When Dreams Come True…

…with apologies to C.S. Lewis.

The topic for tonight’#5MinuteFiction was to write about a dream or a nightmare that came true. I thought about CS Lewis and the Voyage of the Dawntreader as I wrote. What would happen if ALL your dreams came true. (even the nightmares) Yes, indeed, dark fantasy. Even in the dark fantasy…there is heroic altruism. I’m such a hopeless positivist!  And, I’m such a hopeless positivist that I believe that you will like my story enough to head on over to Write on Wendy and vote for me since I made the finalists tonight. I sure would appreciate your support!

Here’s my #5MinuteFiction writing for this week. If I had given it a title, it would be “The Dreamhopper.”

“Deja Vu all over again,” Johnny thought with a wry smile. Then he shuddered as he remembered the dream. When he saw the Red Volkswagon heading his way, he jumped to the right and smiled nervously. In the dream he had jumped to the left.

“It’s a mirror. That’s your problem,” said a husky feminine voice behind him, “you can’t see the mirror so you think you’re safe.”

He jumped, startled by the sound. She looked familiar. Suddenly a his face became a picture of horror. She had been in his dream too. “What are you….”

“I know, I know. I was in your dream. You were in mine. Can we help each other to get out alive or will the dream come true?”

“But how…?” he sputtered.

She looked at him with disgust. “Does it matter how? Wait.” She stopped, pulled him back from the door and watched as a knife hit the wall right where his head had been. “We can work together, or we can die separately.”

“But how?”

“You ask far too many questions, ya know that?” she sneered. “It doesn’t matter. What matters is getting out alive this time.”

“What do you mean ‘this time?’” he asked.

She shook her head. “When I was alive, my dream came true and I died. Now, I search for ways to get in the dreams of others and help them get out alive. I’m hoping that I can come back to life. WATCH IT!” she grabbed him and threw him to the ground as a car raced by shooting out of its windows.

“What if….”

“Listen, my dream, my nightmare came true. I’m just trying to help others now. So shut up and do what I say. I want to get you out of here alive.”

Many thanks to our judge for tonight, Ruth Watson Morris. She generously made a copy of her book Fantacia available to those involved in #5MinuteFiction. (I won’t put the link here, you’ll have to go to Write on Wendy to get it and to vote!)

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#ROW80 – Plodding – It’s Slow But It’s Progress

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This accountability thing is nerve wracking! I mean…how long do I keep using excuses? Actually, some progress being made. Monday and Tuesday are slow days, but I got some things done. Wednesday – it’s a full day already. I’m posting this early because I won’t get to it later. Besides – I’ve got an offer for you that is more fun that voting. Ok, well, really it’s voting so technically, it can’t be more fun than voting. (Ah, but too late. The offer has now expired.)

My ROW80 Goals beginning this week:

  • I will work on editing my novels. I have neglected editing for too long. I will spend at least 5 hours this week on editing.
    • I’ve gotten about 30 minutes in so far this week. The next three days will be editing days. 
  • Limit Blog Time. I have already given up Facebook for Lent in order to work on promoting my blogs. I will limit that work to 90 minutes or less per day.
    • I did pretty good at limiting my blog time. Most of my time was spent reading the posts from others in this challenge. Hopefully that will build up my writing blog/platform. I need to work on time to use for building my Devotional Blog as well. 
  • New writing. I will engage in 2 hours this week of new writing. New writing may be anything from #5MinuteFiction to song writing to work on a novel or prep work for Nano 2014. (I won’t count editing the other books as prep work even if it is a series and I am doing my world building!)
    • Two things totaling an hour so far. One is #5MinuteFiction. I like that challenge because it forces me to get outside my writing box and look at things in a far different manner than I normally would. I made the finals this week. with the writing you might see in the post just before this one.  If you are looking at this before 6:30 CDT, you can actually go, read the stories and vote for your favorite – which will, of course, be mine. (Ok, maybe not.) Isn’t that a great opportunity for you? I told you it was coming… Next, I got something resembling verse 3 on my poem/song. With any poetic writing I do, the mental blank spaces are an important part of the writing! On my way to my goal.
  • Photography. – I will categorize (star and label) at least 100 pictures per week. I will fully edit at least 5 pics per week.
    • Got a start with the categorizing at about 25. I should have more time the rest of this week to complete this goal. 

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Stretching Myself in #5MinuteFiction

One of the good things about #5MinuteFiction is that the prompts are so often nothing like what I would write on my own. Tonight we had a multiple choice on prompts:

  • a pizza boy running from something that no one else can see
  • a magical ukulele
  • a crystal ball
  • an ice cream shop that only sells 3 flavors and one of them is unknown
  • a really bad / poorly told joke

Surprisingly – I didn’t get the bad joke in there. That would seem like such a natural for me. Anyway, here’s this week’s #5MinuteFiction entry.

“Let’s go, it’ll be fun.” Sometimes new girlfriends can be a pain. You have to break them in – let them know your likes and dislikes. I hated fortune tellers. I hated them with a passion ever since my mom…well, that’s another story. But ever since then, I’ve never visited one. Ok, I never did before, but you catch my drift.

She was insistent though. I rolled my eyes, crossed myself – even though I’m not Catholic – and entered the tent with her. I also made a mental note never to take a girl on a date to the Midway until I had a chance to talk with her. I asked about tea leaves.

“No! Tea leaves are so old. Have her do the crystal ball.”

I shook my head. Why didn’t she want a stuffed bear or one of those “magic ukeleles” instead. Those I could win. I knew how to beat those games. She wanted a reading.

We sat down at the table and Madame Elios started her reading. “You two will resolve your conflicts,” she began.

“Oh great,” I thought. “She’s trying to make this relationship last past the second date.” I was already thinking that we were too far apart already.

“Your fate will rest upon dinner tonight.” She shook her head as if puzzled. Then her voice grew ominous. “You must not eat the pizza.”

That was different. What a crazy old witch.

She continued on in the regular generalities that made the girls think she was so terrific, but I knew applied to anyone. I yawned as we paid her and walked out.

I turned to look at Darla and just as I did, I tripped the kid. I didn’t mean to. He fell forward and his Pizza box flew to the ground. No one knew why he was running. The fall knocked him out so he couldn’t tell us. I looked at the pizza box, and started to pick it up – just for fun.

Darla attacked me before I had a chance. “NO!” she screamed. “Don’t even touch it!”

I laughed to myself until I remembered that she had also said that we would work out our differences. This was not looking good.

If you want to see all the entries, check them out at Wendy’s place (Write on Wendy) And…if you are there at the right time, you get a chance to vote. And just because you know me and are reading this, please feel free to vote for the story you like best. As of now, I don’t know if I even made the finals. Still, this is a fun contest, so jump in and join the fun.

Update:

I am one of the five finalists. If you head on over the Write on Wendy you can vote. Check out the all the stories and then vote for your favorite – which of course should be mine. 😉

#ROW80 – The First Update

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I got a head start on the next round pf ROW80 which is supposed to begin April 7. I don’t like to think of myself as being too late for the game. I put in goals for the next week, forgetting it would be better to do things for the half week. So, aside from goal #2, everything should be halved. I should really have had no problem meeting my goals during Spring Break, right? /whistles innocently. Lets see how I did on my goals.

My ROW80 Goals beginning this week:

  • I will work on editing my novels. I have neglected editing for too long. I will spend at least 5 hours this week on editing.
    • I should have gotten in 2.5 hours editing. I got in, at most, 45 minutes to an hour. Excuses will be made later.
  • Limit Blog Time. I have already given up Facebook for Lent in order to work on promoting my blogs. I will limit that work to 90 minutes or less per day.
    • I did pretty good at limiting my blog time. I would say I was at about 90 minutes per day – after Wednesday. (But see excuses for not making my goals that will explain this.)
  • New writing. I will engage in 2 hours this week of new writing. New writing may be anything from #5MinuteFiction to song writing to work on a novel or prep work for Nano 2014. (I won’t count editing the other books as prep work even if it is a series and I am doing my world building!)
    • If sitting and staring at a blank spot on the file where the new writing is supposed to be counts I came close to the half way mark on this goal. I had almost an hour of new writing and trying to write – but did not get a lot down on paper. Songs/poems are a lot harder to write. Especially the third verse! 

Excuses – I told you they were coming. As my pastor noted this morning in his sermon, the excuses may be good excuses, but they are still excuses.

  1. Grading. I had all kinds of grading I needed to get done this week, so that took away some of the time I would have spent on writing. That, however, is not a blanket excuse because I didn’t get all my grading done.
  2. My photography hobby. I spent a lot of time working on my photography and editing. I should have spent some of that time writing. I love bird photography and had an amazing time at the local bird sanctuary the day before I started. Lots of editing that needed to be done! (And that kind of editing I REALLY enjoy!) (A new goal is being created for this.)
  3. Family time. Some days, the family needs time together. For a variety of reasons, that became an issue this week. My wife deserved some of my best time. That will happen again.

Accomplishments – Even with the excuses I did accomplish a few things.

  1. I did get a little more written on the new song I am working on. Poetry is not my normal forte, but I am enjoying the work.
  2. I did see more traffic on my Devotional Blog. I don’t count the new writing I do every day for that in the above goal. I write about 15-20 minutes every day for that blog and I began building traffic and meeting some new people this week. I also met a number of new people on this writing blog. (Thanks to all of you who stopped by!)
  3. Lots of photo editing/categorizing.
  4. I actually opened up the NANO 2012 novel and got some editing/rewriting done. I have been working on editing/rewriting the opening. I’ll put the original and the beginning of the rewrite here. Please feel free to criticize and or make suggestions

All in all, #ROW80 gave me a kick start to get back to what I really want to do. Thanks for that!

Writing excerpt:

Original Rewrite
Seppe’s nose wrinkled as he looked at the body lying in the dark alley. He couldn’t remember  seeing any other victim hacked up as bad as this one. It was gruesome and he recoiled a little in disgust. Seppe looked at his partner, Aiden, and shook his head. Aiden was a twenty-five cycle veteran of the Wesdanian Police Force and was looking at retirement before the disbanding process had started. Aiden, veteran that he was, was still very queasy. Seppe wasn’t doing much better himself and wondered how the crowd might react if he let his stomach take control. He silently fought back against the waves of nausea as they continued to survey the scene.

The stiff’s head had been severed from the body and had been thrown violently against the wall under the fire escape on the west side of the alley. The main part of the torso was splayed against the trash cans belonging to the Kroll Rader Bar and Grill. Both legs were cut off at the knees: one foot was about ten meters south of the body; the other foot was close to the fire escape as if it had been used to dropkick his own head. The left arm was partly severed and the body lay on top of it. His right arm was extended as if he had seen the attack coming at the last minute and had been surprised by his attacker. Blood was spattered everywhere.

 

Seppe looked to the eastern sky as Darwinda rose over the Wesdanian skyline. The silver light from the second moon combined with the golden glow from Granset, the first moon, and made navigation around the streets of Wesdania simple. Seppe loved this time of night and took in all the beauty as he absent-mindedly moved his hand up to stroke his tendrils. Then he sighed. The smell reminded him that it was time to get to the ugliness of his work. The body waited.He turned his gaze back towards the waiting body. And the blood. Blood was spattered everywhere just like the body parts were. Seppe had never seen a body in such a wretched condition. That and the overwhelming smell of the fresh kill made him gag. He fought back the urge before his partner could see him. It wouldn’t do to wretch before a 25 cycle veteran.He needn’t have worried. When he looked over at Aiden, Seppe noted that Aiden looked a little queasy himself.  Seppe wondered how the crowd might react if he let his stomach lose control. He didn’t like the idea and silently fought back against the waves of nausea as he and Aiden continued to survey the scene.

The stiff’s head had been severed. Someone had thrown it violently against the wall under the fire escape on the west side of the alley. The main part of the torso was splayed against the trash cans belonging to the Kroll Rader Bar and Grill. Both legs were cut off at the knees: one foot was about ten meters south of the body; the other foot was close to the fire escape as if it had been used to dropkick its own head. The left arm was partly severed and the body lay on top of it. His right arm was extended as if he had been surprised by his attacker and had only seen the attack coming at the last minute.

And then, just for grins – one of my photos:

Taken at Hans Suter Park and Bird Sanctuary

Taken at Hans Suter Park and Bird Sanctuary

I post my bird pics on my tumblr blog.

While all other goals remain the same, I am adding a Photography Goal – I will categorize (star and label) at least 100 pictures per week. I will fully edit at least 5 pics per week. (Some pics I categorize so I can find them later. I only edit the pics I really like.)

Here is the “Linky” site for other blogs in the #ROW80 challenge.

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About That Donate Button

This is a copied post (with minor editing) from my devotional blog Daily Enduring Truth to explain why I have a “donate” button.

In all my years of blogging I have never put a donate button on my blog for myself. Last night I did. The button is there if you want to have a part in my mission trip to Rwanda. My wife, my daughter and I will be traveling with a group from Love 41, Saddleback Leather and Africa New Life Ministries to minister in Rwanda this summer. Africa New Life Ministries allows people the privilege of sponsoring and supporting orphan and fatherless children there. There are too many after the genocide.

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to contribute for the trip, you have that option. The biggest donation you can make, though, is 2 minutes of prayer a day. Let the donation button be a reminder to pray. Prayer for effectiveness of our time there. Pray for our safety. Pray for God to work through us. Pray that we would be attentive to God’s desires. Pray for the children we sponsor. My daughter will see her son and her sister again. We will get to meet our daughter for the first time. The greatest gift you can give us as we prepare and as we travel is your prayers. Thanks for understanding and praying.

“Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness, You will sustain him on his sickbed.”

Psalm 41:1-3 (NKJV)

#ROW80 – A Challenge!

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So there is a challenge I found out about thanks to Amy Beth Inverness one of the people I’ve “met” online through my writing in the #5MinuteFiction contest. For this challenge you have to set goals for your writing and post about them on Wednesday and Sunday. I’m really planning on entering the next round, but it looks like you can jump in any time. SO….let me get a start on the next round which is supposed to begin April 7.

My ROW80 Goals beginning this week:

  • I will work on editing my novels. I have neglected editing for too long. I will spend at least 5 hours this week on editing.
  • Limit Blog Time. I have already given up Facebook for Lent in order to work on promoting my blogs. I will limit that work to 90 minutes or less per day.
  • New writing. I will engage in 2 hours this week of new writing. New writing may be anything from #5MinuteFiction to song writing to work on a novel or prep work for Nano 2014. (I won’t count editing the other books as prep work even if it is a series and I am doing my world building!)

In order to accomplish these goals I will have to keep up with other work – amazing how jobs get in the way of writing – and become more organized in other ways. Let’s see what happens!

Here is the “Linky” site for other blogs in the #ROW80 challenge.

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The Finalists Have Been Announced!

Yours truly is once again a finalist for #5MinuteFiction over at Write On Wendy. You can see my story in the post before this one. What you will really enjoy doing is reading all of the entries and choosing the one you like the best. Naturally, I like mine. You may like mine best or you may prefer another story. Either way, you’ll get a chance to read 5 good flash fiction stories and help choose a winner. So, head on over, enjoy yourself and vote!