My Passion Project, The Contest Is Completed!

My passion project is realized, completed and a success! Wow what an exciting day to say, I DID IT! Holla.

I developed and produced (with the help of my esteemed Judges and my awesome hubby) the inaugural eBook Me Up Short Story Contest.  This project came about as an outlet to give back to the writing community.  I had been thinking on this for two years while I participated in blog prompts and other contest outlets myself.  I took the K30 challenge with Kristen Eckstein, aka The Book Ninja, earlier this year and put the call into action (great course definitely recommend).

The output of this contest includes our compilation eBook entitled, Rise Above, which features the short stories of our Top Ten winners.  Top prizes for our contest included cash awards to 1st and 2nd places with author biographies in the eBook for 1st-3rd place.  We have published Rise Above on Amazon today – Get your copy HERE! The funds from those who purchase, Rise Above, support the annual contest and future contests.

SHORT STORY COMPLIATION 2 0 1 5 WINNERS-6

Each story is < 3000 words.  The category for the short story entries was open, so there is a little bit of everything in this book.  Our first place winner, Moroni by Robert Walton, inspired our cover for the compilation eBook.  It’s a well-crafted story that is sure to entertain you.

It was great fun and a wonderful learning experience.  I was able to connect with talented writers and learned that my financial investment in this project did not outweigh the value I gained.  I didn’t have outside sponsors for this contest, which I hope to gain in the future because it can start to add up budget wise.  However, I learned that I can do a decent job on a book cover, as well as, formatting for ePublication.  I was hands on and had great judges who were hands on as well.  A special shout out to Rene Averett, who put in time editing with me.

I hope you can support my project, by the purchase of Rise Above and honor the winners of the contest.  If you have an interest in joining upcoming contests, please join the eBook Me Up’s mailing list.  I hate spam, so you only get notices when something ‘real’ is going on.

Congratulations to our Top Ten Winners, in random order:
Robert Walton, Alan D Harris, Joao Cerqueria, Julia Church, Patricia Crandall, Michael Wettengel, Crystal LeFevre, Mary H Fox, Christina Loy and Matt Micheli.

To Submit or Not to Submit: 5 Arguments for Entering Writing Contests

Great points by Shayna Krishnasamy on why you should enter writing contests!! This is part of the reason I decided to hold a writing contest in order to pay it forward for all those great writers out there. If you haven’t checked out my eBook Me Up (eBMU) Contest here’s the link: http://bit.ly/eBMUShort
Deadline for entries is 31May2015, we have fabulous judges & GREAT prizes too!

Kobo Writing Life

By Shayna Krishnasamy

When I was a young creative writing student I used to keep track of all the writing contests. I’d bookmark the contest pages on the websites of all the literary magazines. I’d make lists of due dates, word count limitations, themes, restrictions. Sometimes I’d even print out the submission forms. But did I ever actually send in a submission? Well…

If you’re a new writer, a writing student, or just nervous about sharing your work for the first time, submitting your story or novel to a writing contest can be incredibly daunting. You might find yourself coming up with any excuse to avoid actually submitting your work. You’ll convince yourself that your story isn’t polished enough, your first chapter doesn’t have enough of a hook, you don’t know how to write a synopsis, your plot is too racy, too boring, too cliched, too embarrassing. If you work…

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FF#35 Never the Twin Shall Meet

Secrets never stay buried for long. Sometimes they die unnoticed. What is lost isn’t known, so how can you find it? My mother must have lived by that Winner stampcode, because the skeleton’s in her closet were hollywood style. Her death didn’t take me by surprise, she had cancer for a while and the second relapse spread, treatment was limited.

Death, knowing it’s coming is never quite the preparation of going through the ‘stuff’ that is long forgotten. Here I sat in the attic a month after the funeral, looking through a box of documents and pictures not believing what I was seeing. A picture of me, but it wasn’t me because I was in the picture too. At first I thought it was double exposure on the first picture, it was taken in the 70’s. Camera and film then are not quite the same as in our digital age. The next picture was clear, there I was sitting on my father’s right knee and my look-alike sitting on the left knee. Turning the photo over it only showed the year.the-grady-twins

Manic, I went through the photos in a hurry, the main difference in my look-alike was the eyes. It was seriousness and vacancy in those eyes, strange. Did I have a twin? In a whispered tone, “Find me and complete you.” The dormer rattled and a whistled, giving me a shiver. I was hearing things in my head. I shook it off, it was only the wind.

In a stained box near the corner seemingly part of the roof structure. It seemed out-of-place and separated from the rest of the boxes. Maybe it was a sign of more information.

Ding Dong, knock knock.

Hurrying down the ladder and rushing to the front door, out of breath I opened it to find a Ironman, a Vampire, a Princess and Harry Potter.

“Trick-or-Treat.” They all said in unison.

Smiling, I placed candy in their bags. “Happy Halloween.” Waving to their parents on the sidewalk, I shut the door. No sooner had I gotten back upstairs did the door bell ring again. Once the candy was distributed yet again, I decided to place the bowl outside for the kids to take what they wanted. I had to see what was in the stained box in the attic.

When I tugged on the stained box it rubbed on my shirt giving off a tint of color. The box held tight, it was like the house didn’t want to let it go. I took the box out of the attic to view it in proper light.

In my mother’s wing backed chair, I sat down and saw the red stains more clearly. Stains usually dry over time, even blood, but this had a wetness to them. Wiping my hands on my jeans, I opened the box eagerly. It was full of documents and pictures along with some clothes that where those of a young girls, mine? There were no stains on anything inside the box, which was unreal most cardboard boxes soaked up wetness and carried it throughout.

The first picture I picked up was of my father and my look-alike. They looked happy and were dressed up for a holiday or church. I missed my father, he died when I was a young teen in a car accident. My mother was so distraught that, she wouldn’t allow me to see him at the funeral home. At his grave staring at the coffin, doubting he was in there, I never really said goodbye. My mother became more strict if that was even possible after his death. It was just me and her, until now.

Next I pulled out a file folder with several official looking certificates. One was my father’s death certificate, and one for Brianna O’Malley on the 31st of October 1977. Birth date was same as mine. My heart racing, tears at the edge of my eyes threatening to spill. Had I lost something I wasn’t aware I had? My sister? Died at the age of five.

How could I not remember? How could my mother not talk about her to me, my twin, her daughter? I pushed aside the file folder of death and settled on a medical chart. I opened the chart and read diagnosis of mental instability. Scanning the handwriting I saw mentally delayed in social skills, exaggerated temper. I dug further in the box and found a doll, Raggedy Ann, it mirrored one I had except it had lots of repairs of holes and re-attachment of limbs. It had seen better days, a sign of Brianna’s instability from the medical chart?

Putting all the pieces from the box into a new box to preserve them. The door bell startled me from my thoughts. Grabbing a new candy bowl I opened the door, to an apparition in the darkness resembling a little girl.

My voice shaking, “Brianna?”

Nodding, she rushed through me and yelled, “Your fault!”

I dropped the candy bowl and spilled the contents everywhere. I shut the door, and heard near my ear “Find me and complete you.” Blackness consumed me.

The morning light urged my eyes open and I found myself in the wing backed chair. My neck strained and my lower back smarting in the position I slept. I stood and rubbed my eyes to clear my vision. Halloween certainly played a trick on me, my mother’s haunted house.

I heard the creak of the stairs, before I saw my look-alike come into the living room and walk past me to the chair. It was the stained box. This felt like deja vu.

“Brianna?”

She didn’t answer me, it was like she didn’t hear me. Looking over her shoulder she pulled out the file folder with my father’s and my death certificate? That was my name!

Looking down at my dress, I straightened my eyelet ruffles of my skirt hem and flipped my long hair behind my shoulders. My black patent leather Mary Jane’s where in perfect condition. I skipped toward the front door and rang the door bell. Sometimes nightmares needed to be relived.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed my flash fiction/short story.  It’s written from featured fiction prompt #35 for horror.  My first time attempting this genre, not sure I accomplished it?  I had fun and was inspired by the prompt – tis the season 🙂

All comments welcome, likes adored and sharing is caring. Check out the other Feature Fiction entries and vote this weekend!

All creative rights reserved to the author.

FF#29 Armageddon and Unprepared

Armageddon

Weather

Angry and Mad

Rips through Concrete Landscapes

Floods away Remains of Yesterday

Displaced

*     *     *

Unprepared

Trapped

Disaster Affronts

Closing Off Doors

Howling Wind, Rain, Darkness

Isolated

*     *     *

Winner stampThese cinquain poems were inspired from Featured Fiction’s #29 Disaster Thriller prompt. Challenge accepted for cinquain poem and featured theme: “The world is plagued by a series of strange weather phenomena. You find yourself trapped in a city, completely unprepared and cut off from the rest of civilization.”

Armageddon is in syllable pattern (2,4,6,8,2) and Unprepared is in word cinquain pattern.

Check out other entries and vote (click on link this weekend) it’s always great fun.

If you liked/loved my poems let me know, by liking, sharing or commenting below. Also any tips for improvement always welcomed, we should learn something new everyday.

All creative rights reserved by author.

Want to learn how to write a cinquain poem?

I did, and this is what I found out! The cinquain (pronounced ‘sin-cane’ not ‘sin-kwane’) or also known as the quintain or quintet; is a poem or stanza composed of 5 lines.  The cinquain poetry is similar to haiku in that the rules for writing them are based on syllables.

Cinquain syllables in the following pattern:

Line 1 – 2 syllables

Line 2 – 4 syllables

Line 3 – 6 syllables

Line 4 – 8 syllables

Line 5 – 2 syllables

An alternative version of the cinquain poem, often called a ‘word cinquain’ is based on words, instead of syllables.

Word cinquain is in the following pattern:

Line 1 – 1 word

Line 2 – 2 words

Line 3 – 3 words

Line 4  – 4 words

Line 5 – 1 word

There are various opinions on what makes a good cinquain poem.  Some feel it’s best to organize to tell a story and admittedly I enjoy these kind due to the mental construction it leaves behind for the reader.  However, poetic devices such as assonance and alliteration can be used to help make cinquain poems memorable.  It’s purely up to your creative juices as there is no real wrong way to go about poetry.

Cinquain sample common story telling pattern:

Line 1 – Subject

Line 2 – Description

Line 3 – Action

Line 4 – Feeling

Line 5 – Conclusion