Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Story Published Today

My story "Thirty-Five" is up at Escape Into Life today.  This is one of my favorite works written in the romance genre.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do Not Disturb: Writer At Work

I'll be taking some time off during the month of November to participate in NaNoWriMo and polish up some works-in-progress that need my attention.  See you back here in December.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creative Writer Award- The Truth Revealed


Recently, John Wiswell gave me this award. I confess, not so recently Deanna Schrayer gave me the same award. I did not intentionally blow off Deanna’s gift. Let’s just say it moved down my to-do list until I, well, forgot about it. So, by happy serendipity, I will respond to both today, thus fulfilling the old adage about two ducks with one arrow.

The rules of the game are to provide seven outrageous facts about you. You choose whether six are lies and one is true or six are true and one is a lie. Then you pass on the award to the next unsuspecting victim.

I hope you enjoy guessing the validity of my list below. 

  1. I’ve a hard time socially because I have a weak type of telepathy. I can’t hear anyone’s thoughts but when I’m alone with someone, their emotions and some images overtake me. Many people think my distracted expression means I’m disinterested in them, when really I’m just trying to sort it all out.  False.  Unfortunately, I have zero psychic abilities.
  2. When I was in my early twenties, I said a prayer while driving in my truck and asked God a question. At that moment, a car cut me off, and the answer to my question was on the license plate.  True. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
  3. As a creative writing major in college, my instructor thought my style of writing was corrupting the other students and he ended up kicking me out of his class. False.  I have two degrees but they are in accounting and nursing.  My writing is home schooled. But, this actually happened to Laurell K. Hamilton, the best selling author of the Anita Blake series.
  4. The catholic school I attended was attached to a church. In fifth grade, they built an immersive baptismal pool in the church's atrium. My class was lined up and walking past it one day on the way to mass when I got into a fight with the girl in front of me and we both went tumbling into the holy water. False.  However, the baptismal pool does exist at St. Joan of Arc Parrish in Lisle, IL.  I just never fell into it.
  5. At twelve years old, I took a walk in the woods near my parent’s Wisconsin cottage and ran into a black bear. I was paralyzed with fear, as the bear looked me over. I don’t know if it was fear or lunch but at that moment I exhibited some flatulence. The bear ran away. False.  Women don't pass gas.
  6. I am so afraid of rodents that the sight of one makes me vomit. False.  Actually, I adore rodents as pets.  We've had gerbils and guinea pigs.  I've held my share of pet rats too.
  7. Due to a rare medical condition, I was born with a tail. It was actually an extra length of spine that required corrective surgery. The only evidence of it now is a tiny scar on my lower back.  False. I was a completely normal baby.
Now for three people who I think are well deserving of this award.

1. Danielle La Paglia - because her story "Wrath" creeped me out and I think she will tell some interesting lies.

2. Eric Krause - one of my favorite flash writers. He's got a serious case of the weirds. I'm curious.

3. Lauren Cude - because anyone who can tell a story in sticky notes must have an interesting history.

There you have it. Get guessing people!

Monday, July 26, 2010

YA Flash Death Match: Winners for the First Death Match

Cool! Thank you readers for helping me win this contest. A critique of my query and first 5 pages is the best prize I could ask for right now. Plus, if you left a comment you were entered into a drawing. Laura Eno, PJ Kaiser, and Pegjet- you are winners too!

YA Flash Death Match: Winners for the First Death Match

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"The Dwelling Race" at YA Flash Death Match

I'm a contestant today at YA Flash Death Match.  If you haven't heard of it yet it's this really fun site where you enter a comment about a YA story topic and are randomly chosen to write about one of those ideas.  You get a couple of days to write the story and then they post it head to head with someone else's interpretation of the topic.

My topic was Urban Fantasy Coming of Age.

Hmmm.  Still no comments on my story.  Please ignore the sound of nail-biting and come read "The Dwelling Race" at YA Flash Death Match.  Next week, consider throwing your name into the hat!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Taking a break

I'm taking a break from friday flash for a week or two.  We've had a series of events in our family that  require my immediate attention.  Plus, I'm trying hard to finish up my current work-in-process.  More on that to come.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pickleland: Create Your Own Adventure

NOTE TO READERS: If you are coming straight to my blog from Twitter or facebook, you will want to start this twisted sci-fi tale from the beginning. It all starts with Barry Northern's blog. He came up with the idea to have a Create Your Own Adventure story. Segments of the story are written by several bloggers and you can trace the adventure through numerous threads.

The story is about a 14 year old boy, Michael, and his friend, Latoya. They have encountered aliens invading the Earth. This story takes many twists and turns and you get to choose which direction at the end of each post. Start at the beginning, or trace backwards through the previous person I follow, Anne Tyler Lord's blog. Then visit me here for the final installment of this thread titled Pickleland.


Latoya squinted at the appliance in Michael’s hand. “Don’t be ridiculous, Michael” she whispered, “It’s gonna take more than a salad shooter to take out an army of them.”  She pointed at the green pickle shaped globs. “Use that now and we’ll be pickled.  We need a plan.”  She grabbed his arm and yanked him toward the back door.  “Come on.”

Into the alley she crept, Michael at her back with the loaded salad shooter.  They were about to step into the street when a human’s screams caused them to duck behind a dumpster.  A man came into view, racing down the double yellow line.   A pickle was hot on his heals.  Unfortunately, the man’s physique seemed a product of a steady diet of donuts and bacon.  The pickle overcame him, tackling the man to the pavement before absorbing him into it’s goo.

“Give’s new meaning to being ‘in a pickle’,” Michael said with a chuckle.  Latoya slapped her hand over his mouth and pointed back toward the street.  The man was breaking out of the pickle like a cocoon but what emerged on the other side was nothing like a butterfly.  It was a Mendigan.

“So, that’s how they do it,” Latoya breathed.

They watched as the pickle turned toward the new Mendigan and boomed “Pickle silo, tomorrow.  We assemble our troops and then attack.”  The Mendigan nodded and marched off.  The pickle meandered into the restaurant, leaving the street deserted.

“Now’s our chance.”  Latoya sprinted toward the Cosco across the street, weaving her way through the rows of goods until she came to the PVC pipe section.  Michael followed.  He doubled over beside her gasping for breath. 

“You need to work on your cardio, dude.”

“You can give me health tips later.  Right now, fill me in on what we’re doing here?”

“Have you ever heard of a potato shooter?” Latoya asked, holding up a section of pipe. 

Michael shook his head. 

‘Then just trust me,” she said.  The lights turned off across the store.  “Looks like the pickles just shut down Cosco.  I guess we have all night.  Let’s get to work.”

*****

When the sun came up, Michael and Latoya were ready with several backpacks full of tomatoes, two pipe canons each, and several cans of hair spray.

“Now remember, load the tomato first, then spray a good amount of hair spray into the base before you light it.  If you don’t use enough, it will never make it down there.”  Latoya looked over the edge of Coon’s Landing, into the valley where hundreds of pickle people and Mendigans gathered at the base of the pickle silo.

Michael swallowed hard and nodded his head. 

“And Michael, be quick, cause something tells me we won’t have much time once the first ones hit.”

Latoya set up her first gun on a tripod to the sounds of chanting below.  The pickles and Mendigans were raising their fists in unison.  She packed in her first tomatoes and watched Michael do the same.  Then she grabbed a can of Aquanet and a lighter and nodded.  It was time.

Pfoof   In seconds, four tomatoes blasted over the cliff toward the crowd below, the force blowing the tomatoes to bits, scattering pieces.  Everywhere they hit pickles shriveled and died.

“Gleenbleglook!”  the pickles screeched to each other and pointed toward Michael and Latoya, who released another round  in their direction.  “Get them!” they bellowed to their Mendigan slaves.

But already some of the Mendigans were changing back to humans, staggering forward with panicked eyes as their captors melted around them.  It didn’t take long before they were tossing fallen tomato bits, taking out any remaining pickles. 

When every last pickle was killed, Michael and Latoya headed down to the crowd below, smiling as a mighty cheer rose up to greet them.  But, just as they reached the valley, the silo opened and a 200-foot pickle stepped out, its gaping mouth emitting an ear splitting howl.

“The tomatoes!” Michael screamed.  Latoya turned longingly toward the cliff, knowing their salvation was hopelessly far from her grasp. 

As if launched by sheer willpower, two tomatoes flew over the crag and wedged into the monsters gooey flesh.   It sank to it’s knees before melting into a running ooze that soaked into the earth at their feet.

They looked back up towards Coon’s Landing to see Michael’s mother standing with a tomato shooter, the sun blazing behind her head.  “Double tap,” she yelled down to Michael.

“My mom’s a force more powerful than the sun,” Michael said.

Latoya hung her arm over Michaels shoulders.  “I don’t know about that but she definitely earned the Pickle Kill of the Day award.”

They shook the goo from their feet and headed for home.

The End.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fiction Published Today

My story Stoplight is up today on flashquake as David Shapiro's editors pick. I love this publication and am so honored.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blog Award

Thank you to Marisa Birns at Out of Order Alice for presenting me with this annoying prestigious blog award.  In a few moments, I will be bestowing the honor on a few of you per the rules below.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate seven "Creative Writers" who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.


Now for my six outrageous lies and one truth.  I often get asked about my last name, so I decided to build these lies around the story of my husband and I.   As a hint, I am posting a picture of us together.

  1. My last name “Ching” was gained when I entered the witness protection program in 1992.  My husband and I were whistle-blowers in a Chicago corporate scandal and were transplanted to Bloomington, IL by authorities after the trial.
  2. Ching is a pseudonym invented for use with my writing and inspired by the cha-ching of the money I hope to make someday.
  3. My husband is Chinese but his family origins are from northern China, an area on the border of Russia. If you look closely, you can see the Russian resemblance in his features. The Ching surname was passed down from a line that originated in central China.
  4. Born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, my husband, who is part Chinese, moved to Bloomington to marry me.  He brings this up to garner sympathy when the weather is cold here. (Like now)
  5. My husband’s great- great- grandfather changed his name from O’Ching to Ching in 1900 to escape Irish persecution as a new immigrant.
  6. I despise convention and insisted that we combine last names when we married to symbolize our new life together.  Ching is the combination of his name, King and my maiden name Chappington.
  7. I kept my maiden name when I married because I am related to the famous Ching dynasty in China.  My mother is Swedish, which accounts for my looks. But I am their only child and wished to carry on the family name.  
Now, I shall pass the torch to:

David Masters at Truant Pen
Peggy at Eldritch Way
Weezel at What Scares You?



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