Thursday writing prompt

Here is the first response to this month’s writing prompt which was posted earlier today. You can find the writing prompt post right below this post. I hope you all enjoy it, and I hope you will be encouraged to try your hand at writing something for this prompt as well.

Stine Writing

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This photo prompt comes from Kelly at https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/11546674/posts/2799580154

Strolling

Through the deep woods we go strolling

Sweetly talking of love and hope

Silent ‘cept the sound of our feet

Although air is humid, we cope.

Yellow lilies bloom in the brush

Waving so softly in the wind

Love blossoms here alongside us

Happily showing there’s no end.

©2020 CBialczak Poetry

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Special Post Saturday: Short Story Review

The Infinity Order: Changing The Past With Time Travel by [Ben McQueeney]

My normal book reviews are posted on Mondays here on my blog. However, this is a short story that Ben McQueeney requested a review for, so I decided to post it as a Special Saturday post.

The Infinity Order by Ben McQueeney is a short story that is a fast read. It is an interesting twist on time travel. It is an engaging story that keeps your mind active in following what is happening while also contemplating the outcome. Then comes a surprising twist that makes the story quite unique.

You can read this story in an hour or less, but it may keep your brain engaged for an hour or more afterward. If you like time travel, fantasy, and stories with twists and surprises, you’ll enjoy this short story.

Special Post Saturday

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Reviewer’s Note: I received a free e-book of this short story for my honest review.

This short story by Ben McQueeney is a bit gory for my liking. However, it is well written with an interesting story line. It is a dark fantasy story. The main character is a barber with a strange curiosity that he attempts to assuage during his free time. This story is a bit reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. It is a quick, easy read. If you like dark fantasy, you’ll like The Fae of Darkwood: A Tellusm Tale.

Special Post Saturday

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Photo by Robin Canfield on Unsplash

Here is a Flash Fiction story that was submitted by C. S. Wachter for last Thursday’s writing prompt that was to include the words “if looks could kill”. Thanks for submitting, Chris!

Enjoy!

The Eye of the Dragon
by C. S. Wachter

Sam’s breath funneled in through his nose and hissed out between his teeth. Each long stride carried him farther from camp and his friends. His lungs began burning a mile back, but still he continued; the crashing noises behind him driving him forward on weakening legs. Five minutes later, the forest opened onto a rock-strewn valley surrounded by cliffs. Though the track he ran followed no set course, he couldn’t shake the feeling the creature had herded him to this dead end.

Trembling, he released a curse. He flung his arms up and fisted clumps of sweat-dampened hair as he bent over and struggled to take deep breaths while scanning for a place to hide. He sent a quick glance over his shoulder. The creature hadn’t given up but judging by the muffled roar it was far enough behind that Sam could pause in his headlong rush, take a moment to fill his lungs, get more oxygen into his blood, and plan his next move.

Sweat dribbled down the center of his back and tracked through the dirt on his face from temples to chin as he focused on a darker splotch in the mottled gray rock face to his left.

The ground beneath him vibrated and heavy thumps rattled through his chest. Out of time. He pulled in the deepest breath he could manage, set his sights, and sprinted in a straight line toward the dark opening, praying it was more than a figment of his imagination.

Cool, damp air enfolded Sam, sending a chill through his overheated body. Before him gaped a black hole, behind him, a dragon roared its disappointment. Several more roars sounded before silence fell.

Inching his way forward, Sam moved deeper into the cave. Lightning flashed. No, not lightning. Steady light flooded the cave. And laughter. Brian’s laughter. Brian—the brother Sam had left back at camp and feared for.

More voices came.

Happy Birthday!”

Surprise.”

Brian strode forward, laughing. “That was the absolutely best simulation. You should have seen your face. By the way, bro, you probably didn’t notice, but there are surveillance cameras all through that forest. You said you were up for an adventure. Happy Birthday, bro.”

Still chuckling, Brian reached out to plant a hand on Sam’s shoulder, but Sam stepped back. If looks could kill, his brother would be roasted by a dragon’s fire in the next second. 

Thursday’s Thoughts,Questions, and Comments About Writing

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Photo by Eugene Chystiakov on Unsplash

Though I have received no thoughts, questions, or comments from anyone, I will post today and hope it will encourage you to leave thoughts, questions, or comments about writing in the comments section for me to cover in future posts.

Writing is a solitary activity for the most part, and sometimes a writer can feel quite lonely. A writer can become discouraged staring at a blank page or a blank screen for a long period of time when nothing comes to mind to write or type.

Writers face other struggles as well — wondering if their scene or story is well written; what could they do to improve it; could they have chosen better words; is the pacing of the story too fast or too slow; are my characters likeable and relatable; etc.

Writers need each other. If you’re a writer who has ever spoken to another writer about writing, didn’t that conversation exhilarate and excite you; inspire you to sit down and write; let you know you’re not alone in your writing struggles; encourage you in knowing that you can be a writer?

That’s what I want my Thursday posts to do.

In addition, I’d like to have an occasional “brainstorming” Thursday post, where we just share ideas for stories, settings, characters — things to get our creative juices flowing. I also will post a writing prompt the second Thursday of the month, beginning next week, and ask you to use the prompt to write something and share it in the comments section for everyone here to read and reply to — only encouraging responses will be accepted. Any harsh or negative responses will be deleted. It is acceptable to say something like, “This part in your story is a bit slow. You could speed it up a little by…” OR “I didn’t really like this part or this character because…” These types of comments can be helpful to the writer instead of hurtful. They can help the writer improve their writing. We can all learn from one another.

I really hope you will join me on these Thursday posts, and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I know I will.

Christmas Carols or Christmas Songs?

Last Thursday we went Christmas caroling, and before we started someone asked, “Are we going to sing “Mary, Did You Know?” The response was “That’s not a Christmas Carol.” I was doubtful about the response, and it got me thinking, “What’s the difference between a Christmas Carol and a Christmas Song?

Here’s what I learned:

The first carols were sung in Europe and were actually pagan songs sung during Winter Solstice while people danced in a circle. The word “carol” actually came from the French word “carole” which means “circle dance”.

As time passed, Christmas Carols became popular. They are songs of a religious nature and center around the Nativity.

Christmas songs are secular and include pieces like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. They focus on things associated with Christmas that have nothing to do with the Nativity and the religious reasons we celebrate Christmas.

Then there are songs that are deemed “Christmas Songs” because radio stations only play them around Christmas time, but are really NOT Christmas Songs, but “Winter Songs” because they focus on things related to winter, not Christmas–songs like “Winter Wonderland” and “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”.

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that “Mary, Did You Know?” is definitely a Christmas Carol, and it happens to be my very favorite Christmas Carol.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

I’m Still Here

Hello Friends,

I know this isn’t my normal Friday post. I shall return to my poetry next Friday, but I thought you might like to know a little about my absence. I’m sorry I’ve been absent from this blog for a while, but sometimes life throws things my way that require my time and energy in other places. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that your 2018 has begun with joy.

There are several reasons for my recent absence here: 1) my husband and I were working on cleaning out a spare room in our house to make a space for me to go to write without distraction and interruption:

20180103_18423220180103_18424320180104_141833  Our house is small and doesn’t have a lot of storage space, hence the freezer and cupboard and a few other items that share my space, but I LOVE the bookshelves filled with books and the open floor space! I’m so happy to have this wonderful place to go and let my imagination run free.

The other reason for my absence was due to the fact that my oldest son had jaw surgery  for an overbite just four days before Christmas. The first four days were the worst, but even now he is limited on what he can eat, so I have been taking care of him and making sure he still gets nutritious items.

Now, however, both our older boys will be returning to college and bible school, respectively, in just  a few days and it will be just my husband, our youngest son and I in the house. Our youngest and I will return to homeschooling, and I will return to my writing and blogging. I hope you will continue to follow me on this journey.