#Writespiration #52Words in 52 Weeks @Sacha_Black ‘Who Called?’ #FlashFiction

This flash was written in response to Sacha Black’s challenge to write a 52-word flash based on her weekly prompt. 

This week’s prompt is to write about a character who is terrified Isn’t it amazing what can be done with just 52 words? Why not join in?

Who Called?

A gush of chilled fog pushed open the sliding door.

The dark shadow morphed into a cloaked figure.

You sent for me?” The voice was a hollow echo.

I shook my head fiercely.

He smiled, blood dripping from his fangs.

“Then who?” he asked looking around the compartment at the sleeping passengers.

****

Was that chilling enough for you?

****

#FridayFictioneers ‘Lifesaver’ #FlashFiction #100words

I’m thrilled it’s Friday once again. Time for a new flash fiction episode for Friday Fictioneers featuring Alice, her best friend, Billy, and her parents Marsha and Kevin.

I’ve moved back in time and Alice and Billy are children again in this week’s episode. Alice is having some problems with her dad regarding a bird’s nest… Fortunately Billy comes to the rescue…  

Thank you Rochelle at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for this week’s prompt for hosting this fabulous weekly flash fiction challenge. Thank you   Douglas M. MacIlroy for this week’s photo prompt.

Lifesaver

‘Dad, let me speak to her,’ said Alice.
‘What do you mean, her?’
‘She’s looking after her babies.’
He rolled his eyes. 
Alice listened. ‘She says she won’t go, not without her nest.’  
‘Birds should nest in the forest, not on my basement walls.’
‘Dad, don’t strangle her! She has babies!’
‘I’ll take them,’ said Billy.  
‘Be my guest,’ replied her dad before storming out. 
‘What are we going to do?’ Alice asked Billy.
‘Take the nest to our secret garden. They’ll be safe there until they can fly away.’
Alice jumped up and kissed Billy’s cheek. ‘You’re a lifesaver!’

****

All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction stories, written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge, can be read as standalones, but if you’d like to read previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here  they are!

#FlashFiction ‘When I grow up’ @NorahColvin @Charli_Mills #amhealing #WWWBlogs

Healing Lilly

“How was your day, Lilly?”

Tears spilled.

“Tell me about it.”

“No-one wants to play with me and they call me names.”

“So, what are you doing about it?”

“Crying, mostly. Sometimes hiding. I don’t want to go to school.”

“Lil, listen to me. You’ll get good marks, make wonderful friends, be a great teacher and have your own family one day.”

She stamped her foot. “I’m ugly and silly!”

I held the picture of my younger self to the mirror.

“Look at me, Lil. You can and will do it. Anything you want is there for the asking.”

****

 

Fifty years and still healing. Lucy at about 8 and 58

****

Lilly or sometimes Lil was my nick name at home when I was a child. My sister couldn’t say Lucy, so she named me Lilly. Elsa died many years ago, and nobody has called me Lilly since, but I know Lilly’s still with me. I encourage her and remind her not to worry and believe in herself, every day. I think it’s working, Lilly is healing and Lucy is happier every day.

We all have hang ups from our youth. Speak to pictures of your younger self, tell her not to worry because it will work out. Believe me, it works. We can heal the child within.

****

This post was written in response to Norah Colvin’s prompt on Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest, coordinated and inspired by Charli Mills.You can take part in the contest or just post your flash on your blog, which is what I’m doing.

Norah asks us to cast ourselves back to six years of age, knowing what you do of life in the present; what would you want to be when you grow up and how would you go about achieving that goal? Tell us in 100 words, no more no less. It can be real or imaginary, serious or light-hearted. Extra points for comparing it to your childhood choice, if you remember it.

Geoff Lepard is hosting the challenge this week at his blog. Check it out if you’d like to join in.

#FridayFictioneers ‘Rescuing Kevin’ #FlashFiction #100Words

I’m thrilled it’s Friday once again. Time for a new flash fiction episode for Friday Fictioneers featuring Alice, her best friend, Bill, and her parents Marsha and Kevin.

Kevin has been in serious trouble for the last three weeks, and now he’s missing, but tenacious Alice has found him…

Thank you Rochelle at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for this week’s prompt for hosting this fabulous weekly flash fiction challenge. Thank you  Ted Strutz for this week’s photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

****

Rescuing Kevin

The captor smirked, pointing his gun. “Your farewell note was convincing. No-one is looking for you.”
Tied and gagged, Kevin gazed at the moon and thanked God that at least his family were safe.
***
Alice crept behind the bushes. “There’s only one man watching my father on deck. His accomplice just drove away.”
“He’ll be back soon. We have to be quick,” said Bill.
“I’ll distract him on the front deck while you use the taser from behind.”
“Are you sure, Alice? He’s armed and dangerous.”
Her eyes twinkled in the moonlight. “Come on, let’s rescue my dad.”   

****

All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction stories, written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge, can be read as standalones, but if you’d like to read previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here  they are!

#FlashFiction Prompt for Hurricane Relief #Flash4Storms #LemonSharkCharity @SarahBrentyn

This post was written in response to Sarah Brentyn’s initiative. She blogs at Lemon Shark. Harvey, Irma, Maria are hurricanes which have hit hard, leaving massive damage in their wakes. Here’s how you can help: Sarah will donate $1 to hurricane relief for every flash that is posted and linked to her blog (up to $50).

1. Write a piece of flash fiction in 50 words or less with the theme: Help 

(This can be any sort of assistance, support, encouragement, or a story of someone or something that needs help. You do not need to use the prompt word. Be creative! It can be 50 words, 15 words…even a six-word story. Anything goes provided it is prose up to 50 words. It doesn’t have to be sunshine and rainbows but keep it PG and friendly.)

2. Add a new post on your blog with your flash fiction and the hashtag #Flash4Storms in the title

3. Link to Sarah’s original post

4. Leave a comment here with a link to your post so I know you’ve participated

5. Help spread the word on social media with the hashtags:

#Flash4Storms

#LemonSharkCharity

****

This is my contribution:

Ripples

“I’ll never stop looking for her.” He placed a hand over his heart. “She made a difference, helping me when I needed it most.”

“Thank her by paying it forward and helping someone else.”

He shook his head. “That’s not the same.”

“It’s even better. The chain reaction will ripple…”

****

Sometimes we create reciprocal and exclusive relationships, which no doubt have an important place in our lives, but there are other, more powerful ways to spread positive karma to the universe. Let’s help whoever we can, whenever we can, the ripples will reach us and those we love.

Follow Luccia Gray on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon 

 

#MondayBlogs ‘New Uncluttered Blog. Less is More’ #Bloggers # #MondayMotivation

Change is due. Less is more.

I’d had my previous blog template since I started blogging, almost four years ago.

It was pretty, with a Dante Gabriel Rossetti print of Lilith on the header and some of my favourite books from my bookshelf in the background, but it appeared cluttered.

I had been thinking of changing my blog’s appearance for some time, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted or if the change would bring technical problems. I’m delighted that it hasn’t.

I wanted a cleaner, simpler, uncluttered, style, because I’m more convinced each day, that less is more and simple is more effective than complex, in life, love and work.

Writing Flash Fiction has been a great help in uncluttering my writing style (more about that in a previous past, here) and so has following Kurt Vonnegut’s suggestions regarding not wasting the reader’s time (Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted) and making sure all information is relevant (Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action). 

Then there’s all the advice, especially Stephen King’s, on using less adverbs and stronger verbs, not to mention the impact of showing not telling. So I’m aiming for a crisper writing style, cutting out rambling and overexplaining, use of passive voice, repetition, and trying my best to make readers ‘feel’ they’re inside the novel, not ‘see’ it from the outside.

Of course Mark Twain had said it all before: “Employ a simple and straightforward style.”  No wonder he found it hard to appreciate Jane Austen, who died only seventeen years before he was born. Don’t get me wrong. I like and respect Miss Austen’s work, but she’s a prime example of telling not showing, for example in Persuasion, her last, and one of my favourite novels. More about that in an earlier post, here.

After previewing different templates, I settled for one called Wilson, because it looked clear and clean. I love the use of black and white. simple and clear. I also prefer these colours in my wardrobe. Many busy and successful people like Obama and Bill Gates also stick to few colours when they dress, find out why here.

By the way, there’s a fabulous Ted Talk by Graham Hill called ‘Less Stuff, More Happiness,” which you might like to check out here.

Who needs a rainbow of colours when two are enough? Especially when so many people use Tablets and Smartphones to check blog content.

I’m still thinking of ways to unclutter my menu, but for now I’m leaving it as it is, with six main menus:

Home.

Blog.

About Luccia Gray.

Jane Ere and Victorian Literature.

Fiction Challenges.

Book Reviews and Spotlights.

I’ve kept their respective subheadings for the moment, but I’m thinking of eliminating them altogether.

Hope you like my new blog, and all suggestions and opinions for improvement are welcome.

Are you uncluttering your life and your blog? Tell me how!