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Flash Fiction: Worth My Weight in Gold

WEBook.com is having another mini-contest, where entrants submit a 100 word paragraph written from the point of view of an inanimate household object. Here’s mine:

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Worth My Weight in Gold

Here I sit, minding my own business, when a sudden squeeze warns me that my world is about to be turned upside down again. Three times a day it happens, without so much as a word of thanks. My partner, Piper Nigrum, thinks he understands, but at least he stays upright. It’s not the same at all. Yesterday, someone actually dropped me. I was lucky nothing broke. I’m still feeling a little shaken. Piper says that he feels needed, and likes the daily grind, but the last thing that I ever want to hear again is, “Please pass the salt.”

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The Cat’s Meow

There is a mini contest over at WEBook.com right now, the prize to which is that the winner gets to enter their PagetoFame Contest for free. Normally, I wouldn’t be too interested, but the catch is that you have to write a 500-word story using only one-syllable words. How could I resist?

Here is my entry:

 

The Gift

 

“You want me to leave?”

“Yes.”

“Fine.” Ed stalked out.

“The door!” Liz called.

He slammed it shut and stormed down the stairs to the street. She heard his car start as she dropped to the couch and leaned her head on the black wool throw. Pained, she closed her eyes. What must he think?

A meow came from the box. She checked the front door to make sure it had latched, and then let the cat roam the room. It had been in that box since last night, for Pete’s sake! How could Ed think that was fine? He sneezed when it was loose, but it was not good to keep it in there like that. What if it pooped? She got up and brought the tray back in from the porch. The cat ran in and did its job. Good thing she’d thought of that!

The phone rang. Liz picked it up and looked at the screen. It was the pound.

“Yes?”

“Miss Peck, I’ve got good news and bad news.”

“Well?”

“I talked to my boss. He said we can take the cat back, but I can’t give you your dough.”

“Why not?” she cried. That care kit she’d had to buy when she chose the stray had not been cheap. “She has not been fixed yet. Why can’t I get that back, at least?”

“You signed the form that said you knew we don’t let folks take strays as gifts. Some folks don’t want a pet like you’d think, and they end up right back at the pound, or worse. It’s hard on the pet. That’s why we make folks sign the form. You broke the rules, so no cash back.”

“Fine. How long will you be there?” she looked at her watch.

“We close at noon.”

“I’ll be there by ten.”

“Thanks, Miss Peck. We’ll see you soon.”

That was that. Liz shook her head. She still did not know why Ed had not told her that he and cats were such a bad mix. He said how much he liked them all the time. She had not known that there was a cause for his lack of one as a pet. She’d thought it was such a great choice for his gift.

“Come on, cat,” she said, and put it back in the box. Its fur was soft, and it was so cute. Liz was sad.

The phone rang once more. It was Ed.

“Hi,” she said. “How’s your nose?”

“Fine, now,” said Ed. “Um, I was rude. The cat was a great gift. I just can’t stand to sneeze all the time!”

“You never said… “ Liz paused. “Please don’t think that it was a joke. I just did not know! You say you like cats so much.”

“I know,” said Ed. “I don’t blame you. I don’t know why I did not tell you. “

“They pound said they’d take it back.”

“Great!” said Ed.

Liz grinned. “Yes.”

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Once Upon a Time…

Pitch Fest at CJLA Update:

The agents are critiquing them today. So far, the agent is halfway through the second page and all but two have been (tactfully) rejected. Mine is on page four… I’ll let you know how things went on Monday.

 

Last week on Agent Query Connect http://agentquery.leveragesoftware.com/mypage.aspx there was a casual contest for members to write the best first paragraph of a brand new story. There was no prize other than personal satisfaction. Members were on the honor system to vote only once, and not for themselves.

This week, the contest has been extended to use that first paragraph as a springboard and write a whole first page. My paragraph didn’t even place in last week’s contest, but it’s really just for fun, so I’m going for page one.

What I wrote is not very exciting, because I’m fairly sure there’s going to be a ‘first chapter’ contest next time, and I like to pounce on the reader when they least expect it…

The first one to arrive at the dinner table, Matt sat down and picked up his fork. Mom was over by the stove transferring food from the pans to serving bowls, but he saw that the jello was already set out. Hungry, he snuck a peek to make sure that his mother’s back was still turned and then reached over to scoop up a forkful. Just before he popped it into his mouth, he noticed little squiggly brown things on the top.

“What’s in this jello?” he squawked.

“Oatmeal,” replied his mother. “I’m on a diet.”

Matt groaned. “Cholesterol?”

“See how much you’re learning?” she teased with a smile.

Charlie and Katie walked into the room and pulled out their chairs.

“Where’s Dad?” asked Charlie as their mother brought the food to the table.

“Working,” said Mrs. Smith, no longer smiling.

Matt looked at her with a frown. Dad had been working late a lot lately, and his mother didn’t seem too happy about it.

“What’s wrong with the jello?” Charlie was peering at the brown blobs.

Matt wasn’t feeling too happy, now himself. “It’s oatmeal. Shut up and eat.” He stabbed his fork at a lima bean and it shot off the plate onto the tablecloth.

His mother looked up. “Everything okay, Matt?”

“I don’t know. Is it?” he asked.

His mother frowned. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

“I don’t know. Why is Dad working late all the time now?”

“Count your blessings he’s working at all, in this economy.”

Seven-year-old Katie looked over at her big brother. “You sure are grumpy,” she said.

Matt made a face at her and took a bite of his meatloaf.

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Pitch Contest at CJLA – Check It Out!

The Caren Johnson Literary Agency is holding an open Pitch Fest today.

They are looking for romance (urban fantasy, contemporary and historical), YA (contemporary and paranormal) and women’s fiction [Caren] and middle-grade and YA novels and series [Elana].

The pitch needs to be under 100 words, and submitted between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm. 

Check out the details at: http://www.johnsonliterary.com/blog/2010/1/25/pitchfest-details-and-instructions.html


Here’s mine:

When Brian finds a box in the attic containing old newspaper clippings and a signet ring just like his grandfather’s, he realizes he’s stumbled across the family secret: Jack. Although Grandpa Jim has good reason to forget his identical twin, the past will continue to haunt him unless Brian can uncover what really happened.

JIM AND JACK is a YA contemporary with a historical twist and a splash of romance, the completed first novel in an outlined series of History Mysteries.

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