Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Cleaning Up)

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Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!


Between last week’s snippet and this, Sergeant Janet Kyle of the Talbot City Police left Tom Mahon’s detective agency to cart away the werewolf assassin (which is too refined a word for him, if you ask me) whom Tom shot multiple times (and cuffed in healing-retardant silver) during the course of the first chapter and whom his partner, Turner, tossed out of a fifth story window (in order to avoid  nosy neighbors in the elevator—mostly).

I skipped a little banter among Kyle, Tom, and Turner that didn’t readily fit into the eight sentence limit.

I’m mentioning  all this so you won’t have to go back and read through all the Sundays from here to make sense of the sentences below—though you’re certainly welcome to!


“She thinks you’re trainable,” Turner said. “That’s a step up.  So, where do we start?”

“With the floors, before the blood sets,” I said absently, “and it’s your turn.”

“You made the mess,” he said.

“Not on the pavement, I didn’t.”

“Forecast says rain tonight.”

I sighed and went to get the mop.


Thus endeth chapter one.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue sharing bits from this particular WIP; this seems like a good enough place to stop and I’m leery of sharing too much.

I may be taking the month of November off anyway to do Nanowrimo (or maybe a half-Nano) but I haven’t decided anything for certain.

For those of you who are doing Nano—are you going to keep up your Sunday snippets as well?

Should we maybe try a NanoSnippet November?


And while we’re figuring that out:

A good friend of mine is a member of The Hamilton Writers Guild
(that’s Hamilton, Ohio)
and she asked me to mention their annual Harvest Gold General Fiction Writing Contest.

All fees go to the prizes
and no Hamilton Writer’s Guild members past or present can enter.

It’s absolutely legitimate and at 2000 words,
absolutely doable for most of us, within the extended November 24th deadline—
even for Nano-ers!

Take a look below and if you have any questions, click the image (or here) for the Writers Guild website.

HWG Harvest Gold Contest November 201410222014_0000

(Thanks for the heads-up, Terry!)


Inspirational Nostalgia, or Why I Owe Terry Petersen a Bag of Marshmallows

There are few things odder than realizing that the man sitting a few tables over in the intensive MWW writing workshop you drove six hours to attend is the kid you used to babysit twenty-something years ago.

Open MikeAnd that he has a book out. A good book.

It would be counter-productive to feel jealous of his talents, so I’ve decided to take partial credit for Greg’s success; the influential strength of letting kids stay up late to watch Star Trek and allowing maybe a few extra snacks from the stash on top of the fridge* clearly cannot be stressed enough.

His mother, who is a good friend of my mother** and writes beautiful short stories, was also at MWW, and while we took different intensives, he tracked her down and we were able to talk a little during the break.

He’s a lot taller than I remember and she’s slightly shorter.  But I’m wider, so it all evens out.

And speaking of degrees of separation, the girl Jane runs around with whenever she visits her grandparents in Cincinnati—the one she’s still begging to have over for a sleepover, despite the 8-hour drive—is Greg’s daughter.

I know I knew that—I’m sure Mom told me multiple times—but the weight of passing time didn’t actually smack me upside the head like a bagful of lead calendars before he nodded at the picture I offered and said, “Ohhhh, yeah, I know Janie.”***

And then break was over and we all went back.

About a week later, Terry Petersen sent me a nice e-mail that included a flyer for the annual fiction contest run by the Hamilton Writers’ Guild, of which she is a member.

Ten bucks gets you a two-thousand word buy-in and a deadline of October 21. The top prize is $250, second is $125, and third is $75.

Rules are here.

I haven’t written short fiction in a long time, unless abandoned first chapters count, but I’m thinking this would be an opportunity to try.

Maybe a heartwarming story about a babysitter, two brothers, and the Statute of Limitations . . .


*Though to be fair, some of that was Steve’s fault—he was a climbing ninja.

**Which is how I got the sitting gig in the first place, and I’m sure she’s pleased about hiring me now . . .

***I get this a lot.  I never know whether to smile proudly or wince, so I generally freeze until the other parent gives me more clues.

A memory, a favor, and an opportunity to harvest some cash

When I was a teenager, my favorite babysitting gigs were for one of my mother’s good friends.  Her two sons were well-behaved and utterly cool kids who drew pictures and argued Star Trek with me and grew up to be amazing adults.*  Of course, their mother is a writer, so how could they miss?

She e-mailed me today and asked that I pass along information about the 2011 Harvest the Cash Fall Contest, hosted by the Hamilton Writers Guild, of which she is a member. 

The word limit is reasonable, the prizes are substantial, the entry fee is minimal, and the rules are here.

Short stories are not my forte, but I’m going to give it a try, just to see if I can write a general fiction story and fit a coherent beginning, middle, and end into 1500 words.

Anyone care to join me?  I might need some help figuring  out what general fiction is . . .


*And one of them married a girl named Sarah, of which you can make what you will.