Get Published In A Flash

If you are like me time is limited. Okay, we all have 24 hours in a day but I am specifically speaking to those with the magic formula for chaos – children, a full time job, and the dream of publishing a novel. So how does one do it all? How does a writer hone their craft and balance all the joys and thrills of a busy life?

This is where I introduce you to my friend and fellow writer Josh Mosey and his diabolical schemes er, flash fiction.

Josh introduced me to flash fiction about a year ago. When I heard about it I nearly laughed. Short stories in six words? Hilarious. However, he introduced me to a six word story that has been attributed to Hemingway –

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

Think about that. A very powerful six words.

Flash fiction ranges from 6-1000 words (about two pages). From our friends at Wikipedia it is defined as:

A style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity.[1] There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

 So why spend time on condensed stories if you are an aspiring novelist? Glad you asked.

In honor of flash fiction I provide two short answers:

  1. You will learn to choose words wisely.
  2. You can make money at it. (view this link to websites actively looking for flash fiction)

If you’d like to hear more about this from the expert, see Josh’s video below from our writers conference a few months ago:

In the meantime, work hard on your novel and as it gets dull or you get stuck, maybe take a day and try some flash fiction and submit it to one of the websites in the link above.



100 Challenge Julia’s Place – Grey – After the Storm

For more 100 word stories, click on this icon

It’s been a while since I participated in the 100 word challenge from Julia’s place. It feels nice to get back into the swing of things. I hope you enjoy the post eruption mini below.

Title: After the Storm

“Gary, how long will this last?” Clara asked staring out the window.

“No idea. The radio’s gone silent again. This time I think it’s for good,” her brother replied slapping the device again.

“Do you think we should leave?” Clara watched a car race down the road. Outside, it was growing cold.

“No, I think it’s best if we stay inside. In time, things will clear up. We’re outside the blast radius. I don’t think we’ll be affected.” Clara nodded, but did not believe a word he said.

As the grey ashes fell, Clara knew her world had changed forever.

Julia’s Place – 100 Word Challenge – And Winter Will Bring

Happy Friday everyone. Today is my post for Julia’s Place. If you have not visited it already and want a place to hone your writing skills, click on the icon. This entry is titled Ragnarok.

Olaf swung his axe.  Tree after tree fell before him. His red shaggy beard grew heavier in the misty rain.

“Father, why do we work like this? Why do we work so hard?” Sigrid asked looking at the next farm over. “They don’t.”

“We need to be ready,” he breathed between swings.

“For what?”

“You are young and don’t remember. Upon the fortieth cycle of the sun, winter comes with the darkness.”

“Winter?” Sigrid said bewildered.

“Yes winter. And winter will bring ice, cold, snow, and death for those who are not ready. Grab an axe daughter. Today we work.”



Julia’s Place – 100 Word Challenge – It Can’t Be That Time

Good day. Every week I participate in the 100 word challenge at Julia’s place. This week the words that must be used are “it can’t be that time”.

Happy writing.

It was the best night of her life. The pure extravagance was breathtaking. The ceilings stretched so high she thought they touched the stars and the way he danced…

She was sure that this must be a dream and would shortly wake in her dingy old bed. Thus, she pinched herself, bumped her elbow on a wall and stomped on her own foot- but was real. Then, as it had countless times time her life, a clock chimed midnight –spoiling the moment.  

“It can’t be that time!” she thought. She raced for the stairs, making for the carriage, dropping a slipper along the way.

Okay, okay I know. Cinderella? But hey my daughter June is three and loves the story.



100 Word Challenge at Julia’s Place – Stubborn John

Click on the icon for other flash fiction entries

Here is my post for this week’s challenge at Julia’s place.

The prompt this time is I woke with another headache

It’s titled Stubborn John.


“We should have known the signs. We should have known,” Margaret sobbed.

“Look, I know it’s difficult to understand. There is nothing we could have done. You didn’t know John was sick and he was certainly too stubborn to tell anyone.”

Margaret held up a hand interrupting him. She reached down and pulled a journal from her purse.

“Read October fifteen’s entry,” she said. Dr Alden took it and read.

I woke with another headache…

“Flip to October fourteen,”

I woke with another headache…

“And thirteenth,”

I woke with another headache…

Dr Alden gasped. Each entry, the past three weeks, began with that very sentence.



Why Novelists Should Write Short Stories

I recently listened to an interview with Stephen King (below). He discussed short stories and how they are an art form that novelists seem to forget. They are dear to him because that is how waded into the writing world. He releases collections of short stories every now and again because of his love for it, and because he does not want to lose that skill.

As I have written in past posts I contribute to a free flash fiction contest at Julia’s Place. They are a fun distraction from the rewrites and edits I am currently slogging through on my novel. I hope to branch out to other websites and one day publish some.

Recently I stumbled upon a website Flash Fiction that takes flash fiction and occasionally pays for it. That is not the best part. The best part is that it gives tips to those seeking to refine the microcraft. HERE are details about a creating a mini story arc.

So, why dedicate a post flash fiction? Because refining the smaller crafts of the story world can enable the novelists to grow and become better at understanding stories. They do not require a lot of time, and can be building blocks to make you that much better at the craft.




Write Flash Fiction at Julia’s Place

For the past few months I have participated in a short story contest of sorts. There is no prize besides being a better writer. The flash fiction contest I am talking about is the 100 word challenge at Julia’s Place.

She gives you three to four words which you then build a story around using only 100 total words. If you have heard of William Faulkner’s saying (or whomever coined it) kill your darlings, this is a great exercise to do just that. When writing a story of 100 words there is no way to have excess. You must trim the fat.

I have found that working in small bursts like this has helped me in other areas of writing. Whether working on my novel or writing a short story, I am more concise and clear. I wish I would have found Julia’s place much earlier in my career.

If you wanted to participate just go to Julia’s Place and look for the 100 word challenges on her site. Here are the instructions. They are usually open for a week and you can also view other stories to help you get the idea.

Keep writing, keep refining.



100 Word Challenge for Julia’s Place – Those Putrid Sunny Days

Here is my entry for the 100 word challenge for Julia’s place to titled: Those Putrid Sunny Days.


Malcolm Belfore was a child of study and thus hated summers. While all his classmates celebrated the newly won summer, Malcolm pulled out his calendar and crossed off the first day of summer.

“humph!” he growled when a joyful student rushed past shouting jubilantly.

“Bah!” he barked when he saw two high five.

“Malcolm, are you alright?” Mrs. Appleton asked while eyeing him over her glasses.

“I hate summers,” he muttered.

“But Malcolm, children love summer,” she returned.

“Not all of them.” He said pouting. He lamented every single putrid sunny day until the children began returning to the routine.

Submit your entry HERE.




100 Word Challenge – Together The Flames

Curses echoed from the headmaster’s office. Mikey ran down the corridor knowing the headmaster would discover what he did, but didn’t realize it would be so soon.

The office door flung open.The headmaster, never one to run, marched briskly in pursuit. Mikey yanked on the common room door handle, it was mercifully unlocked.

A fire burned in the hearth and seventeen boys huddled nearby. Mikey marched like a hero, flashed the ledger containing the daily punishments and stood over the fire. The headmaster entered. It was too late for together the flames erased the unjust punishments.

The boys cheered.