"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eek! I'm SCARED!

I NEVER used to do the whole thriller/horror/scary thing. Like at all. But then I got hooked on Ted Dekker and dude, House is CREEPY. And then I started liking thriller movie things and now I'm obsessed (okay, not really, but kind of) with X-Files.

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNG prelude to say, if you like thriller or creepy or horror or any of that stuffish, (or even if you don't) then you totally need to check out

It's got some of the most coolest of all times writerly prizes. And I'm telling you because it's totes amazing, but seriously, please do not enter, because I swear I'm going to win that tote bag.


*runs off to finish story*

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Muse Returns

I have not talked about writing pretty much at all for pretty much a really long time here.

That is because it was non-existent.

Except for the posts here (which have become more and more sporadic, I admit) I have done virtually no writing.

People kept reassuring me that I would go back to it when I was ready. Saying that it was fine that I wasn't writing anything.

I tried to believe them.

But the problem wasn't just that I didn't feel like writing, it was I had no interest in it. At all. I didn't have a single idea that even tempted me to set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). My old story ideas seemed dull and stupid and uninspiring.

I read you guys blogs and tweets and how you were writing thousands of words and how characters hi-jacked your lives and all of that stuff and I loved reading about your successes, but it was seriously making me pretty stinkin' depressed that I couldn't even rouse up energy to write a single sentence.

I began to tell myself that apparently I wasn't really a fiction writer. It was just a phase I had gone through. And I'd probably fiddle around with it a little bit more, but it was something that had passed from my life.

Then Thursday night happened.

Naomi and I watched Vampire Diaries together and then put in an episode of Angel.

A song popped into my head as we were watching and I sang it until Naomi and I were giggling over it.

I am not going to tell you what it was, because I am guarding my SHINY NEW IDEA with my life.

That's right. In the middle of the song a SNI attacked my head. I laughed at it and shook it off and watched the rest of the show and went to bed.

Then I was driving to school the next day, playing a CD (the Wicked soundtrack, if you must know) and the SNI attacked my brain again! I literally was forced to turn off the music so I could plot in my head.

It was wonderful, but pure agony, because I got to school, had 2 classes, then a meeting, then had to drive BACK home and grade rough drafts all while the SNI was screaming and whining and threatening to run away.

Finally last night I took a little time before I went to sleep to write. Yes WRITE! It was pretty much the best thing ever. It's a twisted fairy tale and so far is WAY darker than anything I've ever written before and I'm so excited to see where it goes next.

But why couldn't Muse have visited me over the summer when I actually would have had TIME to write? Why did she wait until now when I really don't even have the time to post this, but I'm doing it anyways?

Muse timing stinks :)

*runs back to her cave to grade more rough drafts*

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yeah! Other Entries!

Naomi and I were so grateful to everyone that entered our Super Sister Celebration! We loved all of them and the fact that you actually took time out to write something for us.

So we wanted to mention the entries that didn't place and let you all know the things we liked about them too.

Kulsuma wrote a sketch based on the "Be Happy That... Grass isn't sharp" prompt - laying out a world where the grass is, in fact, sharp and how it affects everything.

One of the lines that struck both Naomi and I was "Lying on the grass in the sun is no fun at all; it's like coming into contact with a fearsome porcupine. But the people where I live don't bother with acupuncture when they're stressed; they lie on the smaller stems of grass, stretch and relax. HAHAHA! Loved it!

Sarah/Falen wrote a piece using the "Be Happy That... You aren't suddenly allergic to pants" prompt. It was about high school girls, a magic wishing star shirt and sweet revenge and I hope she posts it over on her blog for you all to read, because it was a lot of fun.

Naomi and I liked the bit where the MC is talking to the uber popular (and skanky [her word, not mine :}]) Lisa - she stepped into my personal space and I stumbled back. I was pretty sure if she touched me, I would melt. Also her description of Lisa's Posse as a pack of hyenas, waiting for the time when Lisa would fall from the top. Great word pictures!

Mia wrote a story that somehow made zombie cannibals (go figure, what a shock) with a lot of humor, car chase stuff and shooting. I hope she posts it over on her blog, because you'll all get a kick out of it.

Naomi and I both cracked up at this section - Justin gets tetchy when I jump-start the engine. I'm not sure if it's because I sacrifice a good paper clip or he didn't think of that. Probably the paper clip. Former librarians never lose their respect of stationary. Ever. HAHAHA!

So thank you again for making our contest a success!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We Have a Grand Prize Winner!

And one last giant thanks and a group hug
To the wonderful people that entered our

Both here and over at Naomi's blog! We had so much fun and we hope you guys did too :D

So, without further ado, the winner of our Grand Prize Pack including:
Plus a copy of Michelle Zink's second book Guardian of the Gate Plus an OWL Plus a SEKRIT SURPRISE


Drum roll please:

and she's having her own contest right now, so go check it out!

A moving van was parked in front of the brick house next door. Too much was at stake with these new neighbors. The noise caused an earthquake in my chest. I threw the curtains closed and put the chain on the door.
The old colonial had remained empty for a year, and you couldn’t blame the bad housing market. The stories had traveled far enough. The real estate agents couldn’t protect the value of the property. Most potential buyers get turned off by the idea of replacing the floorboards beneath blood-stained carpets.
But my curiosity got the better of me. Leaning over the back of my La-Z-Boy, I pulled the curtain back, barely an inch of glass visible to my eye. The movers were pulling couches and desks from the van, and lugging them up the steep lawn. Nothing seemed abnormal. Even the new neighbor—standing by the front steps, telling the movers where to take each piece of furniture—gave off an air of normalcy.
Until his eyes turned and stared directly at me.
“What’re you…?”
I screamed, jumped, and dropped the curtain. “Josh!”
He rolled his eyes. “You were spying on the new neighbors, weren’t you?”
“Sis, you’re full of crap. Why are you being so weird?”
I rubbed my shoulder, feeling the tingle of my scar beneath my sleeve. I’d never told anyone about my “date” with the previous neighbors’ son—or at least beyond what they expected. Movie and dinner.
I just hadn’t known I was on the menu.
“I’m not being weird!”
“Oh, whatever,” he replied. “First, you try to tell me the Franklins are cannibals. Then you start rumors that keep the house from selling. And now you’re spying on the new neighbors. What do you think? They bought it because of your childish lies?”
He punched my shoulder, barely missing the scar he didn’t know was there. “You’re a sucky liar.” He spun around and dashed upstairs.
I sunk into my chair. Was I overreacting? Was it unreasonable for me to worry that the new neighbors might have a son my age? And he might act normal? And I might like him? And he might ask me out? And he might invite me in after the date when his parents were gone for the weekend?
And he might try to eat my arm? And his parents might have been home despite the lie? And I was supposed to be dinner?
A shiver ran down my back. I had never told anyone what had happened. I’d driven myself to the next town, told them I was a runaway, and asked them to patch up my shoulder. How could I have told anyone, even my parents? “Oh, gee, mom, I know you like Billy, but did he mention his favorite meats are pork and humans?” Josh making fun of me was enough. I didn’t need my folks checking me into the loony bin.
A noise reverberated around me, making me jump again. But it was just the echo of the garage door’s motor. After a minute of steadying my breath and trying to meditate my blood pressure back to normal, my mother came inside.
“Oh, honey, I’m glad you’re here. I thought we could take some of your cookies to the new neighbors. What do you think?”
So much for that meditation! “Um…”
She disappeared into the kitchen, and began loudly rummaging through drawers. “Come on, Angela. You’re not shy. I would think you’d want to meet them.” She reappeared in the doorway, a paper plate in one hand and a roll of plastic wrap in the other. “I think I saw a boy over there this morning. He looked about your age.”
Did she just throw a rope around my neck and pull? Why can’t I breathe? “Really?” I squeaked.
She smiled, mistaking my fear for excitement, and disappeared into the kitchen again to arrange her welcome goodies.
As she walked through the living room, sugar cookies mounded on the plate, the look she gave me said I had no choice. With a silent sigh and trembling knees, I trudged behind her across the lawn.
The freaky guy who had seen me in the window smiled widely, probably considering us hors d’oeuvres. “Oh, how nice of you to bring us a snack.” He examined the plate. “If you don’t mind, can I ask if you used butter for these?”
I frowned. “Uh, yeah. Why?”
His smiled turned apologetic. “We’re vegans. We don’t eat butter.”
I stared at him, letting this sink in. Vegan? “You never eat meat?”
He shook his head. “My son’s never tasted it at all.” He yelled through the door. “Kamil!”
A moment later the son came through the door, radiating hotness.
Damn, am I glad he’s not a cannibal!

DrWhat did we love about this story? A lot of things. It told a great story in a very short amount of space. We both loved the voice of the character, particularly in her exchange with her brother and the list of internal questions culminating in And he might try to eat my arm? Naomi really liked the line He punched my shoulder, barely missing the scar he didn't know was there. And the line Did she just throw a rope around my neck and pull? Why can't I breathe? was one that caught my attention.

The cannibal prompt was definitely a favorite!

So CONGRATS TO ROSIE! E-mail me with your address and as soon as the owls are finished your package will be in the mail!

Everyone else, go check out her blog. I'm new there myself, but it looks like a lot of fun!

And if you didn't see the 2nd or 3rd place winners, keep scrolling down for some more fantastic reading!

Come back tomorrow when Naomi and I talk about some of our favorite things from the other entries!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Have a Winner! 2nd Place!

Here we go!

Again, thank you to everyone that entered the

Naomi and I really had such a fun time reading all of the stories. We read them all first and then talked about which ones we liked best and we agreed completely on all three. It was a blind reading, so we wouldn't be prejudiced.

But enough about the process, you just want to know who won the second set of fabulous prizes, right? They included the following books:
Plus an OWL and a SEKRIT SURPRISE (which I still haven't figured out) *headdesk*

But I will!

and the second place winner is
*cue fan fare*

Don't Worry, Be Happy
(she's on a lucky streak for pete's sake!)

I woke up on the wrong side of bed that morning. I mean, the wrong side of bed when you roll over and realize that one side was against the wall and meet the concrete with your face. Yup. Wrong side of the bed. I could already tell it wasn’t going to be a good day. I jump in the shower and scream oh-god-there’s-a-spider-on-my-face because OH GOD! There was a giant hairy eight-legged arachnid skittering around in the bottom of the tub. You should never have to meet that kind of terror while in the buff. That thing looked like it could climb right back out after being drowned so I showered with one eye on the drain.
I turned on the TV to watch the news while I got dressed. I surveyed my outfit in the mirror. An extra 30 minutes on the treadmill would be added to the count tonight.

“Aaaaah!What in holy hell?” My legs were trapped in a burning vice. I didn’t think the pants were that tight. I scrambled to pull them off. My ankles stayed trapped in denim handcuffs as I looked down and spied blisters everywhere. Gross! I guess I would have to resort to a long skirt today. Cue exasperated, if somewhat pained, sigh. I finally found the correct combination to break from the chains of my skinny jeans. (Note to self: stepping on one leg of the pants while tugging opposite foot is the key.) I did a little dance once I was free, which was soon followed by a wince from burning flesh.

By the time I finished dressing my eyes were watering. An eyelash decided to escape and poke me when I wasn’t looking. It quickly burrowed under my lid and behind my eye. No matter how often I blinked and drilled my finger into my lid, it stayed hidden. The fight only resulted in screwing up my TV. Flickering channels, burning legs, giant spiders, vengeful eyelash and a concrete wall to the face, so that’s how the day was going to be.
I grabbed a ready cup of coffee, a pair of sunglasses and a pile of bills to sort through on the deck. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was warm and friendly casting my shadow back against my house. Hello, Sun! I lowered myself onto a chair and took a sip of bitter steaming java. I was able to enjoy my morning for 2.5 minutes before a moving truck growled into the driveway next door.
The house had been empty for months and that delighted me to no end. Well, there’s my end…or rather the end of my solitude. My curiosity won the battle against my need for privacy so I stayed where I was. I sifted through papers and envelopes unfocused. I was rewarded with a deep oozing paper cut.

My eyes kept drifting to the truck. Moving men moved in and out of the barren house. A large man stood alongside a string of a woman shouting rooms at the boxes disappearing inside. “Living room! Bathroom! Kitchen! Den!”

The sun was against me now and blinded me from seeing anyone clearly. My stomach boiled and splashed so I decided to drag myself inside to throw some food down my gullet. I continued to glance while cooking until everyone disappeared into the house. And after several hours the moving truck was still there. That’s odd. They didn’t seem to have that much stuff.
After satisfying my hunger, I returned to the deck, determined to concentrate on my bills. I scanned my bank statement until I heard a loud yelp. I mean, it really sounded like a yelp.

“YELP!” There it was again.

Someone was trapped beneath a large armoire calling for help but with wood crushing your sternum, I’m sure it would sound like yelp. But with my luck, I was leery.

“Ah. Oooch-eee-owww!” The grass stabbed at my feet as I tiptoed to the fence bordering their house and peered through. I could see directly into their bare dining room window. Again the sun was waving and saying hello like a slightly stupid man while obstructing my view.

I could barely make out the people surrounding a large dark table. They were already set up for dinner. How nice. Then I noticed what was on the table. One of the movers was sprawled out and bloody. A cloud distracted the sun for a moment and the window cleared. There were four people around the table and each was chewing on a limb of the mover.
I would have called for help but instead, choked and gagged on the bank statement I had shoved in my mouth in fright. Great, now I need to call the police and the bank.

What did we love about this piece? First off, we thought it was hilarious how she managed to work in most of the prompts in a coherent story arc. Naomi and I both loved the last line. The rest of it was great, but that last line was a killer!

So congrats to Hannah! All of you should check out her blog, because she is hilarious and if you follow her you can make her muse dance :)

If you didn't see the 3rd place winner yet, check below! Lindsey's story is sure to make you laugh as well. And tune in tomorrow for the Grand Prize Winner! *loud cheering*

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Have A Winner! 3rd Place!

Yeah! Thank you to everybody that entered our

Also thank you for your patience. I had originally scheduled this to end before school started, but with my vacation and everyone else being away I extended it and then oops extended it again, because life ate my face off.

Anyhoodle (as Mia would say)

All of the entries were great fun to read and we enjoyed hosting this contest so much!

People actually entered so we don't feel like lame-sauce because you all are awesomesauce!

All right, enough corniness...
Naomi and I have chosen the winners and we decided to roll them out (like Sarah/Falen did on hers) so each winner gets the recognition they deserve!

So third place, with the wonderful prizes of:
Plus an OWL and a SEKRIT SURPRISE (which is sekrit, because I kind of haven't figured out what it will be yet)

Is the story I am calling (since the author left it untitled) -

"Shady Acres"
WOOT! (you finally got your owl :)

Different palates appeal to different people. It’s only natural. Some people don’t like anchovies. Some people love to mix peanut butter and chocolate. Some people are vegetarians. I guess you could call me a humanitarian.

Evil tastes good. Oh come on, it may be crass, but it’s just so spicy. Tangy. Tasty. Good people just taste bland. Back when my tastes moved toward people, I started with homeless, runaways… people who wouldn’t be missed. When I became more skilled, I told myself it was only right to consume those who brought darkness to the world. Yeah, it was my way of rationalizing a bad habit, like an alcoholic. But when the glossy Shady Acres mailing arrived yesterday… oh, it was just too easy. So much evil. Old, slow evil that has marinated for so long… Acres and acres of shady folks with their guards down…


Living here has been good for me. Shady Acres is… an “active adult community” (chuckle) not exactly the type of place you’d expect to find someone like me, but I guess that’s part of its draw. There comes a point in life, when you get to my age, where the legacy that you have worked a lifetime to build becomes too heavy a mantle. When you no longer have the energy or the desire to dye your hair or trudge around in fur coats, but after creating that persona, you can’t exactly throw it all away by showing up at the local SafeWay in sweatpants. Excuse the dramatics, but if you haven’t walked in my shoes, I can only compare the weight of carrying a legacy to the burden of Atlas. At some point, you just want to let the gray hair grow and sit around in slippers drinking tea rather than chasing fool puppies.

The best thing about Shady Acres is that once you’re in, you’re in. If you can get your application past this board, you are certified, bona fide evil. Your place is permanently etched in villainry, which means that you don’t have to go proving yourself to anyone else in here. We’ve got that hag with the poisoned apple, the fella who rode round Sleepy Hollow waving his head around, you name it. And none of us traipses around in our old fool villainous getups or puts on a show. We look more like early bird time at your local diner. And no one cares. Like I said. We’ve all made it. Nothing to prove, and no energy left to prove anything, anyway.

I remember you, you’re that crazy dalmation lady. With the name – De Mille? De Ville? The director or the car, I forget. Doesn’t matter. Anyone who skins puppies has to have the spice I’m looking for. This real estate lady here, showing me around, is pointing to each house and telling me who lives there, but what I’m hearing is each brand of evil and what I’m seeing is a buffet – but instead of veal, lamb, chicken, it’s theft, murder, and… whatever you’d call skinned puppies. I wonder for a moment if she notices the crazed look in my eye when she moves on to each tender new morsel, tempting my taste buds with one depravity after the other. But no, crazy eyes are the norm around here. I almost squeal with glee! There are a few empty houses, but they are going fast. Which perversion would you like to live next to, sir?


A week after I got the Shady Acres brochure in the mail, I put my dilapidated old castle on the market and my plan in motion. I’d only been hanging onto that place for sentimental reasons, anyway, you know? It was way too big for one person. Besides, we’re in a recession, don’t you know? The heating bills alone were ruining me. It’s not like I cared about that stupid princess anymore, but I had to keep putting on the show with the raven and the blasted horned headpiece. Did anyone really think that after 16 years, I was still hung up on not getting invited to her christening? Yes, they probably did. You cannot possibly underestimate the conceit of royalty.

It was so easy, the whole spindle thing got the princess out of the way. I have to admit, it was fun becoming the dragon after all those years of creating that image in my head for my final bow, but have they really stopped teaching princes to actually check to make sure that dragons are dead when they fall over a cliff? I mean, really. It was almost too easy to slink away while he basked in his perfectly coiffed glory and ran off to kiss her. So here I am, finally able to relax, at last.

Mmm, lobster bisque…

Prompt: Be Happy That Your New Neighbors Aren’t Cannibals

Which, by the way, was a very popular prompt :) I guess you just can't beat cannibals for short fiction, huh? Almost as good as zombies...

What did we love about this piece? Well, the concept is hilarious - that there is this retirement home for all the evil people?! Ha! Cru cracked us up. Then the narrator - this horrid cannibal person eating evil people to assuage his/her conscience for being a cannibal! Ha again!

I particularly loved the line:

I guess you could call me a humanitarian.

Naomi liked the section where the cannibal is drooling over each "flavor" of evil as he/she is being shown around Shady Acres.

It made us smile, had great characterization and was well written.

Congrats Lindsey! I think I have your address somewhere, but e-mail me with it again so I have it for sure. I will (hopefully) finish up the owls this weekend :) If any of you haven't checked out Lindsey's blog, do so - she's Dangerous With a Pen (it says so right on her blog) and quite witty as well :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


So I was SURE that I had put through Thursday as the deadline for the contest, but apparently I wrote Tuesday here. But I MEANT Thursday, so you have one more day to get those entries in so you can win one of these:
Isn't it adorable?

Okay, so I haven't finished the owls yet, but when they're assembled they'll look something like this:
So cute, right?!

So hurry up and write your flash fiction. The rules are all HERE

And if you haven't yet, leave a comment on Naomi's contest HERE and enter to win pillows!

All right. I will make every effort to get a Retail Wednesday post up later today. If I finish my homework. Blah.

So excited to judge all this flash fiction! Whee!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What?! No Retail Wednesday!?

I know, I know, I told you I'd be here and I haven't been. I was going to do a post with some stuff I had saved up AND THE PAPER DISAPPEARED.

I am CRUSHED by this as I am sure that you are.

Plus, this week was the first week of grad school AND TAing that is making me a little crazy. I am avoiding work right now, hence the silly little blog post.

So, I hope to be back next week with my stored up stuff AND I start back at work (just 1-2 days a week, so nothing too major) so I might have some new stories :)


You still have a few days to enter the Super Sister Celebration! Flash Fiction! I am so excited about the entries I've already gotten and hope to get some more before the deadline (some of you said you were going to send something. Ahem.)

And here are some LOLcats to make you smile :D