Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Belated Campaign Challenge Flash Fiction

Last week, Rachael Harrie, the host of I'm a Platform-Building Campaigner, gave us a challenge to write a flash fiction under 200 words starting with "Shadows crept across the wall..." Last week was super busy for me. Thus, I didn't know about it until it was a day too late to enter.

Well, I wrote one anyway. It's a few words over 200 but close enough. Enjoy!

A Father's Love
by Julia King
Shadows crept across the wall as she crouched, awaiting her father’s return. She’d been there two weeks now, trying not to let anxiety overcome her. But it had set in after five days. They needed food so he left, hugging her tight, saying he loved her more than anything in the world.
But the world had changed. No one was safe anymore, least of all healthy men like her father. Even though he was on the emaciated side, he could still fight if he were caught. Inside, she knew he was gone—a machete in his hand to slaughter the enemy, if not the enemy himself. Years before an epidemic infected the land driving some people insane—cannibalistic.
He’d told her if he wasn’t back in two weeks she should leave. It was time. She picked up her scant belongings and trudged out of their hiding spot. Upon leaving the alleyway, she tripped over something. Picking herself up and dusting off her pants, she found her father’s zombified form holding a knife, a jagged slit across his bloodied throat.  
He’d killed himself to save her, humanity still a part of him in some way. Tears trickled from her horrified eyes. She was alone now. But her father’s love would carry her through whatever lay ahead. 
Creepy, huh? I hope you don't have to sleep with the lights on tonight... 
PS: Don't forget to enter my flash fiction contest to have a chance to win a $25 Amazon.com gift card. The contest ends today, Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:00PM MST. For more information, follow this link.
Writing. Jewels.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Insomniac Writer Counting Sheep

Every so often, I won't be able to sleep--insomnia, the evil foe. Grrr. Ok, I don't have insomnia (thank the heavens), but my mind will start reeling right as my head hits the pillow. Don't get me wrong, loads of my writing/blog ideas surface during these sleepless moments. I would rather enjoy the rest, but when ideas come, you take em when you get em.

I'll write down one of the distracting thoughts to get it out of my mind just as another takes its place. The maddening cycle will continue for a while until my brain decides its tired enough to stop grinding its wheels at top speed. All thanks to the sheep creeping in the room for me to count briefly until I'm purring peacefully, blissfully in my dreams depths. 

*Bah Bah Bah* ---> Sheep sounds.

I've heard some people get there ideas while in the shower. Some while driving. Others while eating their bowl of cereal in the morning.

When do your writing ideas arrive, distracting you from getting sleep, massaging shampoo into your hair, swerving off the road, or totally missing your mouth while shoveling in another tasty spoonful of Lucky Charms?

Writing. Jewels.

PS: Don't forget to enter my Flash Fiction Friday contest. You could win a $25 Amazon.com gift card by writing your own flash fiction. For more information, follow this link. I'm going to extend the entry date to Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:00PM MST. Shout this out to the world. I want more people to enter. Wahoo!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Unforgettable Heart-Stopping Cliffhangers

A couple weeks ago, I was watching an episode of Unforgettable. In one of the scenes the cops were calling a phone number to connect them with the killer they were chasing. During the mere seconds as the phone rang, my heart felt like it stopped and I couldn't breath. I felt heavy as I sat waiting to hear the murderer's voice. If the phone had rung just a few more times, I'd have probably passed out for lack of oxygen.

The end of the episode left me feeling the same way--with one of those all dreaded cliffhangers. It hooked me in and definitely got me wondering how they were going to tie up the loose ends created with the episode.

I've read some books that have done that to me. It's insane knowing I have to wait so long until the next book is released. I'd name the books but don't want to lessen the heartache felt at reading the last few words.

Anyway, how do you take cliffhangers? Do you end up growling at the book for a full 30 minutes (I did that with one book--ok, I'll tell you which one: Delirium by Lauren Oliver--loved the book, tho)? Do these types of ends grab you by the wrists, bringing you deeper into the thick of the story? Do they make you die to read more? Or can you shake the feeling off relatively fast?

PS: Don't forget to enter my Flash Fiction Contest here! Plus, read my own Flash Fiction. :D

Writing. Jewels. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday First

It's Flash Fiction Friday--a first--here on my blog. I'm gonna make a wee contest out of it. All those who enter will have the chance to win a $25 Amazon.com gift card just to make it all the more tempting.


1. You must follow my blog (comment on this post with your name as it appears on my followers sidebar)
2. You must tweet, blog, and/or Facebook about the contest (leave the links)
3. Write your own flash fiction and post it on your own blog (comment on this post with the link) 
4. Comment with your email address so I can contact the winner

* For my Flash Fiction Friday Blog Contest, you need to write something within a 650 word limit starting with the phrase, "Once Upon a Time..." Ok, I'm obsessed with that TV show.
* Contest closes on Friday, February 24, 2012 at 5:00PM MST (New close date: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:00PM MST)
* The flash fiction entry I enjoy the most will win the Amazon.com gift card
* I will announce the winner on my blog on Friday, March 2, 2012 and share their Flash Fiction if that's ok
* Peruse the other entrees by following their links commented on this blog

Here's my flash fiction for some ideas (BTW: this is the first time I've shared anything I've written fiction-wise on my blog. Lucky you guys!):

The Purple Butterfly by Julia King

Once upon a time, a butterfly fluttered along a sunny path strewn with mossy shrubs and fragrant flowers, open and full of life. This particular day was the same as always—airborne, drinking the nectar of forest blossoms.

          Lexie never thought her life was quite right. Something was missing since she’d escaped from her cocoon. Maybe it wasn’t feeling comfortable in her wings like the other butterflies seemed to be. Most of all, it was the void in her heart. 
          Upon reaching the outermost corner of the woods—farther than she’d ever flown before, she smelled something different. It wasn’t the sweet smell of the forest but something stronger, not a bad scent but not what she was used to. Her delicate purple wings flapped harder to propel her closer to the source of the oddity wafting around her.
          The forest had thinned to a huge body of water with sand stretching into its depths. In the middle of the sea, a structure floated to and fro. Suddenly, something jumped off of it, splashing into the water. She watched the figure bobbing up and down, nearing the shore.
          Alarmed, she hid behind a rock. Once the tall form escaped from the water, he—a boy with suntanned skin—stepped over to where she veiled herself. Something about him spoke to her, made her want to be like him. He perched himself upon the rock almost crushing her. With a yelp, she dodged him, making a quick escape. His head turned, blue eyes narrowing on her.
          “Hello, beautiful butterfly,” he spoke sweetly. With a swift glide, he scooped Lexie into his hand. Fright overcame her, but his hand held her delicately. She didn’t try to escape. “What’s your name?” he asked, a coy smile glittered his handsome face.
          “Lexie,” she answered, shying away.
          He cocked his head quizzically to the side, then set her on the rock, backing away. “You answered me.  I…understood.”
          “What’s your name?” she asked as her heart thumped against her chest.
          “Max.” He drew closer, fixed upon her.
          “I’ve never spoken to a boy—a handsome one.” She fluttered her lashes at him. Without her control, she soared over to him until she was hovering near his face.
          “You are more beautiful than…” His wistful expression brought a bubbly sensation into her stomach. With timidity, she drew closer.  
          His searching eyes explored her. “Can I kiss you?”
          “Kiss me? I’m a butterfly the size of your palm.”
          “You’re the butterfly in my dreams. Today I’ve found you. I… I love you, Lexie.”
          A sigh escaped her mouth, joy heavy in her heart. “Then yes, kiss me.”
          Tenderly, he caressed her small form with a kiss she’d never forget. Then an unbearable stinging overtook her body. Falling to the sand, she felt as though she would die, if not from the fall, then from the anguish sparking up and down her limbs and wings.
          Perhaps hours later she awoke, Max bent over her, his hand brushing against her face.
          “Are you all right? I was so worried.” His jaw set.
          She tried to fly but nothing happened. Again, flapping her wings only resulted in them lifting up and down in the sand. Lexie’s gaze rested upon human arms instead of wings. With great panic, she stood, backing away from Max. “What happened?”
          “You transformed into a girl—a pretty girl with purple hair.” He drew closer with slow decided steps. “I saw the entire painful transformation. Are you okay?”
          “I’m…perfect. What I’ve always felt I should be. And I’m with you, even better.”
          “And I’m with you,” he declared as he gathered her into his lean arms. His lips pressed against hers passionately, then sweetly.
          They were meant for each other. Lexie from Max’s dreams, and him to transform her into what she was meant to be—a human girl.
          And they lived happily ever after.
Your turn to write ---> Have fun and good luck!

Writing. Jewels.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Heart You Day with The Vow

So, I watched The Vow yesterday. When I saw the trailer for it months ago, I almost cried. My dear friend came close to laughing at me for my reaction. Anyway, I've decided to talk about it a bit. 

Plot Line: "A car accident puts Paige (Rachel McAdams) in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo (Channing Tatum) works to win her heart again." Curtesy IMDb
I had high expectations going into seeing this flick. Sometimes that's a bad thing; you may end up a bit disappointed once the end credits start rolling. With this movie, it didn't meet my expectations completely but was a great chick flick, one that was more true to life than other romantic films I've seen. That's the thing you see, it is actually a true story. It well depicted the slow process of life during its challenges due to its slightly sluggish pace. Yet, that brought the essence of reality to it. Things that deal with the heart, especially when it's breaking, can feel like an eternity. So the slow pace was alright for the concept of the story.

The Vow wasn't a fairy tale for sure, but life isn't always flowers and bunnies traipsing across our path. It's a journey. Through this movie, it depicted the true meaning of love--that being selflessness in the depths of difficult challenges. Thinking more of the other person than yourself and overcoming all odds by offering your heart to someone special.

On this Valentine's Day, I hope that you have someone special to love, even if it only be a parent, a sibling, or a friend. Love is far more than just romance, its dedication to all those who are dear to you.

Anyway, go see the movie. It's great!

I wish you all a very happy, brilliant, rose-filled, lovely, warm, and all of the above Valentine's Day.

Writing. Jewels.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tag. I'm It: Chocolate Chip Ice-cream with Cheerios

Last week I was tagged to answer 11 question on Rachel Morgan's blog. I feel priveledged to have been chosen. Well, not only for her to get to know me better but you as well, here are my answers. I will be tagging a few peeps to answer MY questions. You'll be listed at the bottom.

1. Describe yourself in one word.
2. What was your favourite book as a child?
The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks (seriously)
3. eBooks or paper books?
Paper all the way. Love the smell and feel of them in my hands. Sigh.
4. If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
To have eaten those cream puffs a couple Mondays ago. No, seriously, I'd have dedicated myself to learning Mandarin Chinese more while I lived in Taiwan seven years ago. I would have liked to have not been so scared to speak it.
5. What song is currently stuck in your head?
I have no idea what the song is called... But there's a song in my head. Typically, there's ALWAYS a song in my head. To be honest, it is sort of creep-tastic. I have no idea how some of them get there. Dun Dun Dun....
6. What fictional character do you most resemble?
Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I don't know why, but I always liked her in that movie growing up. Plus, my mom called me Julia Belle when I was a kid, still does sometimes. Cute.
7. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
I'd have the power to eat anything I want and not gain weight. Now, that would be super coolio.
8. What is your favourite quote?
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once..." William Shakespeare. I love this quote for it's moral is to take risks, not to sit back idly, but to reach for the stars no matter what. This has pretty much been my motto since my 10th grade English class where we read Julius Caesar! It struck me so hard, I wrote it down on my notebook and have remembered it ever since.
9. Are you a full-time writer or do you have some other day job?
I work as an Administrative Assistant at a local University. I write by night. I can't wait to devote myself fully to writing full-time.
10. Which book would you pick up first: awesome cover or super cool title?
Awesome cover all the way. Sadly, sometimes a book is judged by its cover... at least for me.
11. Cream or ice-cream?
Ice-cream for sure. Actually, I love to eat chocolate chip ice-cream with Cheerios mixed in it. Try it, it is delicious.

Now, I want some of my new followers to answer the following 11 questions:

My subjects:
1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
2. Who is your hero?
3. What is the first thing that pops into your mind right now?
4. What is your favorite food?
5. If you were stuck in a "Groundhog Day" type experience, what crazy things would you do to shake up the day?
6. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
7. Why did you start writing?
8. Where is your favorite place to read?
9. What is your favorite book?
10. What is your favorite holiday?
11. If you could go anywhere in the world (paid in full), where would it be?

Writing. Jewels.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Submissions Time

It's official, my book, FÉLICITÉ FOUND, is on submission with publishers. It's a trip and a half. Not only am I super excited, I'm nervous, terrified, and extremely impatient. I thought that querying for agents was awful, but it's only been one week and I'm back in the routine of checking my email every three seconds. Ok, I'm not that bad, maybe every twenty seconds...

And I'm worried things won't work out how I'd like. Yet, I hope to have success in this leg of my journey to become a published author. Wish me luck. Cross your fingers and toes. Say some prayers... All right, thanks, friends!

This reminds me of something Joe Konrath said: “There's a word for a writer who never gives up: published.”

I had that quote on my blog description for a while. Giving up has never been in my writing vocabulary. I urge you to never, ever give up. Don't let giving up be in your vocabulary. I sure know I won't!

I will keep you all posted on the haps with submissions.

How's your progress going on your journey to published-ome?

I'm cheering you on!!! Keep going!

Writing. Jewels.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why Am I Posting on Wednesday... Take a Look

I don't normally post on Wednesday but felt this was a great reason to check in with you again this week. Rachael Harrie is holding another I'm a Platform-Building Campaigner. I've decided to join in on the campaign. Now I'm letting you know just in case you are interested. I'm pretty excited about it.

Lately I've been thinking about social networking. It's a tough gig. Sometimes I wonder just how much of an impact I'm making on the writing world. Yet, I keep on going.

I can see this is a great way to get to know more writers and let them know you! In the writing world having lots of people on your side-line is super important. I hope that through this I can make lots of great connections and become a cheerleader for them during their writing journey.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unforgettable Scenes

I've been listening to Twilight on audio book again. No matter how many times I read (or listen) to this book, it feels like it's the first time I'm being pulled into the thick of its addictive story.

As I drove into my garage yesterday after work, I had to stay in the car until I finished the chapter, "Confessions." I admit, I was out there for about twenty minutes (with the car off of course. I don't want to die of exhaust exposure). Anyway, this is the part where Bella and Edward are in the meadow and express their feelings for each other. Just thinking of this part of the book brings a heaviness of angsty happiness into my heart. Seriously, they don't even kiss but the romance flooding through the words is unforgettable. Beautiful. Breath-taking. Ok, they do kiss by the end of the chapter... Dreamy!

Bar-none, there is no other scene in a book that has had the exact same effect on me. Ok, there are many others that are beyond swoon-worthy, but this one sticks out strong in my list of amazing-makes-my-heart-stop scenes.

It's sort of like my two famous people crushes--Bono and Lance Armstrong, they just stick. I adore them. All right, one day when I have a boyfriend/husband, he will definitely be in first place. Sorry, Irish hottie and cycling champion.

Are there any scenes in books that ring out as unforgettable for you? Do tell! Or maybe in a movie?

In movies, I'd have to say the kiss scene at the end of the mini-series of North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell)  is delicious indeed. Shown below!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Random Time

Today's post doesn't have to do with anything in particular. I'm just winging it. But, hey, sometimes a little winging is AOK. Occasionally, (well, more often that not) that's how my writing goes. Wahoo! I added something about writing. I'm cool!

*Does an I'm-a-cool-person dance*

Don't you wish you could've seen it. Well, you didn't miss much. I'm a terrible dancer. I assure you that.

So, something cute I want to share: It was my nephews birthday last week. We had a family celebration for the blessed event. While my cute-alicious little buddy opened his presents, my niece (his little sister of 19 mos) jibber-jabbered out "Happy Birthday to ..." The three dots represent his name (sorry, not telling the world his name). It was quite possible the cutest thing ever. :)

Here's something ridiculously expensive: There's this dress company called
Shabby Apple. For a few years now, I've wanted to buy one of their dresses. Last week, I gave in and bought not just one but two of their cute, yet semi-expensive dresses. Below are some pics. They have yet to arrive. I eagerly await in anticipation.

What else is there: I'm eating raisins as I type and am listening to a New Age mix on Pandora.

I guess that's about it for my randomness of a blog post. I'll be back here on Tuesday.

What are some random things going on in your neck of the woods?

Writing. Jewels.