Flash Your Fiction on May 16!

original image by Roke (Wikipedia contributor)

Do you love writing and reading fiction, but find yourself pressed for time? Or maybe you have a limited attention span? Perhaps you’re just fond of succinct form. You’re in luck, because May 16 is the first ever National Flash Fiction Day (United Kingdom)! But first, a list of some fiction story definitions in order of increasing word count (some definitions overlap):

Nanofiction

Drabble

Flash Fiction, Microfiction, Micro-Story, Postcard Fiction, Short Short, Short Short Story, Sudden Fiction

Sketch Story

Short Story

Novelette

Novella

Novel

Now that the idea of a flash fiction day has sunk in, you may be all riled up because you don’t live in the United Kingdom. That’s OK. I don’t either. National Flash Fiction Day is transmogrifying into INTERNATIONAL Flash Fiction Day!

Click on over to National (International) Flash Fiction Day and look around. Check out the competitions and compilations, and write some flash fiction.

Can’t be bothered with yet another fill-in-the-blank day? That’s OK too. Skip the hoopla and check out Flash Fiction Online.

Happy writing, and happy reading.

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First / Last Sentences- a Sonia G Medeiros Challenge

Ever have the same odd image pop up in your mind year after year, seemingly without provocation or warning? A gruesome, disturbing image full of teeth and blood, and violent insanity?

Or maybe it’s just me?

In any case, thanks to Sonia G Medeiros‘s First / Last Sentences Challenge, I finally have an excuse to yank that tooth image from my mind and put it on paper!

(Or put it on my blog.)

The challenge to *write at most 100 words or either the opening or closing of a novel* is open at least through May, so there’s still time to participate. (You don’t have to write about teeth, the subject and genre are wide open.) Plus I heard each participant gets one free temporary yet worthwhile sense of accomplishment! I already snapped up my freebie with this characteristically brief entry:

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The orderlies wheeze and cower on the floor, their heads tucked under their arms, as Alicia giggles and one-by-one spits her cracked, bloody teeth out at her psychiatrists’ tear-stained faces.

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Stewart Royalty at Dunnottar Castle, part 2

AKA

Schoolgirl Photoshoot

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Here’s how this project started:

Stewart Royalty at Dunnottar Castle, part 1

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So Christmas New Year’s Day Valentine’s Day Easter has come and gone and I’ve finally finished my tartan jumpers. I am pleased with how they look, and proud that I made a couple outfits I can wear in polite company.

I made each jumper by sewing 2 pieces of material together- a bib and a skirt. The skirts are wrap-around and fasten with 2 buttons. I pleated the 2 tartans differently according to the pattern of stripes. This resulted in the red jumper wrapping around my waist 1 1/2 times, and the blue jumper wrapping around less than that. The result was unattached side corners on my blue bib. I remedied this by sewing Velcro to the inside of both sides of the waist, securing the bib corners to the skirt. You can see the Velcro stitching to the left of my thumb.

To go with the outfits, I altered my husband’s tuxedo shirt (with his permission). I re-hemmed the bottom and re-seamed the sleeves and sides to make it fit me better. Then I cut off the collar and sewed on a new collar I made from scrap material from the bottom of the shirt. The cuffs were floppy, so I folded and sewed those as well.

To top it all off, I sewed a couple matching headbands.

Because I didn’t use a pattern, and knew very little about sewing, I climbed a steep learning curve with this project. Many of the pleat stitches are redundant, as are some of the hem stitches. The waists don’t perfectly match up when they’re wrapped around, and I have some bare corners where I didn’t extend the bias tape all the way to the edges. On close inspection, the shirt collar looks like a mad spider sewed it. (I ended up sewing several passes of zigzag stitching to join several layers of bias tape with pleats on a curve). My seam ripper got a good workout. But overall, I’d say this project was a success!

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Here I am extensively modeling my tartan jumpers:

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And now a BONUS KITTY PHOTO for those who scrolled through to the end!

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Concoct Some Easter Cocktails

Candy Arctic Kiss Cocktail AKA Easter Arctic Kiss Cocktail*

This is a plan-ahead recipe. It’s still easy, but read through first to get the idea. First, make sure you have your ingredients and utensils:

1 bag of Starburst (vegan) Jelly Beans (make sure the bag has different colors of jelly beans)

1 bottle of Vodka

1 bottle of Champagne

1 Lemon

1 Lime

1 Orange

Ice

Glass Jars with Lids

Measuring Cup

Strainer

Knife

Cocktail Shaker (or just use one of the glass jars and the strainer)

Next, infuse your vodka:

Pick what colors of cocktails you would like. (I chose yellow, pink, orange, and green.) For each color, put 1/4 cup single-color jelly beans and 1/2 cup vodka in a glass jar. If all of one color is a bit less than 1/4 cup, just use what you have. Let the beans and spirits work their magic for a day or two . .  Then jar by jar, strain the jelly beans out of the vodka, keeping the liquids separate. If you’re unsqueamish, eat the gooey jelly bean remnants. (I composted mine.)

Finally, mix your cocktails per serving:

2 ounces jelly bean-infused vodka

3 ounces champagne

1 lemon or lime or orange disc as a garnish (mix and match colors)

ice

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Put the vodka and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake.

Add the champagne.

Strain into a glass.

Garnish with a disc.

Before drinking, squeeze the disc into the cocktail. Or if you’re civilized, simply float the disc on the cocktail.

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*Recipe adapted from SheKnows.com.