the city, the outcome of which has deadly consequences for him, should he fail.

Playing with Murder is an urban low fantasy mystery, set in another world not that dissimilar to Victorian England.

Here’s the summary from the anthology as a whole from Amazon:

Detective stories are popular the world over, fueling people’s desires to know “whodunit.” Combine that with the magic and myths of fantasy and you’ve entered a whole new world of mystery and intrigue! Join us on this adventure filled with 11 detective fantasy stories that will strike your imagination!

With stories by J.W. Grace, Gerry Griffiths, Sandy Underman, Sammi Cox, DM Burdett, Deeanna West, Zoey Xolton, Danielle Davis, Lionel Ray Green, Charlotte Platt, and Rebecca Buchanan

My thanks to Fantasia Divinity for selecting it for the anthology, and to M.E. Rodman for editing.

Find it on Amazon and Goodreads

Weekend Writing Prompt #183 – Wrangle

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Wrangle

Challenge

 

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word (see note below).  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.
  • A note on the word: you can use any variation of the word (for example: call, calls, calling, called etc).  If you find you are struggling to use this week’s word you may substitute it for a synonym – just include a note to explain the swap.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun! 🙂

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!


* Whispers and Echoes – an online journal of short writing – is always open to submissions *
Check out the journal’s full submission guidelines here

Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology: Outcast and Other Words – Read for free here

Weekend Writing Prompt #182 – Bequeath

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Bequeath

Challenge

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word (see note below).  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.
  • A note on the word: you can use any variation of the word (for example: call, calls, calling, called etc).  If you find you are struggling to use this week’s word you may substitute it for a synonym – just include a note to explain the swap.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun! 🙂

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!


* Whispers and Echoes – an online journal of short writing – is always open to submissions *
Check out the journal’s full submission guidelines here

Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology: Outcast and Other Words – Read for free here

Excavating the Archives: Murder, You Say?

‘Murder, you say?  Are you sure?’

Hannah Jameson gave a sideways glance out of the corner of her eye at her partner. Dan Davids wasn’t known for being smart, but even he should have realised how obvious this was.  Instead of answering him, she decided to continue to process the scene.

I think it was suicide,’ Davids called out.

I think you’re an idiot.’

‘But-‘

‘There’s no but.  The body is hanging from the ceiling, his wrists bound, his ankles bound.  There is what…four feet between his toes and the floor, but nothing for him to climb up.  He didn’t float up there, did he?  No.  He was winched up there by someone else in this room.  May be even two somebodies given the size of him…’

Davids scratched his head, processing all Hannah had said.  He didn’t look convinced, but although he was a good guy, he was a lazy cop and just wanted to go home.  He had three weeks of holiday starting tomorrow and this murder was more than a little inconvenient for him.

‘Just go, Davids.  I can handle this.’

His eyebrows shot up.  ‘You sure?’

‘Yes.  Go.’  He was more a hindrance than a help, anyway.  When he left, the noise of the other on-scene teams floated through the open door, before being abruptly cut off as it closed.

‘Who are you?’ she whispered, looking at the dead man.  He looked so plain and unremarkable, just an average guy you would see walking down the street.  He didn’t stand out.  He didn’t scream for attention.  But he had got someone’s attention, clearly.  And that hadn’t ended so well.

The pathologist hadn’t arrived yet but Hannah knew he would be there soon and then the body would be beyond her reach.  She needed to find as many clues as she could in the room before she left, before anyone else started interfering in her case and telling her what was what.  They were not as easy to dismiss as Dan Davids.

She stepped closer but not close enough to contaminate any evidence.  After a few minutes of intense scrutiny.  She found it.  A small mark above the right heel.

A mark she had seen before.

This was no murder mystery, after all.  This was a sacrifice.


This was originally posted in September 2016. You can find the original post here.