Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Flash Fiction Contest Winner #28



Big thanks to everyone who participated! As always, lots of good entries, and it made the decision quite hard. But in the end, I had to go with... Tabitha Bird! It was a very lyrical piece, as you can read below. Congrats, Tabitha!

_________________________________________________________


You came to the patch of dirt with encouragement from the weeds, where stray dandelions puffed their heads of seeds and you sent wishes to the sky. You came for the bark and sticks, the wind and the blue above. But you really came to escape the insides of your house. The yelling and crying. The mother who wouldn’t leave. The father who knew she’d stay. You came because it was the only stance you could take, the only way to be free in the middle of their storms.

“Nothing much here grows,” they said.
But you knew that wasn’t true. For here in the garden grew you. A little girl. Poetry and ideas. Things bigger than the little girl herself. With water from a glass jar you mixed mud soup. Fairy guests fluttered in your mind and you fed them on stories and make believe, on four leaf clovers and gum nuts.

Until the days you didn’t come. The garden left behind. You grew older with the passing days. No more stories. Too much lost and hurt within you for dreams to grow.

Then one day it happens.
Your own little boy and his own little garden. Rocks, mud pies, and sand cakes sprinkled with grass. And of course four leaf clovers.
“Play with me, Mamma? Feed the fairies?”
You stammer. “I can’t. I don’t remember how.”
His face. It falls like a star from the worlds above. And he turns away.
But you do remember. You remember all too well.
“Wait. Fairies?”
He nods. Eyes hopeful. “Let me see. Yes, they like sand cakes, but also mud soup. Do you know how to make mud soup?”
And the afternoon grows longer, the skies the color of pink lemonade. Once more you send wishes to the skies.


Waiting to Process Feedback

I don't know about you, but often when I receive feedback on my writing I immediately want to jump in and start making revisions. I've heard that "you should always wait before making changes" or "give it time to really sink in," but I didn't realize the wisdom behind that advice until recently. I had a valuable learning experience with feedback that I thought I'd share with you all.

First of all, I believe that you should wait before processing or trying to implement feedback, but you should not wait a single second to thank the person who gave you the feedback. I often send emails to my CPs the minute I receive their feedback that look like this: "Thank you so much for getting back to me with your notes! I can't wait to dive in!"

If someone takes the time to read your work and try to help you improve it, you should thank them regardless of whether you agree with all, any, or none of their feedback. Full stop.

On to my experience. I had an agent reject me back in January with some feedback that I thought was valuable. I was working on a revision plan to address that feedback when I got a full request from another agent. Not wanting to make the 2nd agent wait an unreasonable amount of time, I let her know I'd need a week to make a revision. I quickly finished my plan, took scenes out, added new scenes in, and sent it to the agent. I also sent it to one of my CPs who hadn't read the book yet to see what she thought.

A few weeks later my CP got back to me, and the short version is: she did not think that the changes I made addressed the issues brought up by the 1st agent. I was devastated. I felt like I had ruined my book, and worse yet, that maybe it wasn't worth saving. I knew that I had rushed my revision plan, and not sent Agent 2 the best version of my book. Lesson 1: Don't rush the implementation of feedback.

Going back over my CP's notes a week later, however, I started to get excited about her ideas. Instead of feeling depressed at the amount of work I needed to do, I felt confident that I could make changes and improve the book. Lesson 2: If the feedback upsets you, give it some time, then come back to it. It's amazing how much difference even a week can make in your attitudes.

What lessons have you learned about receiving and using feedback?

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Little Reminder: Take Care of Yourself

This is a short little blog post to remind you to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat healthy stuff, get some exercise. The writers’ life is pretty sedentary, and while writing keeps your brain acute, it doesn’t do much for the rest of the body. In Winnipeg, we’re still waiting for spring to arrive, so we can get out and enjoy the real world, but for those of you who already have some warmer weather and sunshine, get out and enjoy. Work up a sweat, drink lots of water and, for goodness’ sake, lay off the sugar. I'm talking to myself as much as anyone else. I'm ready to shake off winter and my extra layer of insulation. Wishing you all a spring time full of good health and great stories!

**************
Melinda Marshall Friesen writes novels for teens and when it's time to get off her duff, she enjoys running, biking and tennis. She's not fast or good at any of them but finds them fun.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The #AtoZChallenge 2017 Theme at Operation Awesome is the Publishing Journey

#AtoZchallenge 2017 Operation Awesome Theme Reveal


As our THEME for #AtoZChallenge 2017, Operation Awesome is taking you through the Publishing Journey.


From writing your story to getting it out in the world, the OA team is ready to blow your mind with great information and tips.

This April we will cover:


Agents- How to Create the Perfect List of Who to Query
Build a Following for Your Author Brand
Confidence! How to Write Big, Bold, and With Authority
Debut Authors - Why We Love Them (And You Should, Too!)
Eye-Catching Covers That Will Boost Book Sales
Falling in Love With Your Manuscript - Why an Emotional Connection is Vital
Good Books (Kara's Reading Roundup)
Healthy Minds and Healthy Writers
Ideas to Spark Your Next Story #WritingPrompt
Jump Start Your Editing
Key Steps to Writing Your Online Book Description
Letting Your Characters Listen
Misconceptions
New Tools Every Author Should Be Using
Own Your Next Writing Session
Prioritizing the Writer’s Life via a Business Plan
Quiz! Are You're Cut Out For Self Publishing?
Reactive vs Proactive (7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers part 1)
Selecting an Agent When You Receive Multiple Offers
Think like a Book Marketer
Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Query Letters
Valuable Gifts for Writers and Readers (Pens for Paws Auction)
Want to Be a Great Critique Partner?
Xenogeneic-like Ways to Use Other Genres To Improve Your Story
Yes, You Can Run an Effective Book Blog Tour
Zzz Into Zowie with These Query Tips


The #AtoZChallenge 2017 Theme at Operation Awesome is the Publishing Journey.


#AtoZchallenge 2017 Operation Awesome Theme Reveal

Friday, March 17, 2017

Flash Fiction Contest #28



Are you wearing green today? If not, beware pinching fingers! ;) For this #OAFlash fiction contest, write 300 words using the prompt four leaf clover. Your entry doesn't have to be centered around it, but does need to have a reference to the lucky little thing in there somewhere. Have your entry in by noon on Sunday, EST. Winner will be announced later that evening. Rules here.

Good luck!  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Synopsis Critique #5 - MG Contemporary

And now, it's time for this week's synopsis critique! The author of THE LAST DOUBLOON, a 36,000-word MG Contemporary, submitted this synopsis. My in-line comments are [blue and in brackets], and I'll include a summary at the end. Feel free to comment below!

If you'd like a primer on how to write a synopsis, see my posts here and here. And if you want your synopsis critiqued on this website, fill out the form here, or email your 1-2 page synopsis to me at operationawesome6@gmail.com, and I'll post one critique per week (NOTE: I'll email my critique to the author as soon as I'm done, so the author won't have to wait to see his/her synopsis on the site). Thanks for participating!

Synopsis

The day before twelve-year-old ANTONIO MORA flies from Spain to Florida [this set-up is a little confusing. Is he going by himself? Is it just to visit? Is he moving there permanently? A tiny bit more detail here would help], his mom shows him an old silver coin she found on her parents’ property in Florida, and a letter belonging to old neighbors. It takes Antonio only two minutes to realize that finding more valuable coins could help his unemployed dad. It could even get his recently separated parents together again. But Antonio’s dad has his own plan and takes off to Melilla [is this a city in Spain?] in search of work the same day Antonio leaves for Florida. [This is a good start. Antonio's mom giving him the coin seems to be the inciting incident, and Antonio is making a plan based on it. Just a little clarity with why and for how long Antonio is going to Spain will help orient the reader here.] Once in Clara Springs [Is this in FL?], Antonio bumps into two kids MOLLIE and TATE who happen to be new neighbors and in Antonio’s mind, potential witnesses of his treasure search. [What does it mean to be a 'witness' of a treasure search? Do you mean they're his helpers? Or are they hindering his search?] Antonio is happy to enlist his old friend, JULIANNE MENDES, in his search, but she is now friends with Mollie who Antonio doesn’t trust. [Why doesn't Antonio trust Mollie?] The last thing Antonio needs is the news of a tropical storm approaching Florida, cutting his digging time short. [Has he already started digging? How does he know where to dig? Where does he start? Perhaps lead with a sentence explaining how he's putting his plan into action, then introduce us to the other kids] After several failed attempts at finding coins, Antonio grows frustrated. When he learns of the sinkholes that opened during the winter, he suspects they could have sucked in the coins, and feels puzzled and discouraged. Then he starts reading the old letter [this is the letter his mother gave him, right? If so, add that here to remind the reader] about the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet that shipwrecked off the coast of Sebastian Inlet. According to it [the letter], some of the surviving sailors stole coins and riches, and Antonio believes his coin was part of the stolen bounty, but finds no clues in the letter about a buried treasure. Instead, he finds and [an] old picture belonging to his mom showing her friendship with Mollie’s dad. Antonio realizes Mollie and Tate aren’t exactly new neighbors but the old ones his mom had talked about. [Why is this significant? Does it show that Mollie and Tate might be looking for the treasure too?] [Who is Antonio living with while he's in FL? Is he with his mom? If so, wouldn't he talk to her about the letter, the coin, and his search?] When Antonio confides with Julianne about his dad, she tells him that her papa is at the hospital, and her family can barely afford the hospital bills. Antonio realizes that her family is in a worse situation than his, and she’d benefit from finding the coins, too. Before the hurricane makes landfall, Antonio talks to his mom and he finds out his dad has settled down in Melilla. Seeing his dad in the future is going to be really hard. [So did Antonio move to FL permanently? Or is Melilla far from where Antonio and his mother live in Spain?] At the library, they find more information about the fleet, but Antonio also figures that his coin, a silver real, it’s not the valuable coin he had dreamed of. [Why does he think this? Does something in the library give him the impression his coin isn't valuable after all?] He wonders if he’ll be able to help his dad at all, let alone share with Julianne if he finds anything. The hurricane makes landfall on the Florida coast, but spares Clara Springs. Unfortunately, two tornadoes cause havoc in the county and partially destroy Antonio’s and Julianne’s properties, including her chicken coop, built by her papa. By an uprooted tree Antonio spots a rotten box with a bunch of coins and crystals inside. The crystals happen to be emeralds, and since they were on the property line, Antonio splits them to help pay for Julianne’s hospital bills. [So did it turn out the silver coin wasn't important after all? Does he ever find out who the box belonged to or why it was buried?] Antonio figures the letter had belonged to Mollie’s dad. Since he passed away, Antonio returns it to Mollie, considering if some of the coins and gems may belong to her. [Does he give some of them to her? Earlier, you mention that Antonio is suspicious of Mollie and Tate, but it isn't really mentioned again. It's worth a sentence or two explaining what happened to Mollie and Tate and their relationship to Antonio.] Finally, Antonio hears news from his dad, and feels hopeful about seeing each other soon at the end of the summer break.


Summary


This synopsis is well-written and takes us through the main plot nicely, with a true beginning, middle, and end. Antonio has a clear goal, and a plan to achieve it. As it's a short synopsis, if you're trying to keep it to one page, you won't have a lot of room for revisions. However, I did have some questions I believe merit answering for reader clarity:


1) Why is Antonio going to FL, for how long, and who is he living with while there?

2) What does Antonio specifically do once he decides to become a treasure hunter? For example, does he buy maps, shovels, other supplies? Does he make a plan for when and where to dig? Is he digging on the beach, around people's houses, etc.? How much time does he spend digging? Does Julianne help him?

3) Why doesn't Antonio ask his mom, who gave him the coin and the letter, for more information about the coin and the letter? Are his grandparents in the story? They might know more than Antonio's mom.

4) What's the deal with Mollie and Tate? Antonio seems suspicious of them at first, and it turns out they're the family that originally had the letter, but there's no real clarification of what happens with this subplot. Honestly, you may consider leaving them out of this one-page synopsis altogether unless you have the space to tie them a little closer to the main plot.

For a one-page synopsis, you've got a nice summary of the main plot. If you expand to two or more pages, you'll have more space for Mollie and Tate, and explaining more about their relationship with Antonio, history with the treasure, etc.

Overall, this sounds like a really fun story. Best of luck with the manuscript!

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Dirtiest Word in the Writing World


The dirtiest word in the writing world is plagiarism. Over the past couple of years, I've encountered multiple instances of plagiarism. From a friend whose novel idea was stolen by another writer to someone in my writing community having their work copied word for word and marketed under the offenders name. When I released my first book, I did a blog tour and one of the bloggers copied another blogger's review. This is every writer's fear. Someone steals a car--you can get a different one. A stolen idea is one of a kind and cannot be replaced. It's a huge violation.

Dictionary.com defines plagiarism as "an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thought of another author without authorization and the representation of the author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author."

Recently, I had a reader leave a question in the comments on Wattpad that she suspected me of copying another's work. I had never read the work in question, but had heard of the book because it belonged to a local author. I'd written this particular piece five years ago, so well before the release of the other book. I was taken aback. Any resemblance would be coincidence, but if they really were that similar, my reputation was at stake since the other book hit the public eye before mine. I knew the other author's editor and brought the matter to him. He told me that my story and the other were very different. So, I assured the reader there had been no misconduct and encouraged them to read further and see the differences for themselves.

I appreciated how gracious and polite the reader was about the whole matter. I also thanked the reader for asking the question for couple of reasons. Firstly, if I was plagiarising another's work, I should be called on it. Secondly, I'm glad the reader asked rather than making the assumption that I stole another's work. I believe this reader did the right thing and I hope in a similar situation, others would do the same.

Let's look out for each other. If you suspect plagiarism, bring it to the attention of the author. But always be very careful about hurling accusations.

**************
Melinda Marshall Friesen writes YA and adult science fiction. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her children. When she's not writing, she's devising ways to avoid venturing out into the bitter cold.




Pass Or Pages March 2017 Entry Form

We are now accepting entries for Pass Or Pages! Before you enter, be sure to check out the rules. This month's round of Pass Or Pages is for Adult Sci-fi and Fantasy novels. The entry window closes at 6pm Eastern time on Wednesday March 15th. Good luck!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Book Release Blog Tour: AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR


Like all of you readers, I get terribly excited about upcoming book releases. But I don't think I've ever been as thrilled for a book release as I have been for AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR, by Laura Heffernan. Laura is one of the hosts of the Query Kombat contest, a Pitch Wars mentor, one of my CPs, and a good friend on top of all that. I'm happy to host her today on Operation Awesome. Before you read her guest post, though, let me tell you about her book!


In AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR, Jen is cast on a reality show after she loses her job, her boyfriend, and her home. She hopes to win the cash prize but finds she also wants to win the heart of fellow contestant Justin. Fans of Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic won't want to miss this charming, witty read published by Kensington’s Lyrical Shine.

Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV. 

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

And now, let's hear from Laura herself!
*************
Why You Should Write What You Love

When I was a kid, I loved doing puzzles. I spent thousands of hours putting pieces together while watching baseball games with Grandma or listening to adults who assumed a child’s ears didn’t work while her eyes were occupied. At school, I devoured mysteries. Each day in the winter, I’d pick up a Nancy Drew or Bobbsey Twins book from the library, read it after school, then return it the next day. I ran out of books long before we ran out of school year. I’d borrow puzzles from a next door neighbor, constantly looking for a new challenge. And when we had nothing else to work on, my best friend and I would put the same three puzzles together constantly: the movie posters for Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, and a poster showing all the then-existing maps of the world. (I can thank that puzzle for being able to name every country, in alphabetical order, when I was twelve – a skill never once useful in the sixth grade.)

Over the years, my love for puzzles deepened. I bought books of logic problems. I devoured Sudoku. I raced for the mailbox every week to get to the TV Guide crossword as soon as the book arrived. (Did I mention I’m kind of a nerd? I am. Also a geek, a genius, and a pole dancer. I’m a bit of a puzzle myself. And I’m okay with that. I like me.) In college, I got a job working for a bank, and I soon became the person everyone would call to figure out what had gone wrong with customer accounts. Now I do research, each new problem presenting itself to me like a puzzle to be solved. I’m also a fan of escape rooms, ropes challenge courses, rock climbing, and mazes. Anything that I have to stop and think to figure out, I want to do.

So when I decided to write a novel, people who knew me weren’t shocked to see that a large component of the book involved puzzles and games. Creating the physical challenges that make up The Fishbowl, my fictitious reality show, was the most fun part of writing. I wanted to give my characters something interesting to do while they dealt with all the reality show drama.

Writing the fun parts helped me when I got stuck on the emotional parts or particularly sticky plot issues. Even though much of my original puzzles and games got reduced before the final draft, it helped significantly to have those moments so I could meet my daily word goals and feel like I was accomplishing something. Publishing can be a long, frustrating journey: if the writing itself isn’t enjoyable, I don’t know why anyone would put themselves through it.

They say to write what you know, and that’s all well and good. But write what you love. Write the book you want to read. Think of things you find interesting, and find a way to spread them around in your books. If it’s interesting to you, It’ll be interesting to readers. (Well, probably. I’m pretty sure there’s still no market for my “Sitting Around Quoting Buffy and Singing Show Tunes Badly” idea.) I’ve learned a lot from books, about topics I might not have otherwise explored, simply because the authors made them interesting.

Also, editing is a lengthy process. You will read that manuscript a couple dozen times, at least. If you don’t find the book interesting, you’ll hate yourself by about the sixth read (if not sooner). Don’t do that to yourself. Write a book that’s a pleasure for you to read.

Be yourself. Find what you love. Think of a way to share that with your readers, and make them love it, too. If I could turn solving puzzles into a three book deal, anyone can.
***********
Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the Northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon
















Rafflecopter for America’s Next Reality Star Virtual Blog Tour Giveaway:

Laura is offering one (1) lucky winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

    






























Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Meet John Ukah in this Debut Author Spotlight

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

Murder At Midnight


1- That's an interesting looking watch. Can you tell us about it?

The watch is a Scuderia Ferrari. It is promoted as a funky Italian design combined with precision Ferrari engineering. I chose it because of the beautiful design. It is stylish and water-resistant.

2- What ignited your passion for writing?

I have always kept a personal journal. Writing is therapeutic. The books I grew up reading also influenced my writing.

3- The University of Benin logo states "knowledge for service." What did this mean to you and what role did it play in your life?

Knowledge gained is not an end in itself. Such knowledge needs to be applied in everyday life. The application is often in the form of service to others. Much like any other endeavor, writing evolves and gets better with constant practice. We get better at what we do constantly and the society is a better place for it.

4- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?

I want to keep getting better at my craft. I want to carve a niche for myself as a leading author in crime fiction and the whodunnit sub-genre.

5- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

I have an incredibly supportive fanbase of family and friends who love my debut novel. They love the suspense in the book.

6- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

I hope readers are able to empathize more with others who are from a different socio-cultural and religious background.

7- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?

The books I grew up reading influenced or improved my writing craft.

8- Would you share a picture of a holiday vacation in Canada?



9- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

Mrs. Marshall has engaging round eyes which remind one of an owl and her protruding ears hear far more than others around her.

10- #DiversityBingo2017 Which squares does your book cover on the card?

Book By Author of Color.

11- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?

John Brad. He’s taciturn and acts like a statue during the day, but becomes active and lively at night.

12- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?

The author’s name/pedigree and book reviews.

13- How will you measure your publishing performance?

The book was published barely two months ago. It has enjoyed moderate success in terms of books sold and a high-performance in terms of positive reviews/rating. No awards yet, but the fanbase grows daily.

14- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

I had a ready manuscript and met a publisher who was interested in my kind of work. We fit like a glove.

15- What is one question which you would like the readers of this interview to answer in the comments?

What most motivates you to buy a new book to read?

16- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Excerpt from Murder at Midnight:

I looked at Ayuba, who shrugged his shoulders. So, I put my shoulder to the door. The door was quite good, but my shoulder was better. The door flew off the hinges, when I smashed into it. We rushed in and met a gory sight. Maria was lying face up on her bed; her eyes were open and staring in what seemed to be surprise, at the ceiling. Her mouth hung slightly open. A butcher knife was buried deep in her chest and the bedsheets were caked with dried blood. I did not need a doctor to tell me that she was dead. Ayuba gasped in shock and Mrs. Marshall screamed and fell forward. I caught hold of her, just in time to avoid a nasty fall. “She is dead!” said Ayuba, in a strangled voice. Shock and dismay were boldly written on his face. It dawned on me that this was the same room in which a young lady had hung herself earlier in the year. Was it a room of death?


About myself:
My name is John Ukah. I am a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, Benin City. I am a banker and an associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR).
Twitter: @JohnUkah
Amazon Author: John Ukah
Facebook: John Ukah

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 2017 Pass Or Pages Agent Panel


It's time for Pass Or Pages to begin again! Remember, this round is focused on Adult Science-fiction and Fantasy novels. Ready to meet the awesome agents who will critique your query letters and first pages? Read on!


Lisa Abellera
Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. She has studied creative writing, design and business, earning her B.A. in Strategic Management from Dominican University of CA and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco. 
Lisa had a successful career in the corporate world before joining the world of publishing. After editorial internships with an independent press and Kimberley Cameron & Associates, she now follows her true passion for books and writing. She leverages her business and marketing expertise to help authors navigate the complexities of publishing. She is excited to develop talented authors and help advance their careers.
She is actively building her client list with both debut and established authors. She is looking to form long-term, collaborative relationships with writers who are committed to putting forth their best work.


Hannah Fergesen
kt literary

Before settling in New York City, Hannah worked and went to school in Denver, where she obtained her degree in Writing for Film and Television. Opportunities in New York presented themselves before she could run off to LA, and she course corrected her career toward publishing, a dream of hers since childhood. After stints as a remote intern for a well-known agent, a bookseller at the famous Books of Wonder, an intern at Soho Press, a literary assistant at Trident Media Group, and a freelance editor working with well-known authors, Hannah joined KT Literary in 2016. Hannah is a proud geek and TV junkie, with an all-consuming love for Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and anything created by Joss Whedon. With her background in film and television, she is attracted to stories with strong visuals and sharp dialogue, whether presented in edgy speculative or contemporary YA and MG fiction, or dark and lyrical speculative adult fiction.


Kirsten Carleton
Prospect Agency

Before joining Prospect Agency in 2015, Kirsten learned the agenting ropes at Sobel Weber Associates and the Waxman Leavell Agency. She fell in love with working on writers while getting her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Amherst College, and cemented her fascination with publishing with a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course and internships at Charlesbridge and Liza Dawson Associates. As an agent, she gets to be a champion for the author throughout the challenging publishing process. She loves sharing an author's vision for the book, working to help him or her uncover it, and finding a home for it with editors and readers who also feel that connection. Beyond the individual book, she wants to develop satisfying and successful careers that celebrate great talent.


Details for March 2017 Pass or Pages:

Entry starts: Monday, March 13, 2017, at 6 a.m. Eastern
Ends: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 6 p.m. Eastern
Category/Genre: Adult Science-fiction and Fantasy
How To Enter: Fill out the entry form on the contest post when it goes live.
What Is Required: Your query (NO BIO or personalization for agents), your first 250 words, a complete and polished MS.

You can also read more about the rules here.


The winning entries with agent commentary will be posted on Operation Awesome the week of March 27th, one entry each day. If you aren't comfortable with having your entry (which will be anonymous) shared on the blog, please don't enter Pass or Pages!

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments or feel free to tweet @OpAwesome6. Also, feel free to chat about the contest with fellow participants on the hashtag #PassOrPages.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Teen Writers' Workshop

In mid-March, I’ll be teaching a writers’ workshop for teens ages 14-19. Everywhere I’ve taken my books, I’ve encountered young people who love to write. When I was that age, the writing bug had already bitten me too, though in a different form than what infects me now. I loved writing for my school yearbook and newspaper and hoped, one day, to be a journalist. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I found my true love—writing young adult fiction.


With a strong desire to share what I’ve learned with young writers, I composed a six-part workshop that will cover everything from plot to setting to sentence structure to editing to publishing. Because I believe it’s so important to writers’ careers that they learn to network, I’ve also invited other authors to make guest appearances. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn how to give constructive critique and receive critique on their work in progress. My publisher, Rebelight Publishing, was excited to work together to bring this course to the teens in my community. 

 I hope that by giving the next generation of writers information and inspiration, they’ll have a good foundation for their writing careers and avoid some common pitfalls.

If you live in Winnipeg or surrounding areas, spread the word. I’m really looking forward to meeting, teaching, and encouraging Manitoba's young writers. Register online: Teen Writers' Workshop

*******

Melinda Marshall Friesen writes sci-fi/dystopian novels for teens and adults. Her most recent release, The High-Maintenance Ladies of the Zombie Apocalypse is equal parts suspence, gore, and humor.  Check out her books here: Books by Melinda Marshall Friesen

Friday, March 3, 2017

Keep Dreaming

I was reminded this week of how quickly our dreams can come true. My oldest critique partner will be talking with an agent today, and will quite possibly come away with an offer of representation! Just the day before she told me the news, I'd emailed her asking how querying was going.

It was the usual: one request amid rejections, and silence on the others, so far. And then! An email!

I don't know about you, but when you dream of something for a long time, it starts to feel like it's always going to be just out of reach, and you'll always be grasping for it. But sometimes when you least expect it, it happens.

So keep dreaming & believing, OA'ers! You never know what might be just around the corner.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Synopsis Critique #4 - YA High Fantasy

And now, it's time for this week's synopsis critique! The author of UNQUEENLY, an 87,000-word YA High Fantasy, submitted this synopsis. My in-line comments are [blue and in brackets], and I'll include a summary at the end. Feel free to comment below!

If you'd like a primer on how to write a synopsis, see my posts here and here. And if you want your synopsis critiqued on this website, fill out the form here, or email your 1-2 page synopsis to me at operationawesome6@gmail.com, and I'll post one critique per week (NOTE: I'll email my critique to the author as soon as I'm done, so the author won't have to wait to see his/her synopsis on the site). Thanks for participating!


Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old JANAIYANNA is crowned Queen of Emerise after her father and brother are killed by a traitor. One cycle of the moon after her family’s death, Janai and her defender, RALEL, visit the traitor in the dungeon. The traitor is mad now and only speaks nonsense to Janai. However, he seems to be telling her something, but she can’t figure out what. She leaves to attend a meeting in her throne room, where an offender who plotted to overthrow her is brought before her. When he spats [I don't know what 'spats' means] about how young and weak she is, she challenges him to a swordfight and wins, so the offender is carried off to the dungeon. Later, Janai’s friends, CHAY and NYA, arrive back from a diplomatic trip. [This is a strong first paragraph, but there are a whole lot of characters being introduced. Consider starting a new paragraph after '...she can't figure out what.' Also, since Ralel isn't mentioned again for a while, consider not introducing him so early. You can introduce him when you mention him in the next paragraph. By making both of these changes, the first paragraph will be focused on Janai and the traitor, and you set a straightforward foundation for the rest of the synopsis.] The next day is the sixteenth celebration of Janai’s birth. A huge feast is held in the castle. When it’s time to open the gifts, one of them is a scepter [Consider revising to 'One of Janai's gifts is a scepter...] that emits a powerful blast of dark magic when Janai touches it. The blast kills one of Janai’s councilors, and her guests accuse her of being a dark priestess like her mother, who was executed years ago for destroying a village. Chay [this is where I think you should introduce Chay, rather than in the preceding paragraph] pulls a sword and tries to fight the guards, but in the end he is captured and Janai is sentenced to death. Before she is carried away, Ralel, Nya, [this is where I think both of these characters should be introduced, though as I mention below, I don't think you need to name Nya at all] and some of her defenders come to her rescue, fighting the guards and helping Janai escape. [Great narrative flow here. If you clean up the introduction of characters and split up the paragraphs a bit, the first few paragraphs will really draw the reader in.] Janai, Nya, Ralel, and two of her defenders head south, traveling across the realm for a moon. They reach a desert, and as they’re trekking through it, they are attacked by creatures made of sand. The two defenders are killed as Janai, Nya, and Ralel barely escape with their lives. They reach Nya’s birth city of Sivanna [Sivanna seems to be the most important setting in the book, and so it warrants naming, but between Sivanna and Emerise and all the character names, it's getting a bit confusing. I'd suggest not naming Nya, since she seems to be the least significant of Janai's friends/defenders], where the buildings are decorated with colorful art, and the people expose skin with images painted on them with dye. Sivanna’s not as wonderful as it appears though, because the social hierarchy leaves those at the bottom poor and mistreated by the City Guards. [This becomes a relevant detail a little later, so I'd add a little more here about how the social hierarchy works. Why is Janai starting at the bottom, when she's a queen elsewhere? What would she have to do to move up in the hierarchy? In what ways are the poor mistreated by the City Guards?]
Janai and her friends live in Sivanna for four moons, until one night when Janai is attacked by an assassin. Ralel comes to her rescue by killing the assassin. The next night, Janai gets a surprise visit from Chay, who was finally released from the dungeon back in Emerise. They have a joyful reunion, and he encourages her to fight for her throne, despite her misgivings about going back. Chay heads back to Emerise and returns with an army of soldiers willing to fight for Janai, so she decides to try for her throne. Two defenders from the army become Janai’s personal bodyguards. As they are riding through Sivanna, a City Guard harasses Janai and starts to abuse her. [What, specifically, does he do? Physical or mental abuse, or both?] Ralel punches him, getting himself sent to the City Dungeon to await punishment. Janai wants to help him, but her low status in the city [again, as a queen, why does she have low status in the city? Is she hiding her true identity?] doesn’t allow her to meet with the leader of Sivanna. Then she comes up with an idea: she can fight in the Spar Games, which is a semi-annual event where warriors fight in a ring to gain recognition and gold. To win, the victor must acquire their opponent’s weapon or render their opponent unable to fight; it doesn’t always have to end in death. [You don't need the last clause here. Sufficient to say what is required to win] This event is the solution Janai needs to fund her army, gain the attention of potential allies, and save Ralel. Janai’s friends help her train for the event. For her first Spar Games match, she uses her sword to beat a man with a mace, and she walks away with only a few scars. She receives a sack of gold and has dye painted on her arm to mark her victory and her higher status in the city. People begin to spread word of her name and her quest to reclaim her throne. [Right, so it seems like she's not hiding her identity, then. Why would a queen start on the bottom rung of the social hierarchy?] Janai’s second fight is against a woman with a wooden staff, who gives Janai a good beating, but in the end Janai acquires her opponent’s weapon to win the match. Afterwards, Janai is approached by CHIEF DEEG, the leader of Sivanna. He invites Janai to a ball at his palace. Janai is thrilled to attend, so she and Nya head to the palace a couple days later. Janai talks to Chief Deeg, who agrees to free Ralel. He also says he will consider helping Janai get her throne back, but only after she fights against one of his elites in the Spar Games. As Janai and Nya are leaving the ball, another assassin attempts to kill Janai, but he is thwarted by her defenders. Chief Deeg tells Janai the man is part of a gang of assassins known as the Kuthras, who are led by a man named SHASTION QUICKBLADE. [The character soup is spilling over now. Can you get away without naming the Kuthras or Shastion? Referring generically to 'a gang of assassins' should work, as well as referring to Shastion as 'their leader.'] Ralel returns the next day, but soon after, Janai is approached by a homeless little girl whom she has befriended. The girl is distraught, and Janai goes off with her defenders to find that the girl’s mother has been killed by the Kuthras, just to send a warning to Janai. Janai is furious, and orders her defenders to locate Shastion and his gang. She decides to make the little girl her ward. [I'm not sure you need this paragraph at all. The little girl doesn't recur later in the synopsis, so if she is an important character in the novel, tie her into the main plot here somehow. If she can't be tied into the main plot, consider deleting this paragraph.] Janai fights in her third and final Spar Games match against her toughest adversary yet. After a long battle of clashing swords, Janai kills her opponent, but not before she receives a grievous wound in her side. She has to be helped out of the ring and brought to a healing priestess. Janai goes to her bed to rest, but that night, an assassin sneaks through her window and stabs her with a knife. Janai blacks out. The next morning, Janai discovers all of her wounds have been miraculously healed, with no trace of any scars or bruises from her fights. Her friends and a priestess tell her that she died last night, but she revived herself using magic. Janai learns she has come into her priestess powers, and they are of light, not darkness like her mother’s. Janai is relieved, and begins training in magic with a High Priestess. [I really like this turn of events.] Janai meets with Chief Deeg again, and he is willing to form an alliance with her—but only if she marries him. Janai reluctantly agrees. After leaving Chief Deeg, she and her defenders are ambushed by the Kuthras, who trap them in a building. Shastion emerges, saying he no longer wants to kill Janai, and he wants to offer his services to her. [Why the sudden change of heart? He just tried to kill her. There must be something in it for him...] Janai holds a sword to his throat and almost kills him, but then he reveals shocking information that Chief Deeg is the one who hired his gang to assassinate her. Janai doesn’t believe Shastion, and he manages to slip away. She heads back to the inn where she’s staying and tells her friends about her betrothal. Chay storms away, and when Janai goes after him, he admits the betrothal bothers him because he’s in love with her. [Have there been hints of this earlier in the manuscript? You might want to drop a hint earlier in the synopsis, since we don't know much about Chay's character at all by this point, so it comes a little out of left field.] Janai has feelings for him too, but she knows she must put her empire before her own happiness. Chay leaves, heading back to Emerise to meet with potential allies for her [Can delete 'for her.']. Janai uses a truth spell and finds out Shastion told the truth—Chief Deeg did want her dead. She also learns that Shastion himself thrust the blade that killed her the other night. Janai leaves the city for a while to spend time with her army. While there, a dove brings a message from the capital of Emerise, saying that the traitor who supposedly killed Janai’s father has escaped. Janai is happy about this—this means the traitor is innocent, which is why the captain back in Emerise helped him escape. [Wait, this doesn't track. He escaped, so he's innocent? He escaped, so that means the captain must have helped him? If this makes sense in the context of the novel (I'm sure it does), add a few details here to explain] Janai goes back to Sivanna to attend her engagement party at Chief Deeg’s palace. When she goes out on the balcony for some air, she finds Shastion waiting for her. Janai tries to kill him with a dagger concealed in her gown, but he gets the better of her and holds the knife to her own throat. He threatens her, saying it’s better to have him as an ally rather than an enemy. A fortnight later, Janai prepares for her wedding to Chief Deeg. She makes sure that after they are wed, she will have control over Sivanna, his army, and his gold. After the wedding ceremony and feast are over, she and her new husband head to his bedroom for the night. Janai excuses herself just as Chief Deeg is about to undress her, and she leaves the room. When she comes back, she finds her husband assassinated in his bed, just like she and Shastion planned. [Nice ending to this part of the story, but what's happening with her quest to get back to Emerise and claim her rightful throne/title? What about the subplot with Chay? What about the weird jibberish the traitor said to her in the first paragraph - now that he's escaped, will she try to find him? You may not conclude these plotlines in the book (especially if it's planned to be the first in a series), but some finality is needed. If you can explain, for example, what Janai is planning to do to get back to her own kingdom now that she has control over Sivanna, then you don't necessarily need to show her doing it if you're saving it for a future book, but it would close the loop for this one.]

Summary


This is a very, very strong synopsis. The narrative flow is spot-on, and you've got good world-building, as well as nice character details and motivations woven through. I also like that you make use of the language of your world (fortnight, one cycle of the moon, etc.) without going overboard, so the reader is able to get a sense of your writing and what kind of world this is. Just a couple of overriding points:


1) Character soup. This is especially tough in fantasy, since many of the character and place names will be unfamiliar to the reader. That actually makes it harder for the reader to keep track of each character and place when there are so many new names to learn. Think of it like a teacher entering a new classroom on the first day of school (having to learn twenty new names) as opposed to the last day (when all the names will be second nature). I made some suggestions for names you can take out, but in this book, you do need many of them. I'd suggest keeping Janai, Chay, Chief Deeg, Emerise, and Sivanna, but see if you can omit some of the others.


2) Make sure you don't lose track of Janai's ultimate quest (reclaiming her throne in Emerise) throughout the synopsis. The bulk of the synopsis is set in Sivanna, so it makes sense that the story focuses on what happens there, but you should tie those events in with her ultimate quest as much as possible. Unless, of course, part of the story is Janai herself losing sight of her ultimate quest, in which case, you should make reference to that character shift in the synopsis.


Overall, great job, and best of luck with the manuscript!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Meet Laura Heffernan in this Debut Author Spotlight

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

America's Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan


1- What is your favorite reality tv show and why?

My all-time favorite show is Paradise Hotel, both because it was so deliciously trashy and because the rules constantly changed. A lot of the elements of that show found their way into The Fishbowl.

2- Would you share a picture with us of your two furry little beasts with your book?

Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight -- America's Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan
The only way I could get both cats together in a picture was to sprinkle catnip on the floor. Unfortunately, they then decided they’d rather lick the floor than look at the camera (or pay any attention to the book). But I did get this gorgeous picture of Cat 1.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

I’ve had a passion for writing since I was a little kid. My parents got a computer when I was 4 or 5, and I couldn’t wait to sit down and start writing stories. Over the years, in the back of my head, I always thought about writing books. It was on my honeymoon a couple of years ago when I realized there was no reason to wait any longer before committing to finishing a book.

4- This question might be inconceivable... but what is your favorite quote from The Princess Bride?

Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight -- America's Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan includes this Princess Bride quote
“Who are you?”
“I am no one to be trifled with. That is all you ever need know.”

I just find that, of all the quotes, this is one I can most frequently work into a conversation.

5- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?

Short term, I’d like to make it through the release without having a breakdown. Long term, the ultimate goal is to be able to share my stories with the world without needing the security of a day job. Whether that comes through a winning lottery ticket or book sales, I’ll be happy.

6- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

I often think my biggest fan is my agent’s mom. She hasn’t read any of my books yet, but she was the first to buy both when they went on sale. The first to request a signed bookmark. And she’s always sharing my events, RTing my posts, and otherwise showing how much she cares.
My mother-in-law is a huge fan, too. She ordered two copies in case she meets someone who doesn’t have one yet. (She lives in Canada, so it’s likely not everyone she knows will rush out to buy it the minute it’s published.)

7- How did you get involved with 17scribes? http://17scribes.com/

17Scribes founder Kellye Garrett is my agent sister. We were both on sub for a long time, and we got to know each other very well. When we wound up getting contracts around the same time, we started talking about the support groups for YA/MG authors, and how unfortunate it was that there wasn’t anything similar for people who wrote books for adults. She talked to Mary Ann Marlowe and Kristin Lepionka, who felt the same way, and 17Scribes was born. Then we started inviting other debut authors.

8- Is there a favorite baking recipe you would be willing to share?

Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight -- America's Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan includes this Friends Nestlé’s Tollhouse reference
Like Jen, my favorite baking recipe is printed on the back of the bag of Nestlé’s Tollhouse chocolate chips. Even before they made a Friends episode about it. I do add about half a teaspoon of cinnamon if I’m going to be baking the cookies and not just eating the dough. (This is not common.)

9- If you could only play one board game for the rest of time, which would it be?

This question is just cruel. Why would anyone do that to another human being? And how does a person even pick? I mean, Shadows Over Camelot probably takes the most players, and it’s a long game, so it would take up plenty of time. Pandemic and Forbidden Desert have massive replayability, especially if I’m allowed to include all the Pandemic expansions. I’m obsessed with Pandemic Legacy, but it’s not replayable. Coerceo is a fantastic thinking game. Tales of the Arabian Nights comes with a big book of stories to read, and that would keep me occupied a long time. And my favorite game is probably the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer game, because it’s like being in an episode of the show with your friends.

I could do this all day, but since there’s only one game my husband will play with me regularly, it would have to be: Legendary.
(I always knew I liked cooperative games, but it became really clear as I re-read the answer to this question. Most of those listed are cooperative.)

10- #DiversityBingo2017 What's your favorite book that covers a square on the card?

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett has a black woman on the cover, and it’s own voices, so it covers two squares. The book is also flipping fantastic. Such an amazing voice! I was fortunate enough to get to read an advance copy, but I highly recommend everyone preorder before it’s released in August.


11- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?

Word of mouth, mostly. I will always buy books from authors I’ve previously read and enjoyed. But I buy a lot of books because a friend with similar tastes admits that they liked it or because I see a positive review on Goodreads.

12- How will you measure your publishing performance?

I tend to overthink things and get hyper-focused on things I can’t control. In order to avoid that, I’m basically measuring my performance on writing books and getting them published. Otherwise, I’ll get obsessed with positive reviews or total sales and I won’t be able to finish the rest of this series (or any of the books I want to put out next).

13- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

When I first started writing, I expected to self-publish. It seemed much less frustrating. Then I looked into how much work it would be, realized how much I didn’t know, and decided that I wanted to have experts to guide me. I don’t have a background in marketing or visual design. I didn’t even know about developmental editors at that point. I definitely chose the right path for me and my book – the book is stronger, and the cover is so much better than what I originally envisioned.

14- What is one question which you would like the readers of this interview to answer in the comments?

If you could go on any reality show, which would it be and why?

15- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR
SEEKING THE SMART ONE


Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | Apple iBooks

Bio:
Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press in March 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Some of Laura's favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV.

Website: http://www.lauraheffernan.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/lh_writes
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauraheffernanbooks


March Pass Or Pages Details


Woohoo! Pass Or Pages is back! Our team is so excited to bring back the contest where writers get direct feedback from literary agents. We believe it helps writers to query better, which helps both writers and agents!

In March, Pass Or Pages will focus on Adult Science-Fiction and Fantasy novels.

Here are the important dates for this round:
March 7: Agent panel announcement
March 13-15: Entry window open (via a form here on Operation Awesome)
March 27-31: Feedback reveals!

For a recap of the rules and links to previous rounds, click here. Polish up those entries!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Perseverence, Patience, and the Payoff

I talk a lot about perseverance and writing being a marathon, not a sprint. Lately, I’ve been reminded of just how true that is. 

I’ve been working as acquisitions editor at Rebelight Publishing for almost three years. As I read through the slush, sometimes I come across manuscripts with concepts I love, then I start reading and realize, with great disappointment, that the manuscript is not ready for publication. More often than not, the troubles are issues with voice and telling rather than showing. As strange as it sounds, it actually makes me angry. It’s so disappointing to be introduced to this amazing idea, only to have the writing fall flat.


However, I do have recourse—the revise and resubmit. I don’t ask for many of these because I’m usually asking the author to make significant changes to their manuscript with no guarantee of publication. I only ask for R & Rs on works that I desperately want to say yes to.

Around a year ago, I received one such manuscript. Loved the concept. Loved it! But the voice needed work and author had created a lot of narrative distance between the reader and the protagonist. I wanted this story to work, but it just needed too much work to bring it up to Rebelight standards. So, I gave the author an R &R. A few months later, the revised manuscript came back to me. With other manuscripts in the queue to be read before his, it took me months to get to it. Finally, I was able to give it a read and, to my delight, it was greatly improved. It was now a manuscript I could wholeheartedly recommend to our editorial director. Upon reading it, she too was excited about it. In the last few weeks, the author was offered a contract. He’s since signed and is officially on his way to his first published book.

Here’s the take home—it took this gentlemen a year of waiting, then revising, then waiting again to achieve publishing contract. And he will have to wait again because the book won’t be published before fall of 2018. I don’t know how long it took him to write and revise the work before he sent it to us, but it will have been over two and a half years of process before he holds his book in his hands.
I had a similar experience for my own work. I wrote my first book five years before I got to flip through its pages. Some may think it’s a ridiculous amount of time. But, I disagree. I think it’s worth it. I’ve learned to persevere and my books are better for the time I’ve taken to make them the best they can be and to find publishers who can take them to the next level.


So, be patient. Think long term. You won’t be sorry.

*******

Melinda Marshall Friesen writes novels for young people and adults. When she's not writing, she works as marketing director and acquisitions editor at Rebelight Publishing Inc. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Flash Fiction Contest Winner #28


Loved the homages to tortilla chips with our last contest, good job! But as far as our winner goes, I was really struck by the gentleman burying his woes with some chips & salsa, lol! So congrats to ReLynn Vaughn!

Salt and lime juice burned the cut on his lip. Garrick considered tossing the shot back alone, but his friends would give him hell for breaking tradition. Apparently, a few rounds with José and never-ending baskets of chips and salsa were supposed to cure what ailed him.

He fought the urge to pull his phone out. To trace her picture with his finger and press call. Sarah had asked him for space and time. She hadn’t said no.

She hadn’t said…

The phone vibrated in his pocket. Pulling it out, he gaped at it. One word blinked at him.

Yes.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Flash Fiction Contest #28



Today is National Tortilla Chip Day! When it comes to eating out, nothing makes me much happier than going to our local Mexican restaurant & diving into a warm basket of tortilla chips with plenty of salsa to go around.

So let's get some chip action going on! Entries must be received by noon on Sunday the 26th, with the winner announced later that evening.

Now go make me hungry! ;)

Rules can be found here.