Tag: Weekend Writing Warriors

Weekend Writing Warrior 10/23/16 #8Sunday

After All coverIt’s almost Halloween, so I’m continuing on with excerpts from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all interconnected and dealing with the apocalypse.

Here’s what we have so far:

  • “Special” – a pair of twins with special abilities living in caves due to airstrikes
  • “The Graveyard” – a plague kills off most of a western mining town
  • “E.L.E.” – two polar opposite campers must work together to survive a meteor strike
  • “After the Flood” – a naive, pampered girl tries to survive when the economy crashes and anarchy becomes the ruling system

This week I’m pulling from “Passing,” the story that ties together all the other ones. This excerpt picks up from last week’s.

* * * * * * *

Jet slowed and held his immobilizer ready.

A small boy sat on the forest floor, tear tracks streaking his dirty face. Jet’s specs tried to scan him but blinked out, and he pushed them off his face.

<<Specs are down,>> he sent to Luce.

<<Mine too. I don’t like this.>>

Specs were Spark-proof; they might go down, but both sets at once?

Jet aimed his immobilizer. Just as his finger began to squeeze down on the trigger, the kid winked at him. Static burst across his comlink as the kid mutated into his energy form, and then all went black.

* * * * * * *

I’m planning to release the whole collection next weekend, so you’ll be able to find out just what Sparks are and who Jet is.

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 10/16/16 #8Sunday

After All coverIt’s almost Halloween, so for the rest of the month I’ll continue on with excerpts from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all interconnected and dealing with the apocalypse.

Here’s what we have so far:

  • “Special” – a pair of twins with special abilities living in caves due to airstrikes
  • “The Graveyard” – a plague kills off most of a western mining town
  • “E.L.E.” – two polar opposite campers must work together to survive a meteor strike
  • “After the Flood” – a naive, pampered girl tries to survive when the economy crashes and anarchy becomes the ruling system

This week I’m pulling from “Passing,” the story that ties together all the other ones. This excerpt picks up from last week’s.

* * * * * * *

Movement off to Jet’s left caught his attention, and his specs identified an energy cloud matching their target’s signature.

<<Ready to roll?>> he shot across the comlink as he sent Luce the coordinates.

<<That can’t be right; I’m picking up his cloud behind us.>>

<<Check it out. I’m moving towards this cloud.>>

<<Be careful – this doesn’t make sense.>>

Jet pushed through the underbrush, looking for their target; energy clouds dissipated quickly so the kid had to be close.

A tree branch cracked ahead, and he sprinted towards the noise as soundlessly as he could, reaching for his immobilizer as he ran. He’d zap the kid, load him up, and be home for dinner. After a week of tracking, it couldn’t come too soon.

* * * * * * *

I’m aiming to have all these stories polished and out together by Halloween. Wish me luck! 🙂

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 10/9/16 #8Sunday

After All coverIt’s almost Halloween, so for the rest of the month I’ll continue on with excerpts from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all interconnected and dealing with the apocalypse.

Here’s what we have so far:

  • “Special” – a pair of twins with special abilities living in caves due to airstrikes
  • “The Graveyard” – a plague kills off most of a western mining town
  • “E.L.E.” – two polar opposite campers must work together to survive a meteor strike
  • “After the Flood” – a naive, pampered girl tries to survive when the economy crashes and anarchy becomes the ruling system

This week I’m pulling from “Passing,” the story that ties together all the other ones.

* * * * * * *

Jet cringed as static crackled over his comlink. It wasn’t loud, and their target was just a kid, but one could never be too sure what Sparks would pick up on. He smacked at his helmet and the line cleared.

<<See him?>> his partner Luce sent over the link.

He scanned the forest around him. <<Negative.>>

<<Roger that – I’m moving towards 325; keep on towards 35.>>

He rolled his eyes – with their link and his specs, he knew exactly where Luce was, and he knew the plan, too; he’d head out in one direction and she’d go the opposite, then after 100 meters they’d move back towards each other. He considered telling her to knock it off with the drama, but she was one of the best in the Department of Threat Assessment and Mitigation. Maybe she was less than professional sometimes, but she always got her Sparks.

* * * * * * *

My goal is to have all these stories polished, compiled, and out by Halloween, but I have several big school projects coming up, so who knows if I’ll meet this self-imposed deadline (although on the other hand, with so many projects I tend to procrastinate on them and focus on other less-pressing stuff, so maybe I’ll get this done soon after all?).

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/25/16 #8Sunday

After All coverFor September I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.

Here’s what we have so far:

  • “Special” – a pair of twins with special abilities living in caves due to airstrikes
  • “The Graveyard” – a plague kills off most of a western mining town
  • “E.L.E.” – two polar opposite campers must work together to survive a meteor strike

This week the story is “After the Flood.” It’s a bit more political than the other stories – a naive, pampered girl tries to survive when the economy crashes and anarchy becomes the ruling system.

* * * * * * *

Looking back, what happened was a lot like when a dam bursts. There are little warning signs at first, like maybe there’s more water flowing out than normal, or tiny little cracks that the engineers only notice if they’re watching closely, but of course they’re not watching closely; they’re in the control room with their feet up, looking at porn on the internet. And then there’s a boom, water is everywhere, and in the aftermath half the towns downstream are littered with trees, chunks of houses, and dead bodies.

Our situation was similar. If you read the papers, you’d see little signs: “Multinational Bank lays off 5000 workers;” “Factory closing devastates BFE town;” “Police arrest hundreds of protesters after pipeline spills into waterway.” Or, more likely, you’d read the papers and not see any signs because they weren’t getting reported.

I certainly didn’t notice any impending doom, at least when I was in the moment. I didn’t think to hire myself a mercenary to guard my house, or cash out all my stock options and buy a thousand batteries and cans of chicken noodle soup, or build a bunker in the backyard or buy a remote cabin in Montana.

But my grandpa did.

* * * * * * *

Based on a comment from last week’s post, I think I’m going to compile all these stories, plus a couple more, into an ebook. Look for more details in the next few weeks.

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/18/16 #8Sunday

Gunflint Lake on the MN/ON border

Gunflint Lake on the MN/ON border – the Boundary Waters start right across from it.

For September I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.

Here’s what we have so far:

  • “Special” – a pair of twins with special abilities living in caves due to airstrikes
  • “The Graveyard” – a plague kills off most of a western mining town

This week it’s “E.L.E.” – a woman is out camping in the Minnesota Boundary Waters when disaster strikes. Like last week’s excerpt, this story was inspired by a trip through the setting this spring.

* * * * * * *

My dad used to say that extinction level events happened every 700,000 years or so, and we were more than overdo. Nonetheless, when an earthquake hit while I was out camping in the backcountry, I ignored it as anything more than routine seismic activity. Sure, earthquakes rarely hit northern Minnesota, but I’d come out here to relax, not to increase my anxiety by worrying about stuff I couldn’t do anything about.

The ash came a couple days later. Forest fires weren’t uncommon up here, and even though we were under a burn ban, this wouldn’t have been the first time someone’s campfire took out a few hundred acres. It was enough to send me back to civilization, though, because it wouldn’t be pretty when that blaze caught up to me.

I’d just stowed the last of my gear in my canoe and was preparing to shove off when a man strolled out of the forest. I tensed.

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/11/16 #8Sunday

clown-motelFor September I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.

Today’s story, tentatively called “The Graveyard,” was inspired by a town I passed through while wandering the country this summer: Tonopah, Nevada, home to the “haunted” Clown Motel located right next to an old graveyard filled with plague victims. Fun. 🙂

* * * * * * *

The plague hit quickly and deadly. In the course of just a couple weeks nearly half the town was dead, with those left alive torn between caring for the sick, burying the dead, or fleeing the county before they were struck down too.

With Pa taking the easy route and hightailing it out, and Ma dying right off, that left me the task of looking after the young’uns, and my older brother to bury the dead. Then the plague took him too, and most of the little’uns, until it was just me and baby Nylen after the plague was gone.

Pa had wanted a right proper homestead but there ain’t really any call for farming in the Nevada desert. He’d always talked about moving – west to California or north to Dakota Territory – but Ma’s people were here in Nye County and so she put her foot down. I thought about moving me and Nylen somewhere too, but where does a sixteen-year-old girl even go? So we stuck around, nearly the only folks still in town, determined to make the best of a bad situation.

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/4/16 #8Sunday

I’m switching gears and for September, I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.

The first one, “Special,” is about a pair of twins, Niko and Tevi, and a unique ability Tevi has.

* * * * * * *

“Mishla,” our grandmother Yaya told Mother even before my brother and I were born, “the baby you carry is special, like my uncle Niko, the great general who fought so hard in the third war. You must name your baby after him.”

Mother had just learned Father had been killed in the fifth war, despite fighting so hard, and although she would’ve preferred to name my brother after him, she was too heartbroken to argue with Yaya.

Growing up, Niko didn’t do anything special. He played with the other children in the caverns into which we’d moved to shield us from the airstrikes. He matched their outlandish stories about their dead fathers’ exploits with ones about our own father, trumping them by including the adventures of his namesake, even though no one had heard of him.

One day, when we were about eight and Niko was running screaming with the others playing king of the hill, he pulled out the boldest story of all: “I have grass growing under my bed.”

Szymon paused from shoving him off our dirt pile hill. “No one has grass growing anywhere.”

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/14/16 #8Sunday

Spice Pirates coverFor July and August, I’m pulling from “Spice Pirates,” my long short story that I’d planned to have live on Amazon already but other deadlines have been getting in my way. So, fingers crossed it’ll be soon!

Rosamaria’s sick brother Basil just wants to be a pirate, so she enlists the help of her friends Origano, Clovio, and Anisa to take him on a pirate adventure. But then the REAL pirates show up….

For this scene, someone stole all Origano’s money so he stole some food from Rosamaria’s father’s food stand. She chased him, went through his belongings, and discovered a treasure map.

* * * * * * *

“Rosita!” a voice boomed.

“Papa,” she cried. “I must get back to the stand.”

Before he could react, she grabbed the map from his hands, tore it in two, threw half at him, then then hitched up her skirts and ran down the alley.

Origano thought to chase after her, but what good would it do if her father, whom she’d said hated pirates, were at the stand? Instead he sunk down against a wall, head in his hands. He’d bought that map from a tinker passing through his village and had no idea as to its authenticity; he’d planned to follow it as soon as his ship had landed. And now this beautiful girl thought he was a pirate and had half his map! He shook his head and sighed. What had he gotten himself into?

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 7/24/16 #8Sunday

Spice Pirates cover

For July and August, I’m pulling from “Spice Pirates,” my long short story that I’d planned to have live on Amazon last week but it was a really busy week (I taught a high school enrichment class, plus with the water line to my house still not fixed and no AC with heat indexes 100+ degrees I spent more time trying not to be here) so my plan now is to have it uploaded to Amazon today and live by Monday, in which case I’ll update this post.

Rosamaria’s sick brother Basil just wants to be a pirate, so she enlists the help of her friends Origano, Clovio, and Anisa to take him on a pirate adventure. But then the REAL pirates show up….

For this scene, someone stole all Origano’s money so he stole some food from Rosamaria’s father’s food stand. She chased him, went through his belongings, and discovered a treasure map.

* * * * * * *

“You’re a pirate,” she whispered, a gleam in her eyes and a big grin on her face.

“I’m—” He stopped. He wasn’t, of course, but he wasn’t a fool either, and if this girl respected pirates, if he could use her awe as a way to get something to eat, then he could be a pirate. “It’s not something you walk around bragging about.” There; he hadn’t confirmed it, but he hadn’t denied it either.

“I’ve always wanted to meet a real pirate.” She stuck out her hand and said, “I’m Rosamaria.”

“Origano.”

* * * * * * *

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 7/17/16 #8Sunday

Spice Pirates cover

I’ve taken a couple weeks’ break because I was on vacation; my son and I roadtripped out to California at the beginning of the month and internet access was spotty.

So since it’s a new month (although towards the end of it), let’s switch stories. For July and August, I’m going to be pulling from “Spice Pirates,” my long short story that’ll be released on Amazon this week.

Rosamaria’s sick brother Basil just wants to be a pirate, so she enlists the help of her friends Origano, Clovio, and Anisa to take him on a pirate adventure. But then the REAL pirates show up….

Here’s the beginning:

* * * * * * *

Origano’s ship arrived in the harbor at midmorning. There was nothing auspicious about it, nothing to portend that fortune and disaster would fall on the town or that the lives of its most prominent families would soon be irreparably altered.

The ship was an average merchant vessel: a bare-bones crew collected from ports around the world; cargo of varying worth from those same ports that they hoped to sell for enough of a profit to reach the next port, or at least enough to buy an evening of much-needed debauchery; a dozen or so passengers; and Origano.

He hopped off the gangway onto the dock with a satchel over his shoulder, a straw hat jauntily on his head, and a spring in his step. He’d made it safely across the ocean and was now free in the New World, with no overbearing family to tell him what to do or what to be. Free to find his destiny.

His stomach rumbled. Before his destiny, he must find lunch.

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

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