November 29, 2010 UPDATE: It’s here! The Best of Friday Flash, Volume 1, is now available in hard copy! Read Jon’s post at Mad Utopia for links to Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. I hope you snatch up about 112 copies and enjoy your reading time!
Wonderful news – our hard-working #fridayflash creator, Jon Strother, of Mad Utopia, tells us that the Best of Fridayflash, hard copy edition, will soon be available on Amazon, just in time for Christmas! WOOT! [If you can’t wait for the hard copy, BOFF is available as an e-book now at Smashwords.] My story, Brotherly Love, is available in this book.
This could well be Jon’s Highest Achievement of the Year, so please do stop in and thank him for his hard work, (this effort did encompass much of his time), and his generous dedication to our community. Thank you Jon!
Jon is also celebrating the one and a half year mark of #fridayflash by hosting a contest, and it’s the easiest contest you’ll ever enter: all you have to do is give a shout out for your favorite #fridayflash(es) of the past year and a half. Although I did mention a couple of favorites, (in the comments), I have so many [favorites] I thought it might be best to extend my shout out here, rather than leave a comment longer than Jon’s post. :)
To all #fridayflash contributors: thank you so much for sharing your wonderful words with us these past eighteen months! Friday has always been a “general day to look forward to”, but with the highlight of #fridayflash, I look forward to Fridays more than I ever have. To read your talented work each week is a blessing I don’t take lightly.
Even with my own post I could never list all my favorites, but here are some that have stood out, that have left me cheerful, haunted, chilled, thinking, for days on end. Of course these are only a few of very many – be sure to check out my blogroll on the right to discover amazingly talented writers.
[Some of] Deanna’s favorite #fridayflash of the past eighteen months:
- Our own Jon Stother’s No One Goes Home
- Catherine Russell’s Woman
- Cathy Webster (Olliffe)’s Why Mabel Stopped Going to Church
- Anthony Venutolo’s Tickling Those Ivories
- John Wiswell’s Kill Mommy
- Maria Protopapadaki-Smith’s Angered Gods
- Linda Simoni-Wastila’s COCHINOS
- Laurita Miller’s Near Miss
- Clive Martyn’s Sacrifice
- 10. Pamila Payne’s Dolly’s Day Off
I won’t be posting a #fridayflash this week, because Thanksgiving dinner is at my house this year, (please pray – I’m quite far behind at the moment *see my post, The Thanksgiving Dinner That Might Be…or Not, on The Life of a Working Writer Mommy). However, I hope you’ll browse my #fridayflash – click on #fridayflash under Deanna’s Stories to the right – during some of your free time this weekend. I wish you all a wonderfully fulfilling Thanksgiving!
P.S. As promised, I have posted a snippet of my novel in progress. Click here to read a portion of [what is currently] chapter 3 of Intersection.
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Thanks to two of the www’s finest writers, and even greater friends – Jon Strother of Mad Utopia, and Dorraine Darden, of Free Ice Cream – this time a year ago The Other Side of Deanna was born. I posted my first #fridayflash, Snow Quiet, on October 16, 2009. If not for Jon and Dorraine, I wouldn’t be writing fiction at all. It was the two of them pushing me over the edge, (I can’t help but believe they secretly met at some obscure location in Nebraska and set about making “let’s make Deanna go mad” plans), that spawned the renewal of my fiction writing. Thank you Jon and Dorraine!
Let’s get this party started!
For those who would like to join me in la-la-land, rather than on the dance floor, turn this tune up:
If you ever get a chance to see Vieux Farka Toure in concert, don’t pass it up. They put on a fabulous show!
Our dear friend Laura Eno has generously offered the services of Jeeves, Jezebel and Mr. Fluffy for this party, so please do let Jeeves know what you’d like to snack on and drink, (he’ll shove Jezebel out of the punch long enough to get a glass for you), and if you foresee any problems with overzealous partiers, just holler at Mr. Fluffy. Protection is available all day and night!
Thank you Laura for allowing us the services of your wonderful crew!
Here’s a fun coincidence: October is National Book Month! In honor of this gem of a holiday, let’s rejoice in our favorite books – you don’t have to be an American to join in. If you could choose only ONE favorite book, what would it be? I could never do that, (choose only one that is), so here are a few of my favorites:
- The Big Stone Gap Series, (4 books) by Adriana Trigiani ~ I had the pleasure of meeting Adriana, my favorite author, this past February. I would love nothing more than to write like Adriana, but of course that could never happen. I’ll just have to work my tail off to get as close as possible. All her books, but especially the Big Stone Gap series, are chock full of laugh-out-loud humor and will break your heart at the least expected moment. If you read only one author this year, read Adriana.
- Forever, by Pete Hamil ~ This epic story has got something for everyone – fantasy, drama, action, suspense, romance…you name it, and all the while you’re learning a ton of the history of New York City, as well as Ireland.
- Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout ~ I just finished this book a couple months ago and was completely enthralled with the characters, especially Olive herself. For a great study in character building, a good laugh, and quite a few heart-tugs, don’t miss Olive Kitteridge. You can read my review at The Life of a Working Writer Mommy here.
- Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury ~ I was astounded a couple of years ago when I discovered this book and realized that, well, I had just discovered it. What rock had I been hiding under all my life to miss this timeless classic? Whatever rock it was, I’m beyond thrilled that someone moved it from atop me. A must read for all writers and readers alike!
- In This Way, I Was Saved, by Brian DeLeeuw ~ When I finished this unique story I was quite surprised it was a debut novel. If you’re a writer looking to learn suspense and psychological thrills, look no further. I can’t wait to read what Brian comes out with next!
Oh, I just want to keep adding more and more! If I didn’t force my fingers to stop though, we’d be here forever. Books are one of my greatest all time passions, second only to writing. :) Click here to see my bookshelf at my nonfiction site, The Life of a Working Writer Mommy, where I give a rating, and sometimes a short review of nearly every book I’ve read since last November (warning – a lot; I’m often asked how I read so many books so quickly, considering I have a family and a full time job, and I write. If you could see my house, you’d know.
What do you enjoy reading? Barring spoilers, please feel free to discuss the books, as well as add your own recommendations, either there or here.
Does everyone have a full drink and plate? If not, Jeeves will take care of you right away! I’m sure he won’t want Mr. Fluffy on his butt, so Jeeves, if you would please…
Speaking of favorites, if you recall a particular favorite #fridayflash I’ve written this past year, I’d love to know what it is, so please include that in the comments. This will help me decide which story to submit for consideration in the second #fridayflash anthology, (assuming there will be a second – there will, won’t there Jon?). I appreciate your input very much!
Here are a few of my favorites:
- A Toast to Yesterday
- Tambourine Girl: A Farewell
- The Lonely
- Freedom *Part of my novel in progress
- The Waiting
- Sally Highbottom’s Bright Idea
And now, for a bit of fun, here is a photo prompt for you. I took this picture while on vacation at Tybee Island, Georgia. I’ve tried to come up with a flash piece based on the photo, but alas I’m getting nowhere with it. I’d love to read your take on it. I’ll reveal what the picture is, (which, I admit, is a guess because I’m honestly not sure)…..sometime soon. I hope you have fun showing us what it is in a #fridayflash of your own. Remember to come back and add the link to your story in the comments here so we can all stop in and read!
But that’s not all! This is also a sort-of going away party…
Some of you may recall that earlier this year I decided to push full steam ahead and write a novel. I got busy and soon enough had quite a good start. Then…..fizzle, fizzle, fizzle…. It’s been gathering dust for a good three months now. I have enough confidence in the story that I feel it deserves some attention. This is not to mention that Laura is putting us all to shame by releasing a book a month, (or something like that)! What more motivation could I need? Therefore, I vow that, beginning November 1, for the following six months, every word I write will belong to that book, working title: Intersection. Okay, at least every other word. I’m not officially participating in NaNoWriMo, but I will be in spirit. By this time next year I expect to report nothing less than completion of the first draft.
Hoo-hah! Amen! So there! And all that jazz….I will have at least one more story for you, (to be posted on a Friday in October), before I turn my soul over to Intersection. And I’m sure I won’t be able to stay completely away, so be on the lookout for updates, (and, most likely a #fridayflash forced by evil community members – you know who you are).
I hope everyone is having a great time, and that you’ll stick around a while. There’s plenty of refreshments available, and I’m sure Laura will allow me to borrow Jeeves for a couple days longer, that is if Cathy doesn’t already have him reserved), in case anyone needs refills, and Mr. Fluffy too, in case anyone gets out of line. Just push Jezebel out of the way if you want some punch, or, it might be best to take Laura’s advice and tell Jeeves to use the other punch bowl. Thanks again Laura!
Thank you all so much for coming!
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Click here to visit my nonfiction site, The Life of a Working Writer Mommy
I know this may come as a shock to some, but…okay, here’s my confession: I am excessively sentimental. So when I read Jon Strother’s #fridayflash story for this week, Pen Pals, I bawled my eyes out. There was a dedication at the end: “In memory of Tia L. Brink….”. Not having heard of Tia before, I figured she was a personal acquaintance, someone that maybe he’d corresponded with for some time, and I left a comment saying now that he’d made me cry I was off to find a #fridayflash to make me laugh.
But what I found was one story after another dedicated to Tia’s memory that kept me in tears for hours. I thought “Who was this woman that she had such a great impact on so many short fiction writers?” Upon investigation I discovered Tia was a well known editor, stage and screenplay writer, and an astounding word weaver.
How had I missed her all this time? I am so sorry I did. A friend of Tia’s posted one of her short pieces as this week’s #fridayflash, titled simply Randomness, which blew me away. You must read this masterpiece. Oh, to have such “randomness” flitting through my mind! I felt even sorrier that I hadn’t discovered her work before, that I never got the chance to say thank you.
After my tears finally dried up I began to think about all the whining I’d been doing, (most of it public), for the past couple of weeks. I’m sure you all know about the flooding situation in our home, and how I, well, whined so much. On top of that, I have an urgent health situation going on, so I’ve been worried about that too. I’ve stayed off Twitter since all this started, kept to myself, and worried alone, (much to the appreciation of my readers I’m sure). My thoughts consisted of no more than “poor lil’ ole’ me”.
Then I found out another of our #fridayflash contributor’s grandmother passed away, just a few days before I read about Tia. And I was ashamed. Despite this health problem I’m facing and the worry of what to do about our house problems, I have a healthy family, a roof over my head, food to eat, a good job – the list goes on and on. I am blessed.
Isn’t it interesting how it takes seeing, hearing about, feeling, the devastation happening in a virtual stranger’s life to make us appreciate all we have in our own lives?
Counting our blessings is something we all need to do every day of our lives, not just when we realize how blessed we truly are. More importantly, we need to show our loved ones how grateful we are to have them in our lives. They weren’t given to us in order for us to have someone to complain to. They were loaned to us to have someone to love, to show how much we appreciate the gift of having them in our lives.
In light of that, I vow to make a greater effort to do just that, to show my family and friends how much I cherish the gift of having them in my life. Not just immediate family, not just the friends I’m blessed to have met physically, but also all of you, my loyal readers, my partners in this otherwise lonely world of being a writer.
Thank you all – writers and readers alike – for making such a profound difference in my life. You read my work, even when it’s not my best, leave kind comments, helpful critique, and are consistently encouraging of my work. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
I’m sure I speak for many when I say: “Special thanks to Jon Strother, of Mad Utopia, for creating this wonderful community called #fridayflash, for without you I wouldn’t even know these friends.”
Don’t wait to say thank you – show your friends how much you appreciate them. For yesterday is gone, and tomorrow will never be here. Live now.
Coming soon: Tune in on Sunday, September 5, for an interview with one of the best short fiction writers on the www: John Wiswell of The Bathroom Monologues.
I hope you’ll stop in on International Literacy Day, Wednesday, September 8, for a special surprise!
Visit The Life of a Working Writer Mommy to read a fun conversation I had with my son six years ago, (I found it in an old journal this morning).
Click here to subscribe to The Other Side of Deanna.
I recently declared not to work on any writing projects aside from my novel for at least the next six weeks or so. Therefore, I won’t be posting a #Fridayflash this week. As Jon predicted, (in the comments on that post), here it is Thursday, and I’m experiencing withdrawals. If I hadn’t already expected this to happen, I would swear he made it happen subliminally. I keep having to slap my hand away from my flash folder and telling myself “You promised! You don’t have time to polish a flash piece – your novel’s hero needs to speak!”
But I digress….. The purpose of this post is to thank Valerie Valdes of As The Moon Climbs for honoring The Other Side of Deanna with the One Lovely Blog Award AND the Versatile Blogger Award.
Thank you Valerie! I will post a proper blog, (to include the rules of acceptance), when I climb out of my cave – I just wanted to make sure Valerie knows I do appreciate her generosity very much. Thank you again Valerie!
Meanwhile, I hope you’re working on your story for my upcoming birthday celebration, The Other Side of Deanna’s first writing contest. Links to stories may be posted from July 10 – July 24, (contest rules also listed here). A big thank you to Anne Tyler Lord, of Don’t Fence Me In, for mentioning the contest on the #Writers_Life post for today, Coffee Klatch – June 24: Contests & More. Be sure to check out the #Writers_Life group on Anne’s site, and on Twitter. Not only does Anne post thoughtful content, but, more importantly, #Writers_Life is a fast-growing community of incredibly supportive, like-minded writers.
And now, back to the cave….
P.S. Dontcha just love the formatting!
Happy 1st Anniversary