Recently, several of us explored ways to expand our little co-op. Having failed to heed the Universal Caution against volunteering, I volunteered to organize two ongoing projects — Writing Prompts and Critique Groups — that might induce authors to participate. Most of those who commented on my ideas supported them. (I suspect they were just happy somebody offered to do something, but I am grateful nonetheless.)
Let’s begin with a Writing Prompt. This isn’t a competition, but all submissions will be shown off in a Show Case posted here on Writers Co-op. Here are some guidelines: Pick a genre, any genre. Use approximately 6 to 1,000 words. The goal is to stretch our author muscles and produce a piece worth sharing with our friends.
The first prompt is:Atrophied.
Submission Instructions: By Monday, October 4, attach your work (as a .docx or .pdf) to an email addressed…
But my little package took 6 days to get from San Diego, California, to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
At first, I was puzzled by the delay — not to mention disappointed. But then somebody said the new Postmaster General wanted to celebrate election year by reinstating the Pony Express. My immediate reaction was:
Each of us has at least one weird friend who defies convention and relishes the bizarre. It’s even possible many of us are that friend. Of course, there are degrees of weirdness — I, for instance, consider myself to be on the charmingly eccentric side of weird as opposed to being on its totally bonkers, crazy-eyed, bat-eating, raggedy edge.
However, even if I were, I would still enjoy indulging in other people’s weird literary thoughts — like the stories inThe Rabbit Hole— just as much as I enjoyed writing “Life Changing” for this anthology.
Halloween is the last day to pre-order this excellent collection of 35 weird stories for only $1.99. (For a taste of their tone, see a few of their blurbs below.) Beginning November 1, the ebook price will be $2.99, or you can have a paperback book to hold in your hands for $12.50. Even better, the proceeds go to the Against Malaria Foundation, where $2 buys one life-saving mosquito net. (AMF is one of GiveWell’s top-rated charities.)
The Rabbit Hole will be an intriguing addition to your library, and would make a welcome gift for anyone who cherishes a few hours of escape from Normal — or even the New Normal.
Foggy A father and daughter’s boating trip is ambushed by a mysterious, underwater tormentor.
I Should’ve Known Better There’s just one thing wrong with his beautiful luxury apartment: it’s a transdimensional portal. Will the Flying Demon Things get him before he gets one of the centaur Babes?
The Scroll and the Silver Kazoo You never know who (or what) will show up at an open mic event.
Quicksilver Falls A mysterious phenomenon puts the future of the world in the hands of a simple Tennessee farmer and sparks the world’s strangest writing competition.
Satori from a Consulting Gig Management consultant Frank Dow has a new client: God.
The Adventures of Conqueror Cat Herr Trinket (a sharp-eyed and even sharper-tongued shelter cat) traverses an interdimensional rabbit hole into poochlandia to explore the enduring timey-wimey dog-cat dichotomy.
Eggs On End Claudia had a secret: she was ordinary – agonizingly, mind numbingly ordinary. But all that was about to change. And it would all begin with eggs.
Life Changing Lawrence decides to exercise his brain to avoid his Alzheimer-stricken mother’s fate, but when his life twists beyond recognition, he can’t escape the possibility that lost minds must be somewhere.
Carolina Brimstone The passion of the zealot is proportional to the power of the demon inside. Constance Hennfield’s fervor knows no bounds.
The App, my entry for the 2018ScreenCraftCinematic Short Story Contest, is morphing into an interactive story I’m also submitting toEchoic-Mobile-Pressfor consideration.
Natalie and Vihaan are beta testing their TimeJump app. Sending text messages into the past, it lets you fix memory glitches or have the chance to say what you wish you’d said or know then what you know now. When the Feds try to steal it, the TimeJump team races to keep them from weaponizing the awesome power to know the future. ~~ The Pitch
The ScreenCraft contest will announce its quarter-finalists in January 2019, semi-finalists in February, and the winners in March. One of my stories quarter-finalled two years ago, but the entry pool is deep so individual odds of winning are preciously low. The most compelling reason to enter is the option to receive feedback from a professional entertainment industry reader. Their insights into both the story’s potential and the existing market are invaluable.
Echoic Mobile Press is a new publisher currently beta testing their interactive story app. They’re actively seeking authors who are willing to work with them to establish a library of stories from poems to short stories, to serials, to novels. The authors don’t have to know anything about interactive story telling going in — Echoic will help its authors build their worlds and create an interactive experience for the people who purchase the app. Think choose-your-own-adventure books, but more involved. They also plan to publish non-interactive ebooks that the app stories come from. They’re also happy to create app stories from stories or books an author has already published somewhere else. And their submission response time is only 4 weeks.
Oh, yeah — they pay their authors, too.
So I should hear good news or nothing at all from them by the end of November.
“I will not be its illustrator.”S.T. Ranscht, author of Space, Time, and Raspberries.
“Good.” Everyone viewing this page.
The only thing Raspberries wants is to go as fast as lightning. But when the teacher says, “Nothing can go as fast as lighting — it’s a Scientific Rule,” Raspberries must either give up the dream or keep trying to break the Rule, even though no one knows what will happen if the Rule breaks.
My beta readers (ages 5-9) — and their adults — have given me such excellent feedback on my most recent edits, that I believe Space, Time, and Raspberries is finally ready to meet the right publisher.
“An award? On this blog? I mean, look at the sidebar — do you see any other award stickers? Have you known Space, Time, and Raspberries to nominate anyone for an award? Ever?”You, exercising your ironic sense of reality.
“I don’t agree that ‘the exception proves the rule.’ I think any exception proves the rule is arbitrary and capricious, and can be righteously ignored. But in this case, I think The Eclectic Blogger Award deserves to be excepted from my habitual non-rule. And accepted. Proudly. Thanks for asking.” Me, hoping for your indulgence.
The Shameful Narcissist Speaks, (gamer, writer, reader, and reviewer extraordinaire), has created an award to “give back to the WP blogging community”. I am honored to be on her list of original nominees, and I am happy to spread this recognition and love to those whose work affects me in the way she describes below:
The Eclectic Blogger Award
“…is presented to those blogs that are both eclectic and engaging, where conversation flows freely, where new and different ideas are always welcome. It’s to recognize blogs that always have interesting content to match the amazing, creative, and hard-working creators that make them possible. These are the blogs that inspire you to read, watch, play, and/or create content to further enhance not only the blogosphere but also the general zeitgeist, because they themselves enrich it with their existence.”
Nominate whomever and however many bloggers you want for the award.
Share links from your blog for some of your favorite (or most eclectic!) posts.
The Shameful Narcissist Speaksembodies the ideal candidate for The Eclectic Blogger Award. She explores life and her favorite pastimes with research, thought, and a very clear view of both her inner self and the world around her. Lots of open and enthusiastic conversation in the comments. No BS here.
A Cornered Gurl I suspect Tre will graciously decline this award, just as I would have if I’d allowed my non-rule to rule on principle. And I totally understand if she does. But you should get to know her — she is eminently approachable. She writes touching stories with well-drawn characters. She writes powerful poetry that often makes my heart pound harder. Tre is a deeply human Being I consider a true friend, and whether or not she accepts, I know she will appreciate the offer.
Aloada BobbinsHaylee is the first to admit she’s quirky. Her writings and occasional vlogs always make me laugh. She engages on a delightfully personal level, and we’ve developed a long distance friendship-across-the-Pond. She adopted a dragon lizard named Jorah Greyscale, so she is in fact, Mother of Dragon. He has his own Instagram account.
Atherton’s Magic Vapouris also an award-free blog, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, Melanie Atherton deserves The Eclectic Blogger Award. For pure eclectic entertainment, Melanie’s mind is an overflowing Victorian fountain. I can’t help but abandon myself to her tales — wildly — and leave reluctantly. They are brief time travel escapes to a more elegant era, and her comments and conversations are always supportive and beautifully adorned.
Laura Bruno Lilly is an accomplished musician/composer. She infuses her soul into everything she writes about: music, family, spirituality, education, society — the list is unlimited, as is her interest in those who interact with her. Oh, there will be brownies.
Mellow Curmudgeonmight well brush off the offer of an award, but I think he’ll understand I believe his blog represents what The Eclectic Blogger Award honors. Whether it’s his answers to photography challenges or his analyses of language, prose, and poetic forms, he engages on a thoughtful, challenging level.
Writers Co-opis a small but open group of writers, some published and some working toward it. Subjects vary, but they don’t just elicit comments, they spawn discussions that explore, inform, and support. There are opportunities to share your own work for feedback. There are even opportunities to have a short story or two published in an anthology. Every writer’s dream, right? Write!
Glad you could join us for the next restful episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
Beneath the churning web, agony’s wail rode the final unbreaking wave as it crossed the field to leave behind the silent, still shallows of death. The enemy Flyers who dared to attack its surface learned too late that the struggle to destroy it only drew the attacker further under. Those who witnessed it from above soon retreated toward The Arids.
Vernon and Ambassador Arturo waited at the web’s edge where an escaping whisper of breath hinted at the Wildlands ants’ approach. Commandant Marabunta was the first to emerge.