Friday, June 29, 2012


Wow!  We've already been doing this for 10 weeks!  Awesome job guys! 

This week's judge is first time winner, Laura Hughes (Mittens Morgul).  She's very excited to judge and I'm very excited to have her be a part of Flash Factory!! 

Congratulations again, Laura!! 

Here are her answers to the first four getting to know the judges questions: 

If you are currently querying right now, please tell us about your book. (If its a WIP, tell us about it too!)

I was querying, but a few weeks ago I had to park that roller coaster with the maintenance department. A couple of the wheels were falling off my manuscript, and the safety inspector closed us down. :) Sorry, it's summer time, and I'm thinking about theme parks.

I'm currently revising the first book, and trying to keep up with the writing schedule I set up for myself on the third. The series is urban fantasy, where shapeshifters have been allowed to stay in the U.S. in exchange for their loyalty to the government. They use their skills to handle military operations and criminal investigations that are beyond the abilities of the human soldiers and cops they work with. Thalia Drake has been hiding her true identity to blend in with the shapeshifters. If anyone knew she was a dragon instead of the werewolf she pretended to be, the shifters could lose everything. Her mother's disastrous attempt to convince the world that dragons were a force for good only convinced Thalia that it was safest for everyone to keep her secret forever.

When a murder investigation uncovers a possible threat to shifters, and an ancient dragon relic, Thalia's first instinct is to stop the killer at any cost. Revealing the truth could prevent a shifter genocide, but it's equally likely to doom them to her mother's fate. History is repeating itself, and Thalia must unravel the killer's motives before she crosses a line that could turn the entire world against her.

And just writing out that description makes me want to burn my old query. Wow! I like this version better!

How long have you been writing?

Since I learned my ABC's. Well, I've been writing seriously for about a year. I tried writing when my daughter was an infant. I mistakenly thought I had a unique insight into new motherhood, and a witty take on raising a child. Turns out, you actually need sleep and mental coherence to write books. I didn't get any of that with a newborn in the house. It didn't occur to me to try writing again until I had a recurring nightmare last summer. Out of frustration, I decided to write the bad dream down in the hopes that if I worked through the issues on paper, I might banish the bad dreams. To my immense shock, it worked. Also to my immense shock, I really enjoyed the writing itself. Now I'm afraid to stop, just in case that bad dream comes back.

Tell us about your writing style. Are you a plotter/outliner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? 

I guess that first book I wrote (which is sharing space in a locked drawer with the sequel I wrote for it) had an outline of sorts. I was just writing out the dream, fleshing out the characters and giving them a purpose for good instead of evil. Since then, though, I start writing with a definite beginning and ending in mind, and then pants my way from point a to point b.

What is one piece of advice you would give new writers? 

Don't listen to writing advice. No. Find writing advice that helps you. You don't have to buy into every contradictory piece of advice. Find what works for you, and then write write write write write. You can't be a writer if all you do is plot and plan and read advice. Just start writing. And then edit. And then edit some more. And keep reading, too.



Laura's 3 Word PROMPT:

jar, swoop, fracture 




Ready ... set ... FLASH!  

To Review:
PROMPT (varies each week)
50 word minimum / 350 word limit
24 hours
The full rules are HERE

*Remember, post your entry right here in the comments, please!  Don't forget to include word count AND Twitter handle!  (Or another way for me to reach the winner!) 


  1. Twitter: @Anyechka
    Word count: 348

    Marie held out her hand to Nessa and let her climb onto it and nibble at the raspberries. She gently stroked Nessa’s soft white fur with her other hand as the mouse ate.

    “Is it really a good idea to bring along a mouse?” Kálmán scoffed as he took a drag on a cigarette. “Some bird of prey might swoop down and take her, or another worker might step on her.”

    “She makes me happy. You need to be happier too. At least you’re making more of an effort to speak in French now than you were a few months ago.”

    “And I thought you weren’t even a farm worker. You’ve got that cushy job in the medical clinic with Caterina. How come you’re not assisting her today?”

    “There was a patient today with a serious compound fracture, and I didn’t want to look at the bone poking out of the skin. So she gave me permission to work the fields.” Marie gently put Nessa on her lap and picked a few more raspberries.

    “Your jar isn’t going to fill up as fast as ours if you spend all your time playing with that mouse.” Kálmán blew a smoke ring. “You really would’ve been a goner if not for Caterina.”

    Artur protectively rubbed his fiancée’s tiny shoulders. “At least she stayed as sweet as she always was instead of becoming bitter, grumpy, and unpleasant like you.”

    The farmhand in charge of the raspberry field appeared. “I smell cigarette smoke. I thought our rule was clear about no smoking in the fields.”

    Kálmán defiantly continued smoking. “And pet mice are allowed?”

    “Marie-Zénobie is a good worker, unlike you. She’s not the one who tried to start her own cell here. I can’t wait to wash my hands of you.”

    “The feeling is mutual. I can’t wait to leave either.”

    “But in the meantime, you can put the cigarette out.”

    Kálmán dropped his cigarette and stepped on it. “At least I have plenty more where that came from.”

    “Yes, you certainly don’t lack for either bile or cigarettes.”

    1. I just want to smack that guy. Good characterization! Everyone's probably met a jerk like that... :)

  2. 348 Words

    “Captain! The fracture’s getting bigger!”

    “About time.” She moved closer to the screen. “Yes, it’s working.” She spoke into the comm unit, “Is the team ready?”

    “Yes, Captain. We’re at the hatch. Ready when you are.”

    “Then you’d better hang on, Commander, we’re going to rip it open in one fell swoop.” She turned to the science officer, “Lieutenant?”

    “We’re a go on your mark.”

    She turned to the weapons officer, “Red alert, no sirens,” and pressed the ship comm button. “This is the Captain speaking. We’re about to break the fracture open. Be sure you’re strapped down as the impact may jar something loose. I want no more casualties on this trip. We’ll be sending in a team and follow shortly thereafter once confirmation has been made. And…pray to whatever you hold dear that this works. Captain out.” She released the button and looked around the room. The tension was evident on the gaunt faces staring back at her, but there was still hope in their eyes.

    She strapped herself into her chair and nodded her head at the science officer, “Mark.”

    A blinding flash of light!

    The impact felt like it was going to break the entire ship apart!

    Once the rocking slowed down, she pressed the comm unit again, “Commander? Is your team on the move?”

    “Yes Captain, nearly there.”

    “Lieutenant? Where did our video go?”

    “Sorry, Captain! I’m working on it. The impact…”

    “Just get it back!”

    “Yes, Sir!”

    A voice over the comm, “Captain? Are you seeing this?”

    “No, Commander. Our eyes were knocked out by the impact. What is it?”

    “It’s…It’s Eden!” The screen phased in slowly, but it cleared to a bright and crisp picture of someone holding six beautiful red raspberries.

    The tears were unexpected. She meant to stay strong, to put on a brave face. She glanced around and saw the tears on the faces of the rest of the bridge crew as well. She cleared her throat, “Move! Now!” The ship made its way slowly across the barren wasteland toward the fracture - toward hope and a future.

  3. 106 words.
    Feakysnucker on twitter.

    "Awww! I only got a fracture of what you got!"
    "Fraction," she corrected. She had known he'd whine about the numbers - little brothers must get a manual on how to be annoying little wretches. She reached into the jar again, and grabbed a couple more of the delicious berries that she'd spent the entire morning picking. Her arms had scratches all over them. "Here." She held out her hand and he swooped down upon the berries like a vulture.
    Soon his smile was highlighted by pinkish-red stains. He impulsively gave her a sticky kiss on her cheek.
    Maybe little brothers weren't all bad after all.

    1. You capture that love/hate relationship with siblings so well...and in so few words! You are amazing! :)

  4. Rebekah PostupakJune 30, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    She stared fearfully at the six red berries in her palm, wishing something would jar her memory.

    They looked like ordinary raspberries, the kind that would explode in cool sweetness on her tongue if she dared eat them. But no, no, that wouldn’t be safe—there was something was wrong with the berries, wasn’t there? If only she could remember.

    Minutes passed. An hour. Two.

    Still she sat frozen in nervous terror, the memory of whatever-it-was refusing to swoop in to save her.

    How long could she sit here? The sun was hurtling toward the western horizon, causing the sky to fracture into a thousand jagged shards of orange and red. Darkness slipped into her lap, crept into her hands.

    At long last she nudged the shadow-covered berries with a trembling finger. She picked one up and touched it to her lips. What if she was supposed to eat them? Maybe that was the way to remember.

    Enough of this. Enough! Whatever the mystery was couldn’t be worse than the torment of indecision.

    She clenched her teeth and shoved a single berry in her mouth. Either way, it would be over soon.

    And for the first time in her life, she was right.

    203 words