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Kimberlyadkins
April 6th, 2010, 06:41 PM
Tall, golden strands of grass brushed up against the wood of the ancient building she faced. At some point the planks might have been painted a pristine white but years had washed away the color, leaving behind the sad story of time that only wood can tell.
<ST1:pErin gently placed her camera on the tripod and she directed the lens toward the dilapidated structure that stood alone in the abandoned fields. She wondered if her film could capture the glorious tales of the past she could envision with her imagination. What bountiful harvests came through the double doors out front? Which massive machines were housed there during the height of production when farm hands gathered to bring in the crops on time? If a picture is worth a thousand words, she’d have a novel full by the end of the evening.


Thank you!

Kimberly

Eva Lefoy
April 7th, 2010, 12:50 AM
Justin bolted awake with a sneeze and an ungodly urge to itch. He sneezed with force and his eyes slammed closed. His nose itched almost as much as his body, but he couldn’t help but focus on the thousands of tiny needles that stung his bare arms, torso and legs. He scratched at one arm as he opened his eyes again. Upon seeing the hay – his all-time worst allergen – he cursed like a sailor and jumped to his feet.

It was then he noticed the stench of horse manure. It burned acrid trails though his nostrils. It surrounded him with its suffocating perfume. The nearby neighing and nickering set his nerves on edge. He liked horses about as much as a case of the clap.

“Shut your traps or I’ll make you into glue!” he bellowed. The high walls and dark recesses of the structure swallowed his threat.

The horses seemed to snicker at him…

cdwithe
April 7th, 2010, 03:18 AM
Kimberly, I must say that you have a great eye for detail, and the lines you've written are beautiful. "...leaving behind the sad story of time that only wood can tell." was a particular favorite of mine. I love how you've intergrated your character (Erin) in with this. Fabulous, beautiful job! Definately a story that I'd want to read!

cdwithe
April 7th, 2010, 03:21 AM
Ms. Yakkity aka Cap'n Anne Buttscar =D,

I loved your post as well. You did a great job in setting the scene (the images of hay tickling the nose, and the horses laughing was just fabulous!) And anyone whose ever been in a horse barn will DEFINATELY get the reference to the 'perfume'! Personally, I think you have a great sense of what makes a good scene, and Justin's response brings on humor for your reader. Great, great job!

CharmedGirl
April 7th, 2010, 03:38 PM
Gina Jenkins stared, captivated by what she was seeing. At first, she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. But no, they weren't. Finally her father's dream had become a reality. Standing before her was no longer the old, rustic structure where all the farm machinery once resided. Instead, the dilapidated building looked a million dollars. All pristine with new wooden pailings and freshly painted a rich red.

As she opened the double doors, several horses whinied, awaiting her to feed them. Which was why she was at the grambel roofed shed at the crack of dawn. A mixture of smells assaulted her nostrils and she sneezed. Damn hay and grains, they'd always had a strange effect on her. And as for the manure, she gagged a little. She'd leave the cleaning of the horse stalls to the farm hands.

cdwithe
April 7th, 2010, 11:22 PM
Ms. CharmedGirl-

I really like where you are going with this. You've set the scene with descriptors filled with actions: pushing open the doors, the horses making noise. Great job too, making it a new barn that is the result of Gina's father's dream. =D I see conflict already! Good job!

CharmedGirl
April 8th, 2010, 12:10 AM
Thanks so much for the positive comment Cynthia. I'm just sorry that I didn't get a chance to post it until today.

BTW, I asked Karenne about why we couldn't add a thread. I told her that there was no add thread button and she fixed it.

cdwithe
April 9th, 2010, 12:42 AM
My Dearest CharmedGirl,

You are, by far, the best for asking Karenne about that thread button! lol I figured it had to do with the fact that I have a habit of completely destroying anything that has to do with technology! =D Thanks again!

Cyn

CharmedGirl
April 9th, 2010, 04:41 AM
So Cyn, when do we get our next assignment?

cdwithe
April 9th, 2010, 09:09 AM
Hey ya! Your next lesson and assignment should be posted on April 11. I have (hopefully) the forum set up to automatically update on the Sundays of the month. IF its not up on its on on the 11th, I'll be checking it and posting it manually. =D Fingers crossed!!

Have a great day!

Cyn

querida
April 10th, 2010, 06:38 PM
Is it too late to add a post here on the barn assignment? I've been gone a long time from the site, but I like the idea of some feedback on my writing. Thanks!

rachelanna25
April 11th, 2010, 03:01 AM
Gracelyn approached the decrepit building with caution. She ran her aging hand over the peeling red paint. Stepping inside, she brushed the cob webs from her path. To the left the stalls still stood proudly where the stallions were once kept. To the right was the room that once held the food and equipment. Grace walked to the middle of the dusty room and craned her neck to see above. The loft was still fully intact above, but the ladder that lead to the top had not been as lucky. Tears began to sting her eyes as the memories flooded her mind. Memories of the nights she had spent in the arms of her one true love.

Greysten
April 12th, 2010, 06:46 PM
Here's the barn assignment - late, but hey! I'm in the middle of packing for a major move! At least I'm making an attempt to keep writing! (*grin/sigh)

Homework - **** paragraph

Ford crouched lower, swatting away an angry buzzing insect. From his hidden vantage point, he continued the assessment of the unfamiliar structure. It was rectangular in shape; the high walls supported a massive mental shield which curved upward, arched over to the middle of the building before it sloped to the other side. Connected to the framework stood an odd, cylinder shaped tower with a cone top and no noticeable entryway.

His closest 'guesstimation' indicated the object in question was a shelter of sorts, used to house an assortment of quadruped mammals, archaic machines powered by fossil fuels and to store dry grasses and grains for consumption.

Could he find refuge there as well?

querida
April 12th, 2010, 08:38 PM
Anxious to get her chores finished before the day's light vanished, Tessa hurried outside. She didn't like the dark, but she'd forgotten to clean and put away her father's tack after her ride on Stormy earlier. Pa would be awfully mad if he found the horse's gear untended in the morning, so she forced herself to hurry toward the wood-planked building and ignore the lengthening shadows. She pushed open the sun-bleached door, which elicited a weary creak from its strap hinges, and the earthy smell of hay immediately soothed her. The owl who lived in the loft greeted her with a soft hoot. Her eyes took in Pa's old tractor standing opposite the stalls, as if waiting for tomorrow's work, and she smiled. She loved the peace of this place.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 11:51 AM
Hey ya! lol No, its never too late to post...but do forgive me for my delay in getting your feedback to you. I'm in my last month of graduate school (yay!) and working and trying to write a book with the fabulous KG. lol Thank goodness she is forgiving! =D Forgive me?? I promise, by the end of the night, everyone who has posted on here will get feedback from me.

Love,

Cyn

querida
April 14th, 2010, 12:49 PM
No problem! :) Sounds like your plate is more than a little full... thank God we women are terrific at multi-tasking, eh? Best to you on your graduate work. I remember those times of feeling burned-at-both-ends.

KGMcAb
April 14th, 2010, 01:48 PM
And let me add my own apologies to Cindy's; I tutor English and algebra at two local colleges and we've got exams coming up. I will reply to everyone....as soon as I can! Honest!

best,
Gail

Greysten
April 14th, 2010, 04:59 PM
Wow! You two professional authors have me blushing!

Here I sit, bemoaning the fact I am in the middle of a sea of rubbermaid containers and cardboard boxes, getting ready for a major move (and in desperate need to find the time to write) -- while you guys are working your butts off doing something extremely important, writing professionally, have families - AND you are teaching us novices as well?

I'll slink back to the rock I take shelter under and pout that I'm not as talented at juggling activities as you are!:juggler:

Kudos for the spirit of womanhood! She who puts her mind to it can do anything simply because they are female!

KGMcAb
April 14th, 2010, 05:16 PM
Aw, shucks! You should see Cindy and me when we're writing together! We've been known to scare men and small children with our intensity and, uh, okay, our weirdness.

I really wanted to say, though, the quality of everyone's work I've read so far is excellent, and I'd like to know where you guys are submitting? And if not, why the heck not?

I'll share my writing mantra with you:
Read.
Write.
Submit.
Repeat.

Here's a challenge for all us adjective lovers: write a flash fiction story--that's no more than 1000 words, mind you--and let's share. It's hard; no one knows that better than I do! Tell a story....in 1K words.

best,
Gail

CharmedGirl
April 14th, 2010, 07:41 PM
I'm not an author but I'd like to be one. Just have to write something decent.

querida
April 14th, 2010, 08:03 PM
I second CharmedGirl's sentiments. Have wanted to be a "real author" since I began keeping diaries and journals at age 8... just can't seem to put together an entire "story". I'm great with scenes--- short stuff I can finish in a night or two. But to get characterization, setting, conflict, and resolution all done? *sigh* The goal has eluded me thus far. I admit to being intrigued by your "flash fiction" challenge, and I will work on it. Somehow, having a word-count gives me an end-goal. Does that make sense? Hm. I do like your mantra, though, Gail. I do plenty of the reading, a good deal of writing, but no submissions so far. That seems overwhelmingly daunting somehow.


p.s. Had a paragraph I was going to submit for the "no adjectives" challenge, but I realized I used "his" and "her" in it (in adjective form... eg. his voice, her body, etc.) Ugh.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:14 PM
LOL G...you had me laughing with your comment about us wanting your kidney, but now you've got me raising my glass to you for your kudos! I honestly feel absolutely helpless if I'm not juggling 10 things at once. =D

And you can bemoan all you want....I've moved from SC to AR and back to SC before, and the entire time I was doing nothing but moaning about it! I mean, really? How does one accumulate so much stuff???

And now on to the commentary! =D As promised!

Love,

Cyn

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:21 PM
Gail is absolutely right. The posts that I've read for the past two weeks are wonderful (CharmedGirl, you write much more than 'decent', my dear!) A challenge I'd like to propose to you is this: if you don't feel like you have a story that's 'worth submitting', you're putting too high a standard on the current publishing market. Granted, I'm no where near the excellency that is Stephen King, or Willa Cathor, but I do have faith in my writing. And so too should you. So what's the challenge? Pick 3 markets a week and submit your story to them. You'd be surprised at how much you will learn - both for the business side of writing and your writing itself.

Quick example: Gail and I took the month of February off from working on our series to submit short stories, flash fictions, and older pieces that we honed up to various markets. Now, we have over 12 pieces combined that are sure to be published, and another 6 that are shortlisted. Moral of the story? Do your research on the anthologies out there. AND if you can find a great collaborator (such as I have in Sunshine over there), they will make a world of difference in your writing and your writing careers!

=D Love,

Cyn

P.S.-And we really are scary when we're in the zone...mumbling incoherantly, staring off into space, shouting 'I've got it!' when we come across a fabulous plot twists...lol We should come with a warning label, Sunshine!


Aw, shucks! You should see Cindy and me when we're writing together! We've been known to scare men and small children with our intensity and, uh, okay, our weirdness.

I really wanted to say, though, the quality of everyone's work I've read so far is excellent, and I'd like to know where you guys are submitting? And if not, why the heck not?

I'll share my writing mantra with you:
Read.
Write.
Submit.
Repeat.

Here's a challenge for all us adjective lovers: write a flash fiction story--that's no more than 1000 words, mind you--and let's share. It's hard; no one knows that better than I do! Tell a story....in 1K words.

best,
Gail

CharmedGirl
April 14th, 2010, 08:25 PM
I'm struggling with the adjective challenge as well.

But I'm just starting to work on my flash fiction challenge.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:27 PM
The simple fact that you are great with scenes should really help you in establishing a great story. Here's a challenge just for you, Ms. D. Take one of your scenes, and build around it. Your characters in that scene all have motivations, dreams, desires...what is it that got them to that particular place in your scene? What actions do they take (or not take)?

The most important thing I learned from my grade school? The magic of who/what/when/where/and how. But also why. Take your scene and think about these things...and build around it. You'll have a 3000 word story in no time!

Love,

Cyn


I second CharmedGirl's sentiments. Have wanted to be a "real author" since I began keeping diaries and journals at age 8... just can't seem to put together an entire "story". I'm great with scenes--- short stuff I can finish in a night or two. But to get characterization, setting, conflict, and resolution all done? *sigh* The goal has eluded me thus far. I admit to being intrigued by your "flash fiction" challenge, and I will work on it. Somehow, having a word-count gives me an end-goal. Does that make sense? Hm. I do like your mantra, though, Gail. I do plenty of the reading, a good deal of writing, but no submissions so far. That seems overwhelmingly daunting somehow.


p.s. Had a paragraph I was going to submit for the "no adjectives" challenge, but I realized I used "his" and "her" in it (in adjective form... eg. his voice, her body, etc.) Ugh.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:29 PM
I must admit, I started dancing around the room when I realized that as a teacher to you fine writers, I didn't have to do Gail's challenge about the adjectives. But then I stopped because I know Gail. And she'll have me do it if she catches me celebrating!

Good luck!

Cyn


I'm struggling with the adjective challenge as well.

But I'm just starting to work on my flash fiction challenge.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:32 PM
My dear CharmedGirl,

If you sit down and write, then you are by all facts and purposes a writer. So you've accomplished that! And faith...have faith in your work. Writing is just like everything else. If you can celebrate your successes (ha! no adjective exercise for me!) and look past your rejections, you'll do just fine!

Trust me on that rejection part...its painful, frustrating, but completely necessary to learn how to grow as a writer!

=D

Love,

Cyn

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:35 PM
lol Ms. D -

You are exactly right about the feeling. And thank you for your sweet words! I keep telling myself that its just a month...just one, and its over and done!

Love,

Cyn



No problem! :) Sounds like your plate is more than a little full... thank God we women are terrific at multi-tasking, eh? Best to you on your graduate work. I remember those times of feeling burned-at-both-ends.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:39 PM
There are several things that you bring out in your scene that are so good...and so important for the reader to know. First, we know when the scene takes place (end of the day). Second is that we get a fabulous look into the minds of those involved: Tessa not liking the dark, she's forgetful, Pa's anger. Third, that the place where she is (the barn) is considered peaceful to her.

I love how you used imagery around your character building to establish the barn-the writing is very clean and precise, which is always important. Especially for flash fiction! ::hint for Gail's exercise::

This is a very good scene, and one that I think you can make a great story around!

Love,

Cyn


Anxious to get her chores finished before the day's light vanished, Tessa hurried outside. She didn't like the dark, but she'd forgotten to clean and put away her father's tack after her ride on Stormy earlier. Pa would be awfully mad if he found the horse's gear untended in the morning, so she forced herself to hurry toward the wood-planked building and ignore the lengthening shadows. She pushed open the sun-bleached door, which elicited a weary creak from its strap hinges, and the earthy smell of hay immediately soothed her. The owl who lived in the loft greeted her with a soft hoot. Her eyes took in Pa's old tractor standing opposite the stalls, as if waiting for tomorrow's work, and she smiled. She loved the peace of this place.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:43 PM
Ooh, Greysten...hun, you are playing to my love of sci-fi on this one!

It is in my humble opinion that you have a talent for setting up atmosphere - always fabulous to have - within your stories. By having Ford approach the barn, almost as if he is sneaking up on it, you've done a great job at establishing that 1) the structure is unfamiliar to him and 2) he's wary of it, so the readers will be as well.

Secondly, your description of the barn itself is great in that it brings forth an image to the readers mind. We can see that barn, recognize the shapes, and thus, it pulls us into the scene.

Great job!


Here's the barn assignment - late, but hey! I'm in the middle of packing for a major move! At least I'm making an attempt to keep writing! (*grin/sigh)

Homework - **** paragraph

Ford crouched lower, swatting away an angry buzzing insect. From his hidden vantage point, he continued the assessment of the unfamiliar structure. It was rectangular in shape; the high walls supported a massive mental shield which curved upward, arched over to the middle of the building before it sloped to the other side. Connected to the framework stood an odd, cylinder shaped tower with a cone top and no noticeable entryway.

His closest 'guesstimation' indicated the object in question was a shelter of sorts, used to house an assortment of quadruped mammals, archaic machines powered by fossil fuels and to store dry grasses and grains for consumption.

Could he find refuge there as well?

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 08:48 PM
Ms. Rachelanna,

Ok...so now you've got me wanting to know about that one true love, and why this barn brings back memories of him! I love that! You've done a great job in pulling me in, and making me as the reader want to know.

There's very strong imagery throughout too that I just have to praise you on. The peeling red paint, the cobwebs, dust- I can see this place in my mind.

The most important thing I think you've done here is this: the decrepit building mirrors the emotions of your Gracelyn. Just with reading this one scene, I know that she is older, and broken by the years between her and her true love.

Great, great job!

Love,

Cyn



Gracelyn approached the decrepit building with caution. She ran her aging hand over the peeling red paint. Stepping inside, she brushed the cob webs from her path. To the left the stalls still stood proudly where the stallions were once kept. To the right was the room that once held the food and equipment. Grace walked to the middle of the dusty room and craned her neck to see above. The loft was still fully intact above, but the ladder that lead to the top had not been as lucky. Tears began to sting her eyes as the memories flooded her mind. Memories of the nights she had spent in the arms of her one true love.

Greysten
April 14th, 2010, 09:58 PM
I'd like to know where you guys are submitting? And if not, why the heck not?

Tell a story....in 1K words.

I'll submit my 1k tomorrow...

As for why haven't I submitted the pile of works looking for a home?

I used to think it was fear of success (as in I'd have to prove I wasn't a fluke or a 'one hit wonder'.)

And -- I've learned too many rules/commandments/laws of writing. I'm overwhelmed and burdened with too much knowledge.

Let me explain. Now that I have basic knowledge of grammar skills and writing rules to follow, I find I am 'frozen' at the keyboard.

Though I've been told by three editors who have taught workshops I participated in (Liquid Silver, Ellora's Cave, Saihamn) I definitely have a strong voice and style. And they have encouraged me to submit.

Yet, what flowed freely from my finger tips now becomes scrutinized at the end of each paragraph. Like a compulsion. If I catch the mistake now, there will be less to edit later.

My inner editor is constantly on 'RED ALERT'. I've lost ground in both productivity and creativity. More so, what was once a clear unique voice and style is now mucked down with too many rules.

I consider myself an above average intelligent human being. I know I can pick and choose rules to follow, and if I am strong in other areas, editors have been known to overlook an odd broken rule or two.

However, peers are not as convinced. I have been told by many writers I would be a waste of an editors time because my writing is too verbatious, too alliterate, too wordy, too flamboyant, too intellectual highbrowed, too poetic in descriptions..., UGH! (*flails self on keyboard)

Beta readers (who kick my a$$), critique partners and other published authors have told me to thumb my nose at them, and submit anyway. Until an editor tells me I have a problem, write the way I want to -- keeping in mind some basic tenets of grammar and sentence structure.

So I sit. 20 stories (anywhere between 20,000K to 90,000K) in various stages of progress - (rough draft, first self edit, and the ultimate 'first few chapters) a notebook filled with a ton of ideas..., and I sit. Frozen. And I hate it.

I'm hoping to break free from this prison I have placed myself in.

cdwithe
April 14th, 2010, 10:18 PM
You know, my dearest G, you are not alone with your struggles against your internal editor. I too have one, and so does Gail. We all do! It comes from all those terrible years of actually listening in English class, then doubting the idea/the work/etc.

I'm sure you've read where many writers see their muse as a person. That's how I see my internal editor (my muse? Ha! I live in the South...there are PLENTY of muses here!) But you see, my internal editor is a zombie. And the dang (insert expletive here) won't stay dead.

I've shot her and buried her under concrete, I've thrown her in the proverbial river. Heck, I even tried to burn her at the stake, but she keeps coming back, again and again. And always with plenty of things that could be wrong with my work.

So how do I manage to defeat her, time and time again? I ignore her while I'm writing the first draft, promising that when the story is finished and all my ideas are all down on paper, I will let her come out to play within reason.

Here's your own personal challenge, my dear: when you are conquering Gail's wonderful flash exercise, lock your editor away until you have the story down. The beautiful thing about flash is that you can go over the word limit, and cut out the unnecessary words later. The point of this is just to write. Look at your notebook of ideas and pick one, then write the story. Don't look at it, lock your editor away, until you know you've reached the end. Then and only then can your editor come out to play.

Take your key back from your editor and release yourself from your prison. Even if you have to burn them first!

Love,

Cyn

querida
April 14th, 2010, 11:55 PM
Greysten---

I, too, took the 1K challenge! Hope it wasn't too presumptuous to start a new thread (Flash Fiction Challenge) here. Can't wait to read your contribution! :)

Eva Lefoy
April 14th, 2010, 11:57 PM
Um...I'm not seeing a 1k challenge....did I miss it?

querida
April 15th, 2010, 12:04 AM
The simple fact that you are great with scenes should really help you in establishing a great story. Here's a challenge just for you, Ms. D. Take one of your scenes, and build around it. Your characters in that scene all have motivations, dreams, desires...what is it that got them to that particular place in your scene? What actions do they take (or not take)?

The most important thing I learned from my grade school? The magic of who/what/when/where/and how. But also why. Take your scene and think about these things...and build around it. You'll have a 3000 word story in no time!

Love,

Cyn



Thank you much for these words... I remember those who/what/when/where/why/how lessons from early journalism classes, but i sometimes forget them! :) I appreciate your encouragement more than you know! Honest, gritty feedback on the 1K challenge I submitted, if you're willing... I welcome it!

cdwithe
April 15th, 2010, 07:22 AM
Here ya go, hun! It was kinda hidden, so I understand how you didn't see it. =D

Here's a challenge for all us adjective lovers: write a flash fiction story--that's no more than 1000 words, mind you--and let's share. It's hard; no one knows that better than I do! Tell a story....in 1K words.


Love,

Cyn


Um...I'm not seeing a 1k challenge....did I miss it?

Eva Lefoy
April 15th, 2010, 10:25 PM
Does it have to be adjective-less?

Oh dear.