Goal #1 – Participate fully in the “Idea to Outline” workshop at FMWriters.com by completing each assignment on time and offering feedback to other participants. By the way, it’s a free workshop but you need a (free) membership to participate.
Goal #2 – Write 250 words a day on a story. It can be a short or a novel but it has to be fiction of some kind.
Goal #3 – Participate in Fiction Fridays twice this month. I slacked off the past month or so but need to get back into the swing of writing from the hip (so to speak).
Well, I think those are fairly good goals for the month. Easily attainable but with definite substance. Now all I have to do is make the effort to complete them.
The common thread of today’s daily bookmarks is tutorials or "how to" articles on writing. Some of the links are older but no less true today than when they were written. I suggest you read through them and take away what you want from the experience. The more you learn the better your writing will eventually become. Cheers!
- Deadline: August 10, 2009
- Length: novella (25k-30k)
- General Genre: all genres of romance and erotica, as well as fantasy, urban fantasy and science fiction with strong romantic elements
- Specific for Anthology: “The only rule is the story should be set mainly or entirely in space and the romance must end happily ever after or happy for now.”
- Deadline: September 30, 2009
- Length: novella (20k-25k)
- General Genre: Contemporary Romance (or any sub-genre thereof)
- Specific for Anthology: Must use publisher’s provided synopsis and characters for the story
- Deadline: August 1, 2009
- Length: 10k
- General Genre: Science Fiction
- Specific for Anthology: “Convincing and optimistic: Imagine that we are the biggest skeptics on the planet, then show us how things can change for the better, and persuade us.“
- Deadline: submissions accepted between August 1 to August 31 (midnight EST)
- Length: a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story (may submit up to two stories)
- General Genre: Any
- Specific for Anthology: “We want stories we can read again and again and never tire of. Stories that don’t pull any punches. Stories that make us think, that evoke some kind of emotional response.”
- Deadline: September 5-7, 2009 (over the long Labor Day weekend)
- Length: Any but most likely novel length (at least 90k)
- General Genre: Any genre, any subject
- Specific for Contest: Entrance fee of $50; manuscript can be sent in to be judged although that isn’t a requirement
Dance across vast azure skies
Shunned by heaven’s vault
*submitted to Twihaiku
“Are you sure this is the right decision?”
I turned my attention from the small bio-mechanical creature I was working on and gazed at her. Her normally iridescent skin had dulled in the failing atmosphere of our world. I glanced towards the small child tucked along her side and I winced at the terrible changes wrought on that small body. All to survive. I tried not to think about would happen if I failed this time.
Swallowing my fear, I gave her a decisive nod. “Yes. I am sure.” Well, I was as sure as I theoretically could be. After all, this had only been attempted once and that had failed miserably. But the sight of our child was enough to make me take another great risk. If I didn’t, we would all be dead anyway.
With a final twist, the creature’s exoskeleton came together. It was a thing of technological wonder although, I have to admit, it didn’t look it. The nano technology crammed into its middle made it look a bit awkward.
“Will it fly?” The chuckle in her voice warmed me. Even now, she could still laugh. As I added a final touch to the small thing, I could feel her peering over my shoulder. I glanced over and smiled.
“Well, it should. I’ve stuffed enough anti-gravity nanites into it.”
I bent over the small creature and whispered the command code to bring it to life. The wings began to beat slowly just as a loud boom shuddered through our dome and tossed us about.
I grabbed onto the table with all my hands and held on for dear life. My wife fell to the floor, protecting the small one’s fragile body with her own. Their screams filled me with dread as we rode out the shockwave. As the room settled down, I raced to pick them up off the floor. Clear liquid oozed from a gash along her head.
“Are you all right?” As I touched the wound, she flinched. The child whimpered in her arms.
The sight of her essence leaking out of her body sent me into a panic. I grabbed at the edges of the wound and tried to close it but there was nothing I could do. The damage done to our world had worked on her DNA and she was no longer able to self heal. Maybe I could bandage the wound. As I searched about for something to staunch the flow, she grabbed two of my hands in a tight grip and shook me.
“Hurry, love. Or it will be too late.”
Her eyes implored me, even as the light in them began to fade. I touched my forehead to hers. A final goodbye.
“Be good for mummy, little one.” I ran a hand down our child’s head and barely contained the shudder at the texture of her skin. So much damage to such a small being.
A low buzzing filled the room. My small creature hovered above the table as if it waited for directions. And I suppose it did. I lifted myself from the floor and inched my way towards it. The room had begun to shudder again making it diffiult to move in a straight line. As I neared the table, the little bio-mech alighted on my outstretched hand and looked up at me.
Again, I whispered to it causing the small head to nod and then crawl up my arm. After what seemed an eternity, it settled on my shoulder. I refused to look back at my whimpering family as I grabbed the teleport device that allowed us to move around our world at the pace of thought. I swiped my hand across its surface and, instead of a ready yellow light, it turned blue. I nodded to myself. This, at least, was going as planned.
Then the floor dropped out from under me. I could hear their screams as we were tossed about as the force of a hundred shockwaves hit our dome at once.
At her scream, I turned to see my wife point at the ceiling. A crack had begun to spread from the pinnacle of our dome and was beginning to give way. Air forced its way through the break.
There was no time to put the device and creature in the safe room. I slammed my hand down on the device and the bio-mech and I blinked out of existence.
I gasped for breath. My body was designed to handle a different atmosphere and I shuddered and thrashed about on the dry ground. The small creature was hovering above me, content to wait for its final instructions. Blackness threatened the edge of my vision as I fought to gain control of myself.
I knew I was dying.
“Multiply.Watch over them. Keep them safe. Go now.” The small creature bobbed once and was away. It’s oval body glinted yellow as the warm sun of a different era played against its body.
I hoped it was enough. If it wasn’t, I don’t know what the humans would do. They had managed to wipe out the first set of bees sent back to keep them alive. And with the death of our future, I couldn’t go back and do it again.
“He was the cutest little boy. Makes it that much sadder, doesn’t it?” The Grand Matriarch patted my shoulder as she stopped to pay her respects. I nodded. Yes, he had been the cutest little boy. Until the Humans had gotten their hands on him. Now he was so much dead meat, body scarred by the brutal battles he’d been forced to wage on their behalf.
I looked towards the back of the clearing at the small contingent of Humans gathered under the old tree. They were from the government, ostensibly to express their condolences and regrets at such a horrible miscarriage of justice. I growled low in my throat. At the pressure of the Matriarch’s claws on my shoulder, I bit back the howl that was threatening to break through.
The Humans took a cautious step back as the rumble of my voice reached them. A few even were so bold as to lay their hands on barely concealed energy weapons. My lip raised in disgust. A true warrior fought with tooth and claw to understand what was being fought for. Or lost. Humans separated themselves from the visceral reality of war and life. I despised them for that.
And yet, I wished I was able to put a wall between myself and my pain. I tilted my head and looked to the forsaken stars for guidance but received only their cold comfort.
“Some day, child, some day the Humans will regret they allowed such an atrocity to occur. That they think they own us.” With a final squeeze, the Grand Matriarch released me. I lowered my head to look into her eyes and saw that she, too, wept for my destroyed son. “But not today, Artuk. Today we grieve for that which is lost to us and celebrate that which we still have.”
But what did I have? I was no longer a proud warrior having become what I despised most: a burden to my pack. My mate had been killed in the War and our only surviving child dead at the hands of our oppressors. There was nothing left to me. Nothing left but hate.