Monday, March 11, 2013

Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge

I recently stumbled across Chuck Wendig's blog and was immediately hooked. Anyone who hasn't seen his blog should do so immediately because he is utterly hysterical.

Anyways, he recently posted a flash fiction challenge called Choose Your Random Sentence where you go on a random sentence generator and keep clicking through until you find one you like. Once you do, you have to write a 1,000 word flash fiction piece. Intrigued, I went on the random sentence generator and ended up with:

The edge exists opposite the lord.

While utterly nonsensical, I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. So here you go.
Also, there is some swearing in this piece so if you are little-girl scared of bad language then feel free to click away.

No seriously, I'll wait.

“My Lord, you must hide!”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Just looking at this sniveling little wretch prostrated before me, I couldn’t believe he had the audacity to enter my chambers unannounced, let alone suggest I not hold my monthly open forums where I listened to the endless complaining of my subjects. Sure, I would rather eat cow’s dung than listen to their plebeian bleating, but it was my duty and goddamnit I was going to do it!

“Sir, there have been rumors of an Edge…”

“Fah!” I cut him off mid-sentence with more than a little satisfaction. “I have no use for rumors or other such fear mongering.” Stupid little shit doesn’t know who he is talking to apparently. “The Edge do not operate in my realm, or do you not remember them being driven out of this kingdom shortly after my ascension to the throne?”

“Of course sir, but…”

“There is no but in this matter. The Edge do not concern me and nor should they concern you. The only edge you need worry about is the edge of my blade going through your thick skull if you do not exit my chamber immediately and leave me to my duties!”

“Sir, you do not understand!”

“Don’t understand?” I was beginning to get irritated by his familiar tone. “You believe you know better than me? You think to tell me my business? You come in here with lunatic stories about an Edge here to kill me, and dare tell me that I don’t understand the goings on in my own kingdom? Get out immediately or suffer my wrath!”

Expecting that to put him in his place, I turn my back so he can scuttle out of my chambers, but as I wheel back around the little bastard is still where he was, a look of resolute determination on his face.

“Sir if you will not heed my warnings and abdicate your place among today’s proceedings, may I at least provide you with an armed escort for the day. If you are not worried for your own safety, consider it a statement to the people that you will not suffer their trivial complaints without retribution.”

Hmm now there’s an idea. Scare those little bastards into leaving me alone. I may not have to host these little forums ever again if a couple of citizens get beaten for complaining about the cost of clothing or some other nonsense. Nodding curtly to the servant, I returned to my preparations as he quietly shut the door on his way out.

Finally alone, I am able to return to my morning preparations. After picking out the correct clothing and coiffing my hair to perfection, I stroll out of my room in the most suave and stately manner possible, and see the guard detail promised by that nameless wretch already standing guard outside my door. Two imposing looking men are facing me, clubs in hand and ready for action.

Staring dubiously at their clubs, I begin walking down the hallway towards the audience chamber. “Just clubs? I’d figure you two would have something a bit more serious to guard someone of my magnitude.”

The smaller of the two men steps forward and unsheathes a long dagger hidden in his clothing. “The clubs are to draw the eye, my lord, not for use.”

“Very well.” I wave him off and he drops back to walk alongside his companion. At least these two have some manners. “All the same, you may want to keep those clubs ready for use. I am especially short tempered today and some peasants may need to be taught a lesson or two.”

“As you command.” The bigger one’s voice was more of a grunt than anything. I consider letting him know what I think of his pig-speak, but figure I should leave it until I have a larger audience. He likely won’t understand the joke anyway.

I enter the audience chamber still ruminating on my guard’s absurd voice and begin to notice an unusual dearth of noise. My monthly forums have become a favorite of the neurotic and bitchy, so the room is always abuzz with commoners comparing their pathetic little problems. Looking around, I see only one man standing opposite me and looking a great deal more intimidating than earlier in the morning when he was bowing and scraping at my feet.

“What the fuck is this?” I am using my stage voice now that I’m in the audience chamber. It’s deeper and gives me a certain gravitas I generally don’t bother with. Even though the room is virtually empty, the habit is a tough one to kick.

“I was hoping to do this in a more secluded space, but as you were inexplicably determined to force your ill will upon your loyal subjects, an encounter in an open forum was necessitated. Fortunately, the villagers were kind enough to leave before any blood was shed. They anxiously await the news of your demise.” All wheedling is gone from his voice, leaving only a cold efficiency in its place. He is standing up straight now and is clearly in his element.

“Who sent you?” My voice has taken on a rather squeaky tone now that I am staring my own death in the face. My stage voice has deserted me and left me with a rather uncomfortable sore throat, though I imagine that will be the least of my worries in a few moments.

“I already told you, I am an Edge. We exist to oppose all those who seek to oppress those who look to them for guidance. Shouldn’t you know all of this already? It was your tyrannical ways that necessitated our exodus from your lands.”

He’s right about that. The Edge’s fondness for offing rulers who dared treat others as they deserved forced me to attempt their complete eradication years ago. I had assumed I succeeded. Apparently not.

He strides up to me as the two grunting meatheads behind me grab my arms and force me to my knees.

Looking down at me, the Edge smirks confidently. “Any last words?”

I have to think for a minute on that one. All great deaths through history are accompanied by famous last words. Something to instill fear or love in those who heard it. Mind made up, I open my mouth to utter my soon to be renowned last words as that sniveling wretch from my chamber stabs me through the neck, filling my mouth with blood.

As I die, the only thing I can think is, “Oh great, my last words were ‘Hgrk, blach cleck hye… bleehhhh.’”

Not ideal.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Challenges Galore!

I've been looking into joining the A-Z challenge for a while now, but was always intimidated by the amount of writing it would necessitate. For those who don't know, the A-Z challenge is a bloggingchallenge where once a day for the entire month of April except Sundays, you are to post an entry based on a different letter of the alphabet.
That's 26 posts in a month. More than I've written on my blog ever. That's definitely something to make me pause and second guess myself. Yesterday, I wised up and realized that the challenge was the point. It's not called the A-Z Happy Walk In The Park.

So I signed up and decided to start preparing what I was going to write about. I've decided the topic for each day and have started pre-writing a few just so I don't go crazy in April.

This morning I woke up and saw I had an email about Camp NaNo in April and started hyperventilating a little bit. Camp Nano is much less rigorous than NaNoWriMo as it has a variable word count requirement you can set for yourself, but it's still a significant undertaking. Since I'm pre-writing some of my posts for the A-Z challenge, I can't use them to fulfil the Camp NaNo challenge so now I'm torn as to whether or not I'll be able to participate in the April Camp. There is another Camp in July that I've already prepared a short story for, but April is really up in the air for me.

I really enjoy blogging, and doing the challenges hosted by other bloggers has really helped me out both on my own writing skills and in meeting new blogger buddies. It can get a bit overwhelming, especially since I'm still pretty new to the scene and I really need to just power through and keep on blogging, but having the Camp NaNo challenge and the A-Z challenge in the same month may be a bit too much.

So now for your input! How do you feel about all of the blogging challenges available to writers? Which are your favorites? Should I try squeezing in the Camp NaNo challenge or just hold off until July?
As always, I love comments so even if it's completely off topic, go for it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February Word Master Challenge

The Word Master Challenges by Misha over at My First Book are always interesting and extremely difficult, but the one from February really had me scratching my head. The premise was simple. Pick a place and describe it in 300 words or less along with up to a 50 word intro. Seems simple, no? I was surprised to find that I struggled with this one more than I could have possibly anticipated. I was split on where I wanted to talk about and worried it wouldn't be interesting enough. I finally decided to just get over it and go for it. The result is as follows

After my senior year in high school I went on a trip with some of my friends to Italy. Out of the entire amazing trip, one place stood out in my mind in particular. Sorrento is an idyllic town right on the Mediterranean and I had an absolutely amazing time.

My description is shorter than I had expected, but I wanted to just get right to the point. Hope ya like it!

I walk out to the balcony, the early morning sun just now beginning to heat up. I step onto the balcony and enjoy the chill from the marble on my bare feet. Breathing in the fresh salt air from the Mediterranean, I look out over the garden of an enormous mansion right out in front of the hotel I’m staying at. The grounds are immaculate and the scent of fresh cut grass and various flowers mixes with the sea air to make an intoxicating atmosphere of calm relaxation.
Staring out at the pristine aquamarine landscape in front of me, I begin to trace the trails the large ships in the bay have left behind. Lost in thought and in the beauty of the moment, I am startled by someone opening their door to the balcony next door. The spell broken, I head back inside to start the day in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

For anyone who has the opportunity to go to Italy, definitely make sure to at least stop off for a day in Sorrento. Truly an amazing town.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bloghop of Joy

So I saw a couple of my friends doing this bloghop and thought it sounded fun, so here goes!

Kyra and Clare decided to set up the Bloghop of Joy to make people remember all of the good things in life that make us smile even as we deal with blizzards, leaky ceilings, or other general craziness associated with winter. The point is to make a list of joy with at least five things that make me smile so here you go:

My car. I started a new job in January and they wanted me to have a car. I live in Boston which is a huge pain to drive around in so I wasn't too thrilled about it, but I truly love my car now. I've had cars before I moved to the city, but I never really cared about them. Regardless of how absurd it sounds I smile every time I see my car even though it typically means I'm on my way to at least 11 hours of work.

My computer. Yes, the list of possessions continues. I feel a little bad having a list of such shallow items, but it's my list so get over it. Last year I decided my laptop just wasn't cutting it and decided I needed a new computer. Around this time, my friend was touting his super awesome desktop he had built himself. I decided I needed to one-up him and build an even bigger and more powerful computer than his. several hours and a big chunk of money later, I had the behemoth I call my computer. I'm more attached to this thing than is probably healthy. I put a lot of time and effort into designing and building it, and knowing that my computer is absurdly overpowered just makes it even better. Just to give you an idea, here is a picture of my baby in all its manly glory:

My Family. Ah finally, a break from the procession of stuff I'm proud of. My family has become very important to me over the last few years. I've finally started to shake off the teen angst of high school and started to really appreciate them and everything they do for me. I spent my senior year of high school 3,000 miles away from them and then moved to Boston to go to Northeastern University which is where my dad teaches. I hang out with my parents at least once a week and will find it very difficult to move away when the time comes.

Psych is back! For those of you who don't watch Psych, your life is empty and meaningless. Last season ended with a huge cliffhanger and I've been twitching with anticipation ever since. The new season finally started up again on Wednesday and all is now right with the world.

And last but certainly not least:

Writing Kind of obvious since I'm blogging this, but my writing is truly one of my truest happinesses. I started writing because I needed a way to de-stress, and found something in myself I never expected. To this day, writing is the only this that truly relaxes me and without it I would go back to being the angry, arrogant, immature jerk I used to be.

Well that's it; my list of joy is complete and I really do feel better about the weather! Big shout out to Kyra and Clare for making everyone's day just that much better.