Thursday, June 21, 2012


This week's FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY post is going up tonight! 


Because tomorrow my blog will be designated to the GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN Blog Hop! Woot woot! Be sure to come by here tomorrow for an exclusive interview of Ever's best friend Jessie from my debut novel EVER. In a strange turn of events, Ever will be holding the microphone this time. We'll get to see how Jessie likes being interrogated! 


Anyway, our judge this week is SECOND TIME winner ALISSA LEONARD! 

I presented her with the next four getting to know the judges questions, and here are her answers:

1.) If you could save the life of any one fictional character who would it be and why? (Stolen from Feaky Snucker's idea for Janet Reid's Pay It Forward contest.) 

My first thought was that I couldn't think of anyone. I don't necessarily like characters dying in books, but they serve a purpose and their death usually makes the book better. However, after more thought (mainly of books I didn't like) I changed my mind. I would save Simon from The Lord of The Flies. I think that was his name. I'm not going to read it again to check. But he was the only good part of the book, and when he died... Let's just say there wasn't anything redeeming left in that story. So he's my pick.
2.) Is there one book from your childhood that sticks out more than the others? Why? 

The first story that I remember getting me excited about reading was Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. We read it in fifth grade for English class. It changed my world. Up until then, I was a very good reader, but I don't remember really liking books that I was given. (I don't remember disliking them either.) However, after that book, I was an AVID reader. I knew there were books out there that I could love, and stories that could speak to me. Anyway, that book started my love of books and only a few short years later I started writing my own. 

3.) What is your favorite thing to write about in your manuscripts? Fight scenes? Love scenes? Dialogue? Etc. Why?

This is a hard one. I love them all! I struggle the most with fight scenes, but I still think they're really fun. I love dialogue and romance. I think, maybe, working out the fantastical things in my stories would be my favorite. The scenes when I'm learning about the magic system and its scope and limitations are so fun. Coming up with solid, in world, reasoning about why things work the way they do and providing structure to play in is so rewardingly challenging. --This is a very confusing answer, but I don't really know how to change it or have time to fix it, so...sorry! :) 

4.) What has been your biggest regret in your writing journey thus far?
My biggest regret is not realizing that writing was something I could do for the rest of my life. I went to college and got a degree (not in writing, or english...) so that I could get a job and such. I put writing out of my life for a very solid chunk of years, and I can never get that time back. I LOVE writing...and even if I never get published, I know that I will be doing it for the rest of my life. I don't know, maybe that time off helped me to cherish the time that I have now and recognize it for the joy it is, so maybe it's not a regret. Also, I kind of regret not writing any fan fiction when I was younger. I thought it would be plagarism, so I never wrote down any of my cool ideas (although I brainstormed many). It would be awesome to go back and read those ideas now, but, alas, they are lost in time. :)



Alissa's 3 Word PROMPT:

conundrum, weary, system


Ready ... set ... FLASH!  

To Review:
PROMPT (varies each week)
50 word minimum / 350 word limit
24 hours
The full rules are HERE

*Remember, post your entry right here in the comments, please!  Don't forget to include word count AND Twitter handle!  (Or another way for me to reach the winner!) 


  1. ME!
    Like, 200 words.!/FeakySnucker

    He watches his love dance across the stage in another man's arms. He flicks his wrist. She soars into the air. The audience gasps at her lithe movements as she twirls up the silks. She makes it look effortless, but he sees the weary smile.

    They had a system: He would love her from afar, and once in a while she would smile at him. One time she touched his arm and thanked him for his work. It was a system she didn't know about, but one that worked. A smile pointed at him meant something. A smile aimed at another meant something else.

    And now, a conundrum.

    She'd started looking upon another. All her smiles went to the muscular fiend she was now looking down at. She reached down for him, he reached up at her.

    Another flick of the wrist sent her soaring back up. Out of the fiend's casual hands.

    A conundrum.

    For her life was in his hands. He could ease her down gently to the stage, as a hundred times before... or...

    Her life was in his hands.

    His finger hovered over the button.

  2. Word count: 347
    Twitter: @Anyechka

    Aranka still felt weary, but now that she’d been given some food, she was slowly starting to recover. Hospital food wasn’t much, but it seemed like a feast compared to the garbage she’d been forced to consume to preserve her life just a few short years ago.

    “Where’s my husband?” she asked the nurse. “Does he know I was found and taken to a hospital? He’s probably in the hospital himself now, if he knows what happened to me. He’s got a heart murmur and can’t handle such a big shock to his system.”

    “What language are you speaking? Have you been here long enough to learn Hebrew?”

    Aranka racked her brain trying to remember the language she thought she’d gotten a pretty good handle on, but could only think in Hungarian and French. Wasn’t this a fine conundrum. The hospital probably didn’t staff a Hungarian translator, and she knew she couldn’t express herself in French like a native, even after spending the last three years in France. Bringing in a French translator probably wouldn’t do much good. And she certainly never wanted to speak German ever again.

    “Don’t get out of bed,” the nurse said. “Your leg is broken. I think your company understands you’re not a deserter. These things happen during war.”

    “I want my husband and our three friends!” she cried in Hungarian. She felt around her neck. “Where’s my necklace?” She mimed it by drawing her hands around her neck and down to her chest.

    “The only jewelry you came here with was your wedding ring.”

    Aranka began screaming hysterically. Her great-grandma Abigél’s beautiful ruby and sapphire necklace hadn’t miraculously found its way back to her after the war only to be lost forever thousands of miles away.

    “Is this the one you’re looking for?”

    Aranka looked up and saw a doctor walking in with Csilla. Csilla ran over to her and hugged her tightly.

    “Thank God you’re alive. You’re coming home as soon as possible. You know how we knew you were the soldier missing in action?”

    Csilla held out the necklace.

  3. 349 words (Whew! The original was 490! Cutty McChopperson, at your service!)


    "There! See it?"

    Allen pointed, but Sara had no idea what she was supposed to see. She was weary from hiking. Even though Alan made the trip the day before, they still needed to hack their way through the jungle to reach this spot.


    Allen stuck his arm over her shoulder so she could follow his finger to the tree. "Right there. Something's strange about that, am I right?"

    It was hard to tell under the midday sun. Every few seconds, the branches and the underside of the thick, leathery leaves pulsed with a warm orange light.

    Her first thought was to run straight back to camp and pretend she never saw the weird tree. The longer she looked, though, the more compelling the flashes became. There was something familiar about the light. She resolved to untangle the conundrum. "How long will it take to hike, do you think?"

    Allen was relieved hadn't imagined the whole thing. He didn't intend to get closer. He only wanted confirmation that he wasn't losing his marbles. "You want to go down there?"

    "Of course." Sara started walking. She kept the tree in sight, and memorized the systematic pattern of flashes. There was an intelligence behind the lights that defied explanation. She had to know what it meant, and Allen wouldn't abandon her.

    The closer they got, the harder it was to continue across the soupy rainforest floor. The lights also seemed brighter beneath the shady canopy. It bounced around the relative darkness, turning the jungle into a bizarre discotheque.

    The lights faded, each pulse weaker than the last. "Do you smell that?" Allen bolted into the undergrowth.

    She smelled it, too. Burning oil. The lights winked out for the last time. In the clearing around the tree she found Allen pulling the pilot from the wreckage of a small helicopter. The man had a broken leg, but that was the worst of his injuries. He'd signaled SOS until the batteries failed. If they'd been an hour later...well, best not think what would've happened. The pilot was saved by his own searchlight.

  4. Stefan’s tall, gangly body looked awkward sitting on the tiny bed in his new room. The lumpy mattress at least had a clean white sheet pulled taut into military style corners. Janice, the woman who’d picked him up, seemed pleasant enough, but they all usually did until he was read the riot act about what was expected of him. He’d long grown weary of being stuck in the foster system, moving from one place to another, all in the name of finding him a decent place to live and grow up. Unfortunately, many made him feel more like an indentured servant than a child deserving of love and affection.

    Pondering his situation, Stefan realized this would likely be the last family he’d be forced to live with. His eighteenth birthday was quickly approaching and with no family to support him, he knew his future didn’t look particularly prosperous. He was a good student, but not so exceptional he’d been able to get a scholarship or grant for college. He’d written countless of essays and letters trying to get one single chance of being more than just another street kid, begging the world to rescue him.

    No. Stefan wanted to rescue himself.

    A single knock echoed through the unadorned room and his new foster father nudged the door open wide.

    “You getting settled, son?” he asked, nodding towards the suitcase sitting by the dresser still waiting to be unpacked.

    Stefan shrugged, waiting for the long list of rules and restrictions that came with every new family. Knowing it would only be a matter of time before he messed up and they sent him away.

    “We seem to have a bit of a conundrum--” Jack pronounced, standing in front of his new son waiting for the boy to look up.

    When Stefan finally glanced at Jack, he saw something that was precious and rare.

    A smile.

    “Janice wants to know if you’d rather have pizza or Chinese?”

    Hearing the simple question, his heart surged with hope. Perhaps he'd finally found a home, a family and, most of all, a future.

    349 words