The Wildflower Project

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Hello All!

As some of you may know, I participated in NaNoWriMo last November.  I’m finally done writing, editing, and proofreading the novel I finished during the challenge!  I have submitted the manuscript to Swoon Reads.   It’s still a long shot of getting published but we all have to dream, right?  It’s completely free to read on the Swoon Reads e-reader.  I’d love your feedback if you have a chance to look at it.   And I would love it if you could give me a rating on the site.  I’ll keep all of you updated!

Here is a description of the novel if you aren’t familiar:

200 years in the future, women over the age of 18 have lost the ability to conceive.  Young women everywhere are cashing in on their fertility by selling their genetically-engineered offspring to the highest bidder. Television shows featuring pregnant teens are all the rage. Leni and her husband Rhys, both rescued from being dumped in an orphanage due to her undesirable genetic codes by their adoptive parents, have achieved their dream of being cast on Posh Preggers, the most-watched show on television, but are frightened as they begin to learn the startling truth behind Leni’s conception and birth, and the foundation of lies upon which her family was built.

Month

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“Jack, will you marry me?”

Christie was on one knee, wearing a one-shoulder red gown, a replica of the one Cate Blanchett had worn to the Academy Awards.  She was presenting her boyfriend of one month with a beautiful custom-made white gold engagement ring, encrusted with tiny diamonds.  The orchestra she’d hired reached a crescendo.  They were playing the theme from the The Notebook, her favorite film.

Christie believed in making her dreams come true.  She even had a dream collage for 2015 taped up in her bedroom.  It was covered in pictures of wedding gowns, floral arrangements, and honeymoon destinations.  That was all she wanted for the year that was almost over.  She decided in January to approach her love life the same way she approached her career.  She was the youngest VP at her company at age 26.  She was the only one of her friends who owned her own home.  How did she achieve her success?  By not giving up!  By asking for what she wanted. If one door shut in her face she banged hard on the next one.  Why not approach romance in the same way?  Why didn’t more people approach it this way?  Go big or go home!  That was her motto.

Jack was stunned, but quickly recovered.  “Uhhhh…sure!”

She squealed and jumped to her feet, kissing Jack wildly.  Leaving documents listing all of her assets and healthy account balances scattered around her home had been a shrewd move.  She knew Jack was broke.  She’d resorted to picking up guys in the parking lot outside the unemployment office.  Hey, it was November, desperate times called for desperate measures.  The important thing was she’d achieved her goal.  A wedding in December.  A winter wonderland theme.  Or maybe Frozen

“I love you,” Jack whispered in her ear. A lie, but that was okay.  She’d make getting him to love her next year’s goal.  Her 2016 collage was almost finished.

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to post a new flash fiction story every Monday in November – each incorporating either the word National, Novel, Writing, or Month.  Original right?  🙂  Thanks for reading.

Writing

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Ridiculous.   Kim dropped the magazine she’d been reading to the ground, and leaned back in her lounge chair.  She thought about signaling the waiter to bring her something stronger to drink, but glanced at her daughter splashing in the pool and thought better of it.  She sipped her water and seethed.

She’d just read an interview in We’re Still Hungry Monthly with Kendall Keys, the author of Skinny Nonfat Latte, a novel loosely based on her experiences working as an assistant at Skinny magazine.  Of course her first big interview would be with Skinny’s biggest rival.  Kendall was 23 years old and already a best-selling author, not to mention millionaire.  All because she had to deal with a rude boss for all of one year.  Join the club.  She remembered another article she read recently about a woman the same age as Kendall who was publishing a book of all the tweets, texts, and emails she’d sent her ex-boyfriend over the past year, called Textually Speaking.  Kim’s stomach twisted in anger.

She’d also written a book.  It had taken her five years, but she’d finally finished it.  A novel about a woman and her daughter traveling cross country on a journey of self-discovery and the people they met along the way.  It had been hard to find time for her writing.  Her life was so busy.  She was also an assistant, but not at a glamorous magazine, for a middle manager at a company that manufactured plumbing supplies.   She was raising her daughter alone; her husband had abandoned them long ago.  She couldn’t even afford to take her daughter on a real summer vacation.  Spending the weekends by the pool at the country club where her sister worked all summer would have to do. But her book was good.  She knew that it was.  So many literary agents told her how much they loved it.  Just that it wasn’t a right fit for them.  Why? Because I’m not 23?  Because I don’t want to air my dirty laundry to the world?  Because my boss wears Men’s Wearhouse instead of Prada?  

A loud splash from the deep end returned her attention to the pool.  “My mommy’s a lawyer,” Kim heard a little girl say to her daughter, Stassi.  “What does your mommy do?”

Stassi paused thoughtfully, then said, “My mommy’s a writer.”

Kim thought her heart would burst.  She quickly wiped her eyes and pulled her laptop from her bag.  Maybe I’ll look into self-publishing.

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to post a new flash fiction story every Monday in November – each incorporating either the word National, Novel, Writing, or Month.  Original right?  🙂  Thanks for reading.

Novel

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“You may want to grab your notebook, Kendall,” said Isadora, flipping her shiny jet black mane over her shoulder and glaring at her soon-to-be ex-assistant across her desk.  “I’m going to give you some advice that will benefit you greatly in your next position.”

“I’m good,” Kendall responded, crossing her legs and demurely pulling her pencil skirt over her knees.  “Go ahead.”

Isadora frowned but continued.  “If your boss asks you for something, don’t just do the bare minimum, go above and beyond.  For example, when I send you out for coffee and ask for it piping hot, anticipate that I may not like the first batch you bring me and accidentally knock it to the floor.  Have another batch waiting instead of having to go back with that little crestfallen, lost puppy look on your face, it’s so unbecoming…”

Kendall zoned out as Isadora continued with her career advice, knowing she would never need it.  When Isadora was in the office, her life was a nightmare.  An endless whirl of coffee runs, impossible errands, screamed insults, hurled cell phones and obscenities.  But Isadora traveled.  A lot.  Kendall was only the second assistant.  The first assistant traveled with her.  Which gave Kendall lots of free time to write.  And boy did she write.  She’d finished a novel.  Her Devil Wears Prada. At first no one was interested in another story about a twentysomething girl trying to build a career in New York City.  But, when they learned that she was the assistant of Isadora Costa, Editor in Chief of Skinny magazine, the most respected fashion rag in the world, and that her fictional tale was loosely based on her experiences, a bidding war had commenced.  The advance alone was enough for her to pay off all of her college debt and cover her living expenses for the next few years.  She’d never have to get anyone’s coffee again.  The book hadn’t even hit shelves yet, and everyone was buzzing about the mysterious Samantha Sims, the cruel, borderline sociopathic, magazine editor in her book, speculating if she was based on Isadora, which Isadora of course had dismissed as nonsense.  The book had been published under an assumed name, but Kendall would be going public with her true identity soon enough.

“So, do you think you can remember all of that?”  Isadora finished her lengthy speech and looked at Kendall doubtfully.

“Oh, I’m sure I can.”

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to post a new flash fiction story every Monday in November – each incorporating either the word National, Novel, Writing, or Month.  Original right?  🙂  Thanks for reading.

NaNoWriMo Inspiration

There’s a lot of things I never thought I could do until I came out the other side.  Hopefully NaNo will be the next!  43,000 words to go…

For Writers Quote Wednesday

National

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Carmen couldn’t believe her eyes as she stepped out of her car.  She was at the park for her evening run.  Usually, the place was abandoned except for a few other runners and a couple moms with strollers, but today, it was exploding with visitors.  She watched as dozens of senior citizens, mostly women, wearing bright blue curly wigs and garishly pink blush congregated in the center of the park.  A huge movie screen had been erected.  Some surprisingly limber ladies were doing cartwheels across the grass, others were passing out bags of popcorn, candy and red plastic cups of soda.  Many were screeching a song she didn’t recognize, something about blue rainbows.  She wondered seriously for a moment if she was hallucinating.

“What is going on?” Carmen asked  a passerby, stepping onto the grass.

Five septuagenarians surrounded her, one breathless from cartwheels.

“It’s National Susie Tinselton Day!”

“National who day?”

“Susie Tinselton!  Legendary child cinema star of the 1930’s.”

“Oh, I love old movies!  What was she in?”

“Only one I’m afraid,” piped up another in the group.  “Bright Blue Baby.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve never seen that one.”

“Not surprising…”

“…poor Susie…”

“…she auditioned for every role she could…”

“…but lost out every time to another child actress with same initials…”

“…one that shall not be named…”

“…she was robbed!”  The woman spat those words with a surprising amount of venom considering all of this occurred over 80 years ago.

“…Bright Blue Baby is her masterpiece…”

“…she sang Bright Blue Rainbows and cartwheeled off into the sunset…”

“…you should stay, we’re watching it later…”

“…movie starts at dusk!”

Carmen smiled politely, preparing to decline the invitation.  Then she thought – what did she have to do that night, really?  She hadn’t made a solitary friend since she moved to this new city.  This was the first invitation she’d received all month.  Maybe these women weren’t in the same demographic as the rest of her friends back home, but a friend was a friend.

“Sure, why not!”

She accepted a bag of popcorn and a soda and settled on a blanket with her new buds.  The cartwheeler extended her hand.

“I’m Lucy.”

“Edith.”

“Sandy.”

“Mollie.”

“Margo.”

“Pleased to meet y’all.  I’m Carmen.”

Another confused woman stumbled down the path, looking around like she had just landed on a new planet.

“What is going on?”

“It’s National Susie Tinselton day!”  Carmen exclaimed, to the delight of her new besties.  “Popcorn?”

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to post a new flash fiction story every Monday in November – each incorporating either the word National, Novel, Writing, or Month.  Original right?  🙂  Thanks for reading.