Fiction Fragment Fridays: Expendable

FFF
**As first mentioned on March 21st**
For the next little while I’m going to be busy building up a new backlog of material to post on Fridays, amidst the other stuff I’m working on, so for the next few weeks I’m going to satisfy myself to simply post a drabble a week. For you writers out there, feel free to use these drabbles as prompts toward writing something bigger and better, and if you care to share what you’ve written, please send me a link so I can check it out. 🙂

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Expendable

It’s something you don’t really realize until it’s pretty much too late. You join this army because you want to be part of something strong and powerful, and the paycheck doesn’t hurt either. You figure, hey, it’s an evil Empire, but it’s the winning side. You want to be on the winning side, right?

Unfortunately it is not always the winning side. You’ve got to have your adversaries – your group of well-intentioned and miraculously lucky rebels, if you will. They’ll come, you’ll fight, and they’ll kick your ass.

During the fight you realize the horrible truth.

You’re totally expendable.

Fiction Fragment Fridays: Spiritualist

FFF
**As first mentioned on March 21st**
For the next little while I’m going to be busy building up a new backlog of material to post on Fridays, amidst the other stuff I’m working on, so for the next few weeks I’m going to satisfy myself to simply post a drabble a week. For you writers out there, feel free to use these drabbles as prompts toward writing something bigger and better, and if you care to share what you’ve written, please send me a link so I can check it out. 🙂

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Spiritualist

The man was very old. Sitting there in front of the fire, hunched over with his eyes closed…you could almost imagine that he’d died in that position. When he opened those eyes, however, they were full of fiery life. He picked up the staff at his side and shook it over the fire; the bobbles he’d tied to the end of it clinked and clanked and glimmered in the light.

“So…you can do magic, right?” I asked, “So, you can help me with my…problem?”

His slow grin was one of the most frightening things I’d ever seen.

Fiction Fragment Fridays: Witch

FFF
**As first mentioned on March 21st**
For the next little while I’m going to be busy building up a new backlog of material to post on Fridays, amidst the other stuff I’m working on, so for the next few weeks I’m going to satisfy myself to simply post a drabble a week. For you writers out there, feel free to use these drabbles as prompts toward writing something bigger and better, and if you care to share what you’ve written, please send me a link so I can check it out. 🙂

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Witch

I always wanted to be a witch. Magic – or magik, if you prefer – always fascinated me in a way that nothing else did. I especially enjoyed the religious aspects. The idea of a God and Goddess who are the embodiments of nature and it’s manifestation of life always appealed to me, particularly the stories which describe the Goddess as the being that contains and conceives the universe and the God as her inspiration for life. I felt I had a connection to them…that I could harness their eternal power.

Oh, how gloriously wrong I was…how very, spectacularly wrong.

Fiction Fragment Fridays: Gamer

FFF
**As first mentioned on March 21st**
For the next little while I’m going to be busy building up a new backlog of material to post on Fridays, amidst the other stuff I’m working on, so for the next few weeks I’m going to satisfy myself to simply post a drabble a week. For you writers out there, feel free to use these drabbles as prompts toward writing something bigger and better, and if you care to share what you’ve written, please send me a link so I can check it out. 🙂

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Gamer

Video games are my life. It’s pretty pathetic, I guess, but it’s true. I own all the consoles available, and even some that aren’t, including a few which failed miserably and only sold a few thousand units. My game collection rivals that of anyone I know, kid or adult, which is a massive point of embarrassment for my parents. But you know what? There’s just…something…something about immersing yourself in the life of another; seeing what they see, experiencing what they experience. It’s the greatest thing, to become someone else, someone cool, someone amazing.

God, I’m such a loser.

Fiction Fragment Fridays: Monsters

FFF
For the next little while I’m going to be busy building up a new backlog of material to post on Fridays, amidst the other stuff I’m working on, so for the next few weeks I’m going to satisfy myself to simply post a drabble a week. For you writers out there, feel free to use these drabbles as prompts toward writing something bigger and better, and if you care to share what you’ve written, please send me a link so I can check it out. 🙂

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Monsters!

Why does Godzilla always attack Japan?

As a young monster growing up I idolized Godzilla. He always seemed like the biggest and baddest of all the monsters. Even when he lost the battle he was still the coolest because he always came back.

But I did always wonder what exactly he had against the Japanese. I mean, with so many other countries just ripe for the picking, some of them even very close by, why constantly torment the same poor nation over and over again?

I’m all grown up now, a fully grown monster, and I’m going to attack Canada.

Fiction Fragment Fridays: Risky Love and Bloodlust

Well I am very sad to say that for the time being I have completely run out of Final Fantasy: Returning Hope to share with you all. I hope to continue on with the story very soon in the future, but in the meantime I’ll need other things to post on Fiction Fragment Fridays. For today I’m giving you a pair of drabbles that I wrote a while back while experimenting with telling two sides of the same story.

Risky Love

I was completely and utterly in love with her.

I looked into her deep onyx eyes and was totally lost. Her face was pale and flawless against my trembling fingers; her lips were full and red as fresh, wild berries.

“You ready, sweetie?” she smiled seductively, sweeping long strands of violent red hair behind her ears.

I gulped and nodded; she grinned and leaned hungrily toward my neck.

Yes, I was irrevocably, unconditionally in love with her…and I was ready to become a vampire to be with her.

I just hoped she loved me enough to stop drinking in time…

Bloodlust

He smiled at me and I felt an intense surge of love for him. It wasn’t right. I shouldn’t be able to love, being the monster that I am. But when he smiled at me, I could feel the beautiful pain in my chest. Perhaps…perhaps I had a soul after all.

I sunk my fangs into his tensed throat, holding his body tight to mine, and drank. His blood was warm and sweet and…he was better than anything I’d ever tasted, or ever would.

Yes, I definitely loved him, but was that love stronger than my thirst for his blood?

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 1

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Here we are at Week #1. Barring any strange incidents or complications there will be 52 of these posts over the course of 2014, and it is my genuine hope and desire that Accountability Wednesdays will turn out to be less whiny and more filled with actual accomplishment than Accountability Tuesdays were. Unfortunately week #1 of 2014 was marred by the demon cold from hell, but I still have a little bit to report, so let’s move on with it, shall we?

Goal #1: Lose at least ten pounds and become healthier overall.

As mentioned above, the past week was greatly affected by the hell cold that has been afflicting my family since Christmas. My husband has since gotten over it and my daughter is only clinging to a bit of a cough and an occasionally runny nose, but the beginning of this week was the worst for me. I got through the holidays, but by the time the 3rd hit (cruelly, the day I was supposed to head down home for a family party) I was in absolute misery. For two days straight nothing I did could make my body feel any less icy cold (except for the very middle of the night when I would start to sweat like my insides were on fire), and every inch of me ached like I’d been run over by an entire fleet of Mack trucks. I could hardly move, and my playful daughter had absolutely no sympathy.

I’m on the mend now, except for a stubborn cough that refuses to go away, but you can probably understand that I didn’t do much any exercising this week.

On the upside of things I’ve been readopting some good habits, like drinking water throughout the day, and because I was having a hard time eating anything for a few days there, I’ve actually cost a couple of pounds. I started the year at 159.2 lbs, and as of the typing of this post I’m weighing in at 156.6. I know it’s not a healthy weight loss by any means, but I’ll take the little boost in return for a few days of wanting someone to put me out of my misery.

Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my “author platform”.

I’m realizing now that this is going to be a hard thing to report, but I’ll do the best I can. I was slightly more active on social media this week. I made a point to hop on Twitter a couple of times, and one of those tweets ended up being favorited by someone, so that’s a good sign that someone is still paying attention to me, ha ha. I’ve also been working myself back into reading other writers’ blogs, which took a back-burner during the holidays. I’ll be back to commenting and commiserating in no time.

Also, a friend “shared” one of my blog posts on Facebook the other day which, while not a direct result of my own action, is always nice to see. Please keep sharing, friends! I need all the help I can get!

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

Don’t hit me! I haven’t touched this one this week. Mostly this is attributed to the fact that I’ve been on my own computer a grand total of about two minutes a day lately. But I’m hoping to work on this one this week, before I end up flying back out West for my first shift. There’s really not that much left to do, and I’d really, really like to be done of it and have it sent off to my beta-reader before I head out West, since there’s not much productive I can do via my tablet when I’m out there.

Wish me luck!

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

All things considered, it was a fairly decent week since I lost two days to near-death and all. I am, however, a little disappointed in myself. In order to complete this goal this year I need to write a little less than 10,000 words per week. This week I wrote 4535 words. Every one of those words was for the purpose of this blog. I’m disappointed not only because I didn’t even come halfway to the weekly goal, but also because I realized that it’s been a long time now since I wrote any new fiction. Aside from working on my manuscript, I have a fantasy adventure and a major fan fiction that I could be working on, not to mention things like drabbles, flash fiction, or hell, even morning pages. If I could convince myself to start doing morning pages again I would be in for an extra 5000 or more words each week.

So yeah, there’s work to be done, but we’re only on the first week of the year so I won’t be too hard on myself.

Keep me accountable, ladies and gents! Keep me accountable!

Contesting Your Writing

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

99. Writing Contests

To be perfectly honest, it hasn’t been such a long time since I first discovered that the world of writing contests actually existed. Mind you, I knew of the concept of writing contests, but I didn’t realize it was such big business, so to speak. Do a quick search on Google and you will find sites upon sites upon sites toting contests for those brave enough to submit a piece of work. There are contests for short stories, contests for poems, contests for drabbles, contests for every type of genre. There are fun contests amongst fellow writers and serious contests with prizes and/or publication on the line. There really is no way any one writer could even consider them all, never mind enter them all.

Personally I haven’t been able to pluck up the courage to enter any such contests yet, but for those who might be interested I offer this little nugget of advice: research the contest first. Anything with prizes, in particular, is likely to have a laundry list of rules, terms and conditions, and possible sneaky ways to bite you in the ass. A contest from a publisher, for example, may have a clause hidden in the terms and conditions that states that the publisher retains legal rights to reprint your submission without compensation. I’ve heard a few horror stories about things like this, so I urge you, do your homework before submitting to a contest.

And if I ever do pluck up the courage to enter one myself, I promise you will all be the first ones to know!

Upholding a Proud Tradition of Stolen Ideas…

Well the New Year has come and gone. I had a nice quiet night with my husband, our daughter, and my inlaws, sitting at home watching ridiculous shows and having a few drinks. My daughter ran around like a maniac until a few minutes before the ball dropped, at which point she cheered with the rest of us – despite having no idea what was happening – and then promptly conked out while snuggled up over my shoulder. It was a pretty good night.

But since then I’ve been think about resolutions. I’m not a big resolution person because I don’t see why January deserves to see us pronounce to change ourselves for the better any more than any other month does. It’s no easier to lose weight in January than in July, so what’s the big deal about “New Years” resolutions?

Then I stumbled across dianemackinnon‘s post, Wildly Improbable Goals 2013, in which Diane lists her goals for 2013, which are (did you guess?) wildly improbable. Not impossible, you’ll notice, but improbable. Wildly improbable.

Her vein of thinking, it seems, is, “How awesome would it feel to make a wildly improbable goal and actually achieve it?” And here I sit, finding myself nodding in agreement. It would feel awesome. What is there to lose? Failing at a wildly improbable goal would be no more frustrating than failing at an entirely probable goal, but succeeding…now that would really be something.

So here we go…Tracey’s wildly improbable goals for 2013:

1. Get into some kind of shape that makes me feel good about my body again…I’m not looking at a particular amount of weight-loss or anything specific, just a state of physical being that I feel good about. I slate this as a wildly improbable goal because, as I’ve mentioned before, my work schedule makes devoting time to such a thing particularly difficult.

2. Finish editing my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide. It’s time to get this f’er on the shelves, damn it!

3. Write 1,000,000 words in 2013. This is the big one. Where am I going to find the time? I have no idea. But between blog posts, drabbles, new stories, and new scenes added to NtH during editing, I want to accomplish a total word count of ONE MILLION words by the end of 2013. Wouldn’t that be something? I think it would.

So there you have it. I’m putting myself at the mercy of a trio of wildly improbable goals and I’m putting them right out here for everyone to see and hold me accountable. Hold me accountable, damn it!

When I get around to it (ie: when I get enough sleep at this godforsaken camp to be able to think about such things) I’ll make up a couple of progress bars for my goals so you can all watch me probably fail but maybe succeed.

Here’s to the wildly improbable hopes of 2013!

Hey! When did that happen?

Those who have been paying attention know that I’ve been pre-writing posts and scheduling them to pop up on the days while I’m working out West, to ensure that posts are made even if the camp internet is so awful that I can’t even load Google (i.e. always). This system is great for a number of reasons, but there’s one tiny little thing I’ve noticed…just an eetsy little thing that niggles at me. See, when writing an entry and posting it immediately, a little WordPress sidebar pops up with a progress bar on it that shows how many posts you’ve made. It’s nothing special, but it sorta urges you on by saying things like, “You’ve written 50 posts! Your next goal is 55!” or something like that. When scheduling posts in advance, you don’t get to see that little progress bar. Your post is written beforehand and pops up automatically at the time you’ve set it for, so you don’t get to see whether or not you’ve hit a goal.

Why does this matter to me at all? Well, basically, it matters to me because without it I’ve completely lost track of how many posts I’ve made. And it turns out that sometime during my work rotation, about halfway through my first batch of 101 Blog Ideas posts, I hit 100 posts. I missed it completely, and now I’m actually at 108.

Okay, so it’s not the end of the world or anything, but I am a little pouty that I missed it. Milestones are fun and motivational to me. It’s why I enjoy writing drabbles, trying to squeeze that little story into exactly 100 words. It’s why I keep going back to NaNoWriMo to see if I can pluck out another 50000 words in a month. And it’s part of what keeps me writing blog entries…so that I can say “Ooh! I’ve hit a milestone! Let’s see if I can hit another!” And really, come on…100 posts is kinda a big deal, right? Right?

So I guess what I’m trying to get at here is, someone warn me the next time I’m getting close to an important milestone!! lol