The February Challenges Updates
I have completed ten flash fiction pieces as part of the Writers Digest Flash fiction challenge. I have posted two of them below, “Deam Girl” and “Timeless Love Stories.” I also completed two micro flash stories for the Writing Com micro flash contest, and daily haiku for the Poetry Magum Oopus challenge. Enjoy.
Day 1 Keys
Day Two Prompt Circular
Day three Prompt limitations
Day four mystery
Day Five: A Dream that Came true
Day Six: a character who tries to be
Day Seven: Workplace conflict
Day Eight: re-gifting
Day Nine Grim reaper
Day ten romance story
I have finished ten flash fiction pieces so far this month.
Hidden Keys to The Universe.
End of The Beginning, Beginning of The End.
A Man Has to Know His Limitations.
Where Did All the Blacks Go?
Dream That Came True.
Sam Adams Crisis of Conscious
Sam Adams Workplace Conflict Leads to a Bad Day.
Sam Adams reignites the War on Christmas
Timeless Love story
My posted entry for week one:
Published in ‘Dreams and the Unexplainable” by the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers. Also on my blog, the world according to cosmos.
Line count 816
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
The dreams started when I was a senior at Berkeley High School in 1974. About a month before I graduated, I fell asleep in a physics class after lunch and had the first dream:
A beautiful Asian woman was standing next to me, talking in a strange language. She was stunning—the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She was in her early twenties, with long black hair, and piercing black eyes. She had the look of royalty. She looked at me and then disappeared, beamed out of my dream-like in Star Trek. I fell out of my chair screaming, “Who are you?” She did not answer.
About a month went by, and then I started having the dream repeatedly. Always the same pattern. Early morning, she would stand next to me talking. I would ask who she was, and she would disappear. She was the most beautiful, alluring woman I had ever seen. I was struck speechless every time I had the dream.
I had the dream every month during the eight years during which I went to college and served in the Peace Corps. When I joined the Peace Corps, I had to decide whether to go to Korea or Thailand. The night before I had to submit my decision, I had the dream again and she made me sure that I knew she was in Korea waiting for me.
ll she said was when I asked again as always who are you? Where are you?”
“I am in Korea”
After the Peace Corps, I still hadn’t met my dream woman. I got a job working for the U.S. Army as an instructor and stayed in Korea. I kept having the dream until I had the very last one: She was standing next to me, speaking to me in Korean, but I finally understood her. She said, “Don’t worry, we will be together soon.”
Why was that the last time I had the dream?
Because the very next night, the girl in my dream got off the bus in front of me. She went on to the base with an acquaintance of mine, a fellow teacher, and they went to see a movie. I saw her and found the courage to speak with her.
We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet that weekend.
The next night, she was waiting for me as I entered the Army base to teach a class. She told me she was a college senior, and she had something to tell me. I signed her on to the base and left her at the library to study while I taught, and then we went out for coffee after class.
She told me she was madly in love with me, and that I was the man for her. I told her not to worry as I felt the same.
That weekend, we met Saturday and Sunday and hung out all day. On Sunday night, I proposed to her. It was only three days after we had met, but for me, it felt like we had met eight years ago. I had been waiting all my life for her to walk out of my dreams and into my life, and here she was.
Her mother did not want her to marry a foreigner. One day, about a month after we met, she invited me to meet her parents. I brought a bottle of Jack Daniels for her father, and drank the entire bottle with him. He approved of me, but her mother still had reservations.
After a Buddhist priest told her my future wife and I were a perfect astrological combination, she agreed, and we planned our wedding.
The wedding was a media sensation in South Korea. My wife explained it to me years later. At the time, I was overwhelmed just by the fact that we were getting married and I didn’t fully understand how unusual this was.
My wife was of the old royal clan, distant relatives to the former kings of Korea. In the clan’s history, only two people had ever married foreigners: my
wife, and Rhee Syngman, who was the first President of South Korea. My father, who was a former Undersecretary of Labor, came out for the wedding, which fueled even more media interest.
Our marriage defied the stereotypical Korean-foreign marriage where the women
married some hapless GI just to escape poverty and immigrate to the U.S. We were the first foreign/Korean couple to get married at a Korean Army base. Over 1,000 people came to the wedding, and my father was interviewed on the morning news programs.
This all happened thirty-nine years ago, and I am still married to the girl in my dreams. Now in my dreams, she watches over me when we are apart.
Another submission (February 10) prompt to write a Romance story
from my unpublished Novel, ‘Timeless Love stories”
General Zoran (Sam Adams) and Lady Zarina ( Maria Lee’s timeless love story began 5,000 years ago when General Zoran, the red Sirian reptilian governor of the Atlantis colony, met Zarina the leader of the Green Sirian opposition party. Zoran was related to the royal family back home, the seventh son of the emperor, and was the royal governor of the Atlantis colony. The colony had 1.5 million Sirians, (red Sirians, green Sirians, canines, felines, primates, and insectoids) and two million human slaves. The red Sirians considered humans to be savages and treated the local slaves badly. The other races were more sympatric as were the Green Sirians, all faced discrimination from the dominant Red Sirians who were the traditional elite in the homeworlds.
Twenty Five years after the colonization, Zoran faced a dilemma. The human slaves were turning out to be a problem. They were intelligent, cunny, devious creatures, and deeply religious worshiping a multiple of Gods. Some thought that Sirians were Gods, most thought that they were evil devils from a mythical place called Hades.
The central question for General Zoran and the central command had what to do with the humans. The Policy line that the Central headquarters had laid down, was for Atlantis to establish itself as a Bridgehead and then after 10 years or so millions of colonists would arrive. This was the policy line, and he was supposed to carry it and not question it. Questioning orders and doctrine in his opinion usually did not turn out well. He hoped someday to become Emperor as he was in the imperial line of succession, but he would have to kill his seven siblings. His siblings were all also governors and various planets and senior positions. Once their father died, they would probably be as usual a short Civil War, and one of the siblings would emerge as the emperor and he was determined to be the emperor, the losers would have to be executed and their family members as well. Just the way things happened in the Sirians Empire.
When these profound troubling thoughts filled his head as he drank his morning coffee, preparing for his first meeting with Lady Zarina the new head of the green political party.
When Zarina and Zoran met, it was love and hate at first sight. Zarina was a stunningly beautiful woman, very competent highly intelligent, and very sexually aggressive. In short, she was a kind woman that was his fatal attraction, and he knew it.
Zarina was an activist, working to improve conditions for the local human subjects. As such her work concerned Zoran. Zoran was agnostic overall about the human subject thing, thought that they needed the labor but that perhaps humans could and should be treated better. And Zoran sometimes regretted the “final solution” thinking that perhaps a policy of assimilation might have worked given time.
Zoran and Zarina had a long passionate talk about humanity and the Sirian treatment of humans. Zoran was instantly attracted to her but also felt that she was too idealistic and naïve about the humans, although she had changed his mind and his heart a bit.
For the reptiles of his social class, arranged marriages were the norm, it was overdue time to get married. General Zoran had not yet married but had several potential mates selected for him from his ambitious mother, the second wife of the Empire. All he had to do was say yes to the proposed match and they would join him after getting married back home. He was due to return for a visit in a few weeks anyway.
Zarina was the leader of the Green Sirians and they were openly talking about revolting against the established leadership and establishing a free Republic of humans and Sirians on earth – outside of the Empire. Zoran was determined to crush the rebellion but that would mean he would never be able to be with her as she was now his mortal enemy. And he did not want to lose but allying with her would complicate his plans to become Emperor. Perhaps he could go along with her, revolt against the Empire then persuade her to join him in rebuilding a more just Empire? She was extremely ambitious too and came from one of the most prominent opposition political factions.
They met and soon had a torrid love affair. Both found the other to be quite different, exciting, ruthless, ambitious, and very sexy. They were very different and yet shared Zoran’s Imperial ambitions. She convinced him to stand with her and declare the birth of the Free Earth Republic as they called it.
Unbeknownst to Zoran, his siblings had heard of his and Zarina’s plans and were determined to destroy him and his Imperial ambitions. The leader of the Red Sirians, his deputy, and a man he had considered to be his best friend betrayed him and led the coup against General Zoran and the hated Zarina who was widely seen as having corrupted General Zoran with her dangerous thoughts and actions.
Zoran and Zarina’s love story ended when Zarina and Zoran were assassinated by his elder brother who declared himself the emperor. The word was in – the earth was forbidden to all Sirians immigration and would be monitored for the next five thousand years. And just before they died, their last words were
“See you in the next life my timeless love” and they vowed to defy the laws of nature and man and find each other in the next life as they both had begun to believe in reincarnation which was a minority opinion among the largely atheistic Sirians. That line and the knowledge that they were true soul mates destined to meet again and again sustained them throughout the next 5,000 years of history and they came back over and over again until finally in 1982 they overcame their cursed fate.
Writing Com Flash Fiction contest – Sign-up now CLOSED!!!
What is micro fiction?
A micro-fiction piece is a story told in 300 or fewer words. For our purposes, we limit the word count to 100.
It’s a subset of flash fiction, which limits stories to 1000 words.
Ernest Hemingway wrote the most famous micro-story. He used only six words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
The challenge of writing a micro-story is to make every word count. You must pick meaningful words and build strong sentences.
The structure of a micro-story:
Like any other fiction piece, a micro-story has a sequence: a beginning, a middle, and an end.
It includes a twist or a conflict: either it’s a change in the character (character arc) or a twist in the plot.
The micro-story also has a scenario, which doesn’t need much detail – you don’t have enough length to incorporate descriptions.
Start with the conflict
In a micro-story, there is no space for descriptions, backstory, or character-building; you start writing in the middle: straight to the conflict.
Focus on the character arc
Flat characters offer nothing to readers. Something must happen to your character: a drastic event, a deep emotion, a discovery. He/she must end the story differently from when it started.
In the end, the character should feel or do something different than he/she was doing before.
Write your story as long as you wish
Like any other first draft, yours will be a micro-story told with many unnecessary words.
To elaborate your micro-story, write everything that comes up in your mind: describe the emotions, the scenarios, the characters. The goal is to form the story inside of you, to feel it.
By writing everything down, you’ll be able to choose what’s relevant and what’s not.
Chose only one POV
Micro-fiction uses a single point of view [POV]; there’s not enough word-counting to swap POV without losing the coherence of the story.
Choose either the 1st limited or 3rd person limited POV as they perform better in connecting the reader to the characters.
Cut the fluff
Now that you wrote the first draft, it’s time to cut!
The remaining wording in your story will be the ones that matter, that add value and significance to your story.
Polish each sentence
The last step in writing a micro-fiction story is to polish the sentences.
Each word must contain meaning: an emotion, an action, a detail. The sentences should also have a meaning, but also as part of a whole, it actively builds up the story.
Ensure your first and last sentences are the strongest. They are the entrance and the exit of the story. The first sentence will hook readers to continue reading; the last one will make them chew on your story. And even re-read it, to savor it one more time.
Create an appealing title
The title is the presentation, the promise of what’s coming: the title is the first impression of your story.
Name your story, revealing the theme, but not giving away any event. Note: The title does not count toward your total word count.
Enjoy the process and keep practicing.
Writing micro-fiction is a challenge, but — in my modest opinion — one of the best challenges in the writing set.
Once you try it, you will come for more. With practice, your first drafts will become shorter; they will be the closest version of your final draft.
Writing micro-fiction it’s an effective way to hone your writing skills: it demands focus and the use of strong verbs and emotional words. Your writing will develop into a sharper and more concise version.
My first entry
“Sam Adams Swears It Was Self Defense”
“Well, Sam Adams, you are in a lot of trouble. Better tell us what happened. How did you end up killing Bill Lee?”
“Well, I should speak to a lawyer and the Embassy first, but what the H.
Bill Lee and I had a relationship so to speak, we were frenemies. I known him for a long time since we were children and I knew that he was a real bad dude at heart.
We had gone to the Cosmos Bar that night to have a drink. When he attacked me, I responded of course., It was self-defense. and that’s how the fight started.
my second week entry
Sam Adams one strange day woke up and found that he had been transported to another time and place. He did not know where he was, and why he was there. He was now a member of a military scouting team behind enemy lines engaged in a battle. Somehow he knew the language, and everyone seemed to know him. He was wearing a bow and arrow. They encountered the enemy, giant orcs. He watched the other archers, then got into combat mode. He instantly reacted scoring a bullseye killing his first enemy. They pushed on finally conquering the enemy lines.
Poetry Magnum Opus February Haiku Challenge
…Reading that February is Haiku Month was the spark that I needed to ease in. So here I am on February 1, 2022, Chinese New Year – The Year of the Tiger. Maybe a haiku a day for 28 days will
get me going. You are welcome to join me if you feel so inclined. I missed this community. ~~Tin…
free but requires registration Tinker’s list of poetry forms is quite comprehensive!
My haiku for February 1
What is Groundhog Day?
Why does seeing his shadow
Mean early Spring?
My haiku for February 10
The whole universe
Is divine if we can see it
Like the cosmic cat
I am not conventionally religious, but I am somewhat spiritual. I believe the whole universe is alive and filled with the divine spirit. Cats are spiritual creatures who know. Most humans are blind to the divine all around us. The prompt was to write a spiritual Haiku.
This week’s event is to write a SPIRITUAL HAIKU
. You can write about your personal religion or philosophy WHATEVER IT MAY BE. Please use a picture that you like and that is relevant to the poem. ============================================================================== MODERN HAIKU is the English adaptation of Classic Haiku. It’s written in one to four lines with no strict syllable count, but brief and often with a long/short or short/long asymmetry. These poems use a pause usually marked by a dash before the satori (an insightful twist to ponder). Images don’t need to be taken from nature, though they often are. Seasonality is optional, though often featured. Alliteration and metaphor are okay. Never rhymes. the em-dash ( — ) is used to emphasize an interruption in speech before the satori. Haiku usually doesn’t have a title but in fanstory we have to have one. ============================================================================== CLICK HERE to read MODERN HAIKU RULES– The Haiku Foundation of America ============================================================================== EXAMPLE: ============================================================================== … inhale division ============================================================================== … exhale loving unity – ============================================================================== … one breathe for one world ==========================================================