Flash Fiction Friday VI

Example of spandex
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I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted a flash fiction prompt. Why didn’t somebody poke me?

It’s a good way to stoke the fire; take a break from other projects; warm up your writing muscles; stretch your imagination. Give it a whirl, even if your main focus is non-fiction, blog writing, or poetry.

Keep in mind that every word counts toward advancing your story. It’s like wearing spandex — you can’t hide a thing.

This week’s prompt is:

When you feel you have to criticize Sam’s meat, something is definitely wrong.

Use this as a jumping off point. You may include the sentence in your piece, but you don’t have to.

Try to stay within 500 words. The POV is up to you.

I’ll post mine on Monday. Post yours on your site, and leave a link in the comments and I will read, read, read.

Have fun!

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Laundromat Etiquette

Soap Opera Laundry
Image by Brent and MariLynn via Flickr

I realize this has nothing to do with writing, but I really need to get this off my chest.

I’m a veteran of the laundromat. I think I started about the time I was tall enough to reach the knobs on a washer and dryer, so I’ve been around the laundromat rodeo, feel me? There is a certain protocol that must be followed, lest someone lose a limb or other body part.

This is aimed at single guys who come to the laundromat with no clue of how things work.

1. Open the door for people, willya? You see that little gramma lady struggling with two baskets and a Walmart bag full of laundry soap, go open the door for her! Yes, i realize the sports part of the noon news is on, but jezuz wept, whatever you miss now you can catch at six. I promise.

2. Wait your turn. Listen, bubba, don’t think you are EVER going to beat a veteran at the laundromat wars to the washers or the dryers, because you will lose a kidney at the very least. Yes, I realize the noon sports is on….*sigh*

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A New Dawn, A New Day

The Washington State Capitol in Olympia.
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Of course, I was glued to the TV and the news channels for All Things Inaugural. It was an amazing experience, and I have to admit I was moved to tears and deeply touched, not to mention totally envious of people who were able to be there in the flesh.

I visited Washington once, when I was twelve, on a family vacation back in the early 70’s. I’ve never forgotten it, and I can only imagine how electric the atmosphere was during this historic event. Alas, I couldn’t be there, but thanks to the technology of not only television, but the live stream of Twitter, I still feel as if I were vested and actually a part of the celebration.

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Organizing the Freelance Way

Andy Containment Facility
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One of the biggest challenges of a freelancing career is organization, at least in my experience. There’s a fine line between being organized yet flexible; after all, flexibility is one of the best perks of being self-employed. However, if you don’t stay focused on some level, all kinds of things can fall through the cracks and become lost and wandering. This, friends and neighbors, can cost you money and inspire a level of frustration in which you invent scathing swear words not fit for human ears.

There are some things to keep in mind when you’re embarking on a freelance career. It’s not as simple as just reaching for a pen, keyboard or crayon and scribbling away. You have to think about an online presence; marketing; pricing; accounting; prospecting, and at long last, writing. (And you thought you were just going to be writing, didn’t you? Hah. A freelancer must wear many hats.)

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Links of Interest – Wednesday Edition

The People I Follow On Twitter
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I’m not sure this is going to be a weekly thing, but we’ll ride this wave as far as it takes us. I typically visit a great deal of websites in the course of a day; some from dropping Entrecards (when I have the time) and sometimes when a Person of Interest uses Twitter to alert we tweeples to something cool, interesting or helpful.

So, for your pleasure, dear readers (I think there’s more than one, heh!) these are my favorites from the last week:

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Book Review – "Blue", by J.D. Riso

The dance of Salome - painted by Franz von Stu...
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In J.D.  Riso’s book Blue, forget about anything you might think you know about exotic dancers, or strippers. On the fringes of society, strippers and exotic dancers, if they’re thought of at all by mainstream America, are often thought of with contempt, disdain, or out-and-out hostility. At the very least, total misunderstanding.

J.D.  Riso changes that.

Blue River is a product of rape; unwanted and treated as invisible, it’s not until she meets up with Kevin that she starts on the path to finding her own identity. By becoming what she thinks the man she loves wants, she believes she can make him love her. She doesn’t realize until she can love herself, no one else will.

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Tuesday Round-Up of Worthy Links

The Lady of Shallot, based on The Lady of Shal...
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Sub-title: Traveling Around the Blogosphere

I run across so many great sites, I thought I’d list the best of the best here every Tuesday. Some of them are helpful, some of them are inspiring, some are just quirky. They might be writing-related, and they might not. A good freelancer and flasher is a well-rounded person, and you can learn a lot by wasting time visiting other sites.

A combination of the useful and the quirky, I highly recommend Mercenary Writer’s Press. “All the writing without the pretention” is their mantra — their Kung Fu is strong, even though their preferred torture device is plural gerunds. You might need to invest in Depends Undergarments, but it’s worth it.

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Wearing the Many Hats of a Freelancer

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As a freelancer and budding entrepreneur, it’s a fact that you have to multi-task and wear a lot of different hats. The tasks you have to accomplish in one day resembles a juggling act of Olympic proportions. The flexibility required is enormous, and if you can’t adapt, you’re likely to pull great swatches of greying hair from your head. As you become more successful, you can outsource some of these necessary evils, but in the meantime, you’re the one in charge. Scary, isn’t it?

These are just some of the duties you’ll be undertaking in the Wild World of Freelancing:

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Bringing In The New Year (Flash Fiction)

This story was the result of a prompt from the best workshop in which I ever participated, For The Love of Writing. Administered by Stacy Taylor and Laurie O’Hare, two of the most brilliant women I know, it was probably the most prolific period of flash fiction writing I’ve ever had. Good times, and I miss it.

I never liked New Year’s. Since I work second shift in a shit hole, by the time I get off there’s not enough time to get a good buzz on by midnight. Not that’s it’s busy in this place, but the atmosphere is just the way I like it. I tell the bartender to line up the shots and I munch on the free pretzels in the crummy plastic bowl while his fat ass takes its sweet time.

I can see the piano dude is taking another break. Jesus, that guy breaks more than he plays. I wish I could work like that, but one fifteen-minute break at six and a lunch break at eight is all I get. I came in here right at the stroke of quarter after eleven, still dirty, sweaty, and smelling from the factory. One time, a girl at the bar slid over a bar of scummy soap from the bathroom and said, “Hey, give this a shot”. Some pick up line. This is the same chick that told Al she wanted desalinized water for her drink. I laughed fit to split at the look on Al’s face.

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