Rub the long, dark sleep from your eyes and come check out the month-long prompt for September: Waking Up in Space!
Before we start, let me quote some essential details from my introductory post from Week One, outlining the basics of this month's themed contest. To skip this, scroll directly to the prompt, located midway through this post!

Throughout this contest (and any time, truly), you can reach me fairly instantly by two reliable methods: 1. You can send me a Facebook message, or 2. You can pop an e-mail over to write.brain.dependent@gmail.com – either outreach pings my phone in real time, and I can respond accordingly.



Remember, the open door policy at the Flame isn't just for show -- reach out! The Mod Hydra is here to help, and to ensure that your experience is positive and constructive.

Welcome to Week Two of the theme, "Can you elaborate?" I understand there may have been some confusion about prompt limitations last week, so I've quoted the 'Basic Premise' portion below with a few choice edits in hopes that there will be no further miscommunication. I do not believe in limiting the creative mind unfairly or unnecessarily, so let's nip that in the bud!:

Basic Premise: You are presented with an example of a synopsis for an episode of a television series (there is so necessity to have seen, or to be familiar with, either the episode or the show). Using this synopsis, write your entry. You may also use the title of the episode or something you know about the series or episode quoted to inspire your entry. You do not have to use the name of the character mentioned in the synopsis. These parts of each month’s prompt are interchangeable at the entrant’s discretion; however, you may like to make a clear statement in an Author’s Note about the origin of your inspiration if you deviate unexpectedly from the episode title and/or synopsis provided as each month’s prompt. All forms of writing are welcome!



Again, if anyone has any questions, the Hydra's three silly heads are here to make sure everyone has a good time. Now, without further ado, the prompt for Week Two!

House, M.D. [S6E8]: ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ –“For the ailing patient, intelligence is a miserable burden.”


I've heard people say Hemingway was crushed by the weight of his own genius. Obviously I'm not claiming to understand what that must be like, but I feel as though I have come close to being able to imagine it every so often. In a world where one mustn't look far to find ignorance, for those of us who have worked hard to be enlightened and educated it can feel like suffocation to caught suddenly in the company of those who either have not come as far, or who choose never to try. Ignorance can feel as heavy as humidity in the presence of the wrong kinds of people, even when it isn't their intention to cause you that kind of discomfort.


In the quoted episode of House, the doctor treats a patient whose intelligence is a celebrated gift, but for whom the gift has become a terrible burden. When we meet the patient, he has deliberately chosen a lifestyle much simpler and less demanding than what he knew before, and has abandoned any pursuits that require the use of his brilliant mind. As the episode unfolds, we learn more about how he has willfully suppressed his mind, if only to feel less alone in a crowded room.


This week, how will you explore the maddening choice between brilliance and ignorance? Or the awful suffering of having to hide your thoughts and ideas, if only to continue to fit in with the people around you? Show us your take on the idea of a gift being a burden, or interpret the prompt in a brand new way, and show us something altogether unexpected. Write what you must!


Remember, to advance to main voting for Week Two, you must have survived Week One voting. If not, your entry (or entries) still qualifies for Just For Fun voting and is welcome in the poll! You can access the poll below. Entries are due Sunday, August 16th at 2345 Eastern Time. No sign-ups are necessary for this contest.






Submit Here

RicoChey had some technical difficulties logging in so I am posting this for her.
 Welcome to Week One of the August contest for 2015!

To view full details, click here to redirect to Word Press! This month we'll be turning vague previews into the big picture. 

Come play!





Marcus Tullius Cicero, one of Rome's greatest orators once said,

"The beginnings of all things are small."


Let this be the spark for your last submission in our Month-o-Minis - the seed for your beanstalk, the frenetic atom that sets a new universe in motion with a bang.

Our week four contest is for the prompt, "The beginnings of all things are small." Use it as inspiration for an idea or even your first sentence, the choice is yours. All entries should be no more than 400 words and are due by 11:45 pm EDT on Saturday, August 1st. Only one entry per person, no JFF entries accepted.

Thank you all for writing with us this month! We have enjoyed your writing and your feedback.
Registered writers for week four:
Shane Bell
quill-quirks
Kristina Van Hoose
B.Nafeeza
Heather
skyllairae
Sonya
Kathy Boles-Turner
ayumidah
bluegerl
hwango
alethessa

Good writing!

Just a reminder for those who are new to Brigit's Flame. Your entry should be posted to an online blog or journal with public reading access for the duration of the voting process (anywhere from three days to a week). Work you submit to the contest always belongs to you. It should be original work and first written for the prompt provided.

Submit Here

Since our word count is growing, I bring to the prompt this week things that start out small but can have a huge impact.

Glitches





As a writer, a glitch is a great device for change or chaos. It is neutral, yet mischievous. It causes aggravation, panic, economic disasters, or just a bit of distortion that laymen try to slap back into line with a firm hand.

Root out your glitch. Tell us what happened and submit it by 11:45 pm EDT on Saturday, July 25. The week three contest is limited to the list of Embers below. There is a max word count of 350 and only one submission will be accepted per writer. Poetry and other forms of written expression welcome. There are no JFF entries this month.

For those of you who are writing with us for the first time. Your entry should be posted to an online blog or journal with public reading access for the duration of the voting process (anywhere from three days to a week). Work you submit to the contest always belongs to you. It should be original work and first written for the prompt provided.

This week's contestants:
Shane Bell
quill_quirks
bluegerl
ayumidah
Kristina Van Hoose
Sonya
b.nafeeza
skyllairae
Kathy Boles-Turner
RicoChey

Submit Here
The whole month of July we will be exploring small things to accommodate our tiny word count caps.
For week two your prompt is:

Doll's Eyes



I went through many dolls in my childhood. They sat on shelves, shared my pillow, and sometimes were forgotten on top of the toybox and left to stare at the ceiling all night. I had one that closed her eyes when you laid her down. She had surprisingly long eyelashes for a doll. Not soft like a person's, the eyelashes were one stiff curve of plastic jutting from a little blue eye. I used to press my finger to the curl - open, close, open, close. Eventually, one of the eyes stopped pivoting and she lived out the rest of her days in a permanent wink. With those very adult eyelashes it's no wonder she turned out cheeky.

In 200 words or less, tell us a tale from the doll's eye view and submit it by 11:45 pm edt on Saturday, July 18. I flubbed the sign-up so anyone may submit a maximum of two contest entries as long as the submissions do not rely on each other to tell one story and are not continuations of one another. Poetry and other forms of written expression welcome. There are no JFF entries this month.

For those of you who are writing with us for the first time. Your entry should be posted to an online blog or journal with public reading access for the duration of the voting process (anywhere from three days to a week). Work you submit to the contest always belongs to you. It should be original work and first written for the prompt provided.

Submit Here
The whole month of July we will be exploring small things to accommodate our tiny word count caps.
For week one your prompt is:

Knothole






Knotholes form due to the removal or decay of a branch during the life of a tree. Process a felled tree into boards and the knothole remains - a testament to what once was. In a wall or fence, a knothole becomes a place of note to curious passersby. They can peek into a space otherwise off-limits. The knothole offers an eyeful of the forbidden, the forgotten, the secret lives of strangers -- for some it is the glimpse of another life to seed their dreams.

In 150 words or less, tell us what you see and submit it by 11:45 pm EDT on Saturday, July 11. Have fun with it!

This week’s winner will receive an eBook on the writing advice of their choosing ($5.00 limit) via Amazon.

Below are the writers who signed up for this week's contest and are eligible to submit entries:
Shane Bell (full month)
skyllairae
RicoChey
Cristina Van Estes
Heather
Sonya
SCFarber
Kathy Boles-Turner
beansgerlbehan
quill_quirks
ayumidah
hwango

Each of those signed up may submit a maximum of three contest entries as long as the submissions do not rely on each other to tell one story and are not continuations of one another. Poetry and other forms of written expression welcome. There are no JFF entries this month.

For those of you who are writing with us for the first time. Your entry should be posted to an online blog or journal with public reading access for the duration of the voting process (anywhere from three days to a week). Work you submit to the contest always belongs to you. It should be original work and first written for the prompt provided.
At the end of this post is an electronic submission form - please share a direct link to the post containing your entry and a few stats so we can label the piece in our reading list and voting poll.

Submit Here
Hold your Fireworks! It's too hot to write one long story, so were going to make July a Month-o-Minis.

Sign up below to play along.

Your hint is:


"All the small things"


This is not a cumulative competition, each week has a single winner - the next prompt starts a new competition. There are no elimination rounds (unless there's a tie).

Here's the plan:
Week 1 word count max 150, limit three unrelated submissions per person | sign-up 6/30 - 7/4 | prompt is up on Sunday, July 5th | due date Saturday, July 11th

Week 2 word count max 200, limit two unrelated submissions per person | sign-up 7/7 - 7/10 | prompt is up on Sunday, July 12th | due date Saturday, July 18th

Week 3 word count max 350, limit one submission per person | sign-up 7/14 - 7/17 | prompt is up on Sunday, July 19th | due date Saturday, July 25th

Week 4 word count max 400, limit one submission per person | sign-up 7/21 - 7/24 | prompt is up on Sunday, July 26th | due date Saturday, August 1st

Sign up now!

When I read a book, peruse art in a gallery, or go in search of new music I'm looking for something I've never experienced before. With visual art I'm hoping the artist will show me vistas that I cannot see without the filter of his imagination. The same holds true with writing - perhaps even more so because I will carry the story in my memory long after all of the paintings have faded into squares against a white wall.

For this reason, I seek out stories that are diverse in genre and style - clinging to those that are surreal, haunting and as far afield as the author can take me. One author whose imagination feeds me those dream-time delicacies is Philip K. Dick.

PKD's books and stories have been around since the sixties, the author himself dying in 1982. Though not as publicly acclaimed as other authors in his genre (in his lifetime), at least eleven of his short stories and novels have been adapted for the screen. Blade Runner for example, a cult classic on screen, was the adaptation of PKD's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. This is one of the more famous conversions, but you might recognize several on the list. Then there are other works that do not give him story credit, but have distinct PKD themes. Just recently, I was reading his story "Second Variety" and realized that the premise had been recycled in the fresh Battlestar Galactica reboot. It deals with robots that build better versions of themselves in order to walk among humans undetected - becoming more efficient soldiers by blending in and appealing to our more compassionate natures.

Among the many complex and imaginative threads that have kept science fiction connoisseurs happy for decades, PKD left behind a legacy of fictional paranoia, governmental conspiracy, over-reaching surveillance, and thuggish police forces. In addition to these prickly topics, there was another theme prevalent in his fiction writing and later in the personal papers and letters that came to be called his Exegesis - what is reality?

Much like time, there are aspects of reality that are more relative than fixed. The most obvious examples can be found with people who suffer mental illness, sustain brain damage, or use drugs. In these instances, reality pivots and flops based on the presence or absence of chemicals in their system. But you don't need these extremes to experience an altered reality, consider grief and love and how they can act to modify your choices and perception.

PKD believed at one point (for at some point he believed in everything, then nothing) that all living beings were part of reality and all non-living things were malleable parts in the structure around us, but it was not until our perception labeled the thing that it actually took shape. Therefore what appeared as a table to you, could appear as a bench to someone who does not share your perception of the reality around you.

It sounds crazy, but consider how a child can see the potential in sticks as swords, cocked fingers as guns, and cardboard boxes as ships. Or how a writer can overhear a snippet of conversation about mundane life and find in it, paths to danger or new worlds. Think also of how something as simple as darkness can turn a cheerful room into a threatening place of shadows and voids.

For the month of May, let's explore reality together. Your characters need not be limited to the confines of a science fiction story in order to question the signal and poke around in the noise for answers. Consider reality, how it reveals itself, and how a new perspective might alter it for your protagonist. Surprise us, or help us see the Truth.
Find your own take on -

What is reality?


...then share it with us.



Now for the rules and dates and whatnot -
Your story or collection of poetry should not exceed 5,000 words. I know that's more than we usually encourage, but this is one theme for the whole month so a larger word count makes sense. The deadline to submit a public link to your story in the form below is Tuesday, May 26th at 04:00 EDT (4 am). The submission form is programmed to not accept entries after that time, so do not count on human sleep patterns to give you an extra couple of hours. Anyway, I'll start pulling together the submissions around 5 am that day to get the reading list out to you before I go to work. Voting will be open from 5/26 to 5/30. The writing submitted must be yours and should be written for this contest. Please do not submit earlier work simply edited to fit the theme. This rule is for you. Challenge yourself to write something new today. Give yourself time to polish and refine the piece before submitting. With all of the contest reading to do, there will not be time for JFF entries. Each writer only has one writing slot - make it count.

Who can play -
Following are the 12 writers signed up for the May challenge:
bluegerl, Kathy/darlinleo, Missflyer,
Shane Bell, Cedarwolfsinger, Alethessa,
FAWatson, RicoChey, Hwango,
Ayumidah, Urb_banal,
And I swear somewhere I saw bardiphouka sign-up, but I can't find it now. Did I dream it? Maybe it was a sign that he should just write with us anyway.

If I missed your name, please throw something at me so I can fix the list.

Please submit your story info in this format in the survey below -
Title:
Author:
Word Count:
Warnings/Rating:

*Please note author should be the name you want to publicly share your story under, regardless of journal/blog name or familiar user ID.
Submission Link
Fellow Flamearians and those of writerly ilk!

May is coming upon us like a wildfire. It is time to commit to a worthy project.
For example, you could sign up to write with us in May. You know you want to -- make it happen.

In the wake of our Shakespeare-inspired April contest, we have decided to take things one step further in May and make the month-long contest a month long.
Confused? Excellent. We're about to shake things up.

Beginning May 3rd you will be given a theme and as much inspiration as we can squeeze into one of these little boxes. Your due date for submitting your story or poetry collection will be 5/26 by 04:00 (4am) EDT. The cap will be 5,000 words, and we are accepting only original, new work written for this project. No dusting off the slush pile or pulling out those lit mag winners. Challenge yourself to write big! Show us your chops! The reading list and poll will go up on the morning of 5/26 and you will have until 5/30 to vote. Winners will be announced on 5/31.

We will be hosting activities throughout the month to help keep you on your goal. We will offer word sprint challenges; an internet write-in that harkens back to our flamestorming days; and periodic queries into your work-in-progress to keep you writing all month instead of a 12 hour crunch in the wee hours of the 25th. (We are all writers here, we know about that procrastination factor.)

Two more things you should know -

You MUST sign up in the comments below in order to submit your completed work on 5/26. Sign up deadline is Saturday, May 2nd by midnight EDT.


No JFF (Just For Fun) entries are allowed. Only one submission per writer.

Wait, no! There is one more thing that I almost forgot.
If you sign up now...the winner will not just be mentioned in our Hall of Flame, but will be given the option of having their winning submission published on our new Highlights Page. (We'll work on the name, I suspect it will be fiery).

Keep an eye on us. The theme goes up on Sunday, May 3rd. I will give you a hint to the theme, but remember it is only a hint meant to whet the appetite.

"My voice for the voiceless."





***For those of you who are new to the Flame, all work submitted belongs to the author alone. At Brigit's Flame, submissions to be voted on by the community are links back to the author's own journal or blog, they are not published on our site except in special circumstances of which you will be made aware and to which you may say no.
 Welcome to Week Four! Acts I, II, and III are now behind us, and it is time to conclude your tales. Today, I launch this topic at precisely 0626MST (that’s 0826 CDT, as I was born in Iowa), in honor of the exact moment of my birth, on this day, twenty-eight years ago. I was even born on a Sunday. Let’s talk topic! Remember, April is a themed month, so if you need help understanding the goal, visit this link to read the preamble I presented before the prompt for Week One. We can also address questions in the comments, if you need a little clarification. To put it basically, we are dividing up the four weeks of April into four parts of a “play” (the entries do not have to be plays): ACT I, ACT II, ACT III, and Epilogue. Visit the aforementioned link for specifics!

 
Are you ready for a deliberately contradictory quote to round off the month?

 
 
Epilogue – “What is past is prologue.”

 
The last lines of dialog are spoken, the last gestures are made; the lights dim slowly as the curtain glides with a soft finality toward the stage. The production seems to have come to an end. Then, a lone figure crosses from stage right to stands beneath a center stage spotlight to speak into the otherwise darkened theater. The epilogue — defined as “a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work” — brings closure to what has been seen here, and the audience sighs, soothed by the final resolution of the evening.
 
 
I enjoy epilogues. A poweful, distinctive last moment before the true end of a tale. I realize there is a generally accepted definition of a prologue as aforementioned, but I feel as though they can take many shapes. Truly, there may be myriad ways to reinvent and re-imagine the concept of the “final words”. Because I am nowhere near the closing and final thoughts of my life, I will share a classic bit of epilogue instead, from the very mind of the artist we have spent the month quoting and celebrating.
 
 
”If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”

 
In the tradition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s Puck, and in whatever format you desire, spin me a conclusion to your tale worthy of quotation. I challenge you to a concluding thought, scene, or stream of consciousness so powerful, it will ring in my mind for weeks to come. Interpret this as you will, and write what you must.

 
 
Remember that entries are meant to complement one another as a series, and that the concepts of “Epilogue”, Puck’s Epilogue, and the Shakespearean quote provided are for inspiration and do not necessarily represent a requirement for content or word use.
 
 
The poll is here. Week Four closes at 2345EDT on Sunday, May 3rd.






Welcome to Week Three, my budding playwrights! Remember, April is a themed month, so if you need help understanding the goal, visit this link to read the preamble I presented before the prompt for Week One. We can also address questions in the comments, if you need a little clarification. To put it basically, we are dividing up the four weeks of April into four parts of a “play” (the entries do not have to be plays): ACT I, ACT II, ACT III, and Epilogue. Visit the aforementioned link for specifics!

Week Three: ACT III – “The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”

I should like to think I have not yet reached the third act of my life, but that I should be prepared for the idea that it is nearer than I anticipate. Time passes so quickly, and what seems suspended in poetic action today may come to swift and dramatic conclusion tomorrow. I hope the opening act and rising (but perhaps not thrilling) action of my life will lead to great purpose. The worst and most volatile part of standing upon the brink of my own unfolding destiny is having no clairvoyance for the details of its unfolding. So many dangerous and enticing traps lay before me, baited with whistles and siren songs. That I may be unable to resist sends a delightful tremble of terror up my spine. By what deceptions shall I be seduced? How will the lessons I learned in the Spring of my life armor me in the Fall? The blackened, blurry future is the proof that the trials we have faced until now have not been for empty value. It is by the scars of a life thus far that we can endure the new lashes of a life still to come. Or, is it bright unknown that softens us anew and keeps us blind, despite our journeys through the undergrounds of adversity and toil?  

 

 The tradition of act three is to move down through the falling action and arrive at the conclusion. I challenge you to imply the end is near, but hold me waiting another week to know for sure. Are you already a master of cliffhangers? Ensnare us so cruelly that our comments are devoted to begging for Week Four spoilers. The end draws nigh!

 

Remember that entries are meant to complement one another as a series, and that the concepts of “Act III” and the Shakespearean quote provided are for inspiration and do not necessarily represent a requirement for content or word use.

 

The poll is below. Week Three closes at 2345EDT on Sunday, April 26th (my birthday!) --  make me proud!

 

http://brigitsflame.polldaddy.com/s/april15-week3-act3

Welcome to Week Two, Flames! Remember, April is a themed month, so if you need help understanding the goal, visit this link to read the preamble I presented before the prompt for Week One. We can also address questions in the comments, if you need a little clarification. To put it basically, we are dividing up the four weeks of April into four parts of a “play” (the entries do not have to be plays): ACT I, ACT II, ACT III, and Epilogue. Visit the aforementioned link for specifics!

ACT II – “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.”

Ah, character development. Story arc. Plot bunnies everywhere. As it is with the second act of any good story, the second act of my life has thus been the most riddled with trial. I consider these chapters of my life, between gaining independence and learning to thrive, to be Act II of my (hopefully) long years upon this earth. I expect my own second act will be a lot more boring, however, than your own.

Just four short years ago, I couldn’t have supported myself if I tried. I was living off of those around me, sometimes in the worst ways. In 2011, I took the first job that ever meant anything to me and everything changed. One insanely out-of-character decision at a time, I began to evolve. I created and took on new responsibilities for myself. I sought out challenges that had previously been terrifying to even consider. I endured hardships with stubborn bravery and deliberately took note of what I had to learn as I plowed through. For all that, here I stand today, so different a woman than the one I was in 2011 that people have actually told me I’m unrecognizable. That is simply narcotic.

My second act is about personal growth and learning the courage to continue to move forward. How will your second act bring us closer to your story and the character(s) in it? Take me through the developing action of your tale. What kind of story has this become? Am I hopeful for this world’s future, or fearful of what comes next? I challenge you to draw me in so deeply, I see this world through your characters’ eyes.

 

 

Remember that entries are meant to complement one another as a series, and that the concepts of “Act II” and the Shakespearean quote provided are for inspiration and do not necessarily represent a requirement for content or word use.

The poll is here!

 A very long-winded and verbose man once said (and I paraphrase), “All the world’s a stage.” In this month of April, I want to explore this concept, as well as celebrate a birthday I share with the very man who spoke these influential words. On April 26th of 1564, William Shakespeare entered the world. Four hundred and twenty-three years later, I did the same. So, Bill’s got several centuries of legacy on me, but let’s not assume that makes me less impressive by default. It isn’t just about birthdays, of course. There is some poignancy here! Though I have only had twenty-eight years upon this earth, I already feel as though I have moved through so many chapters of experience. Setting aside the fact that I have (on many occasions) expressed my desire to have my life play out like a musical upon a stage, I have often felt as though all life truly is a work of theatrical storytelling. I’m not sure who’s benefiting from it, but I certainly hope they’re amused. Maybe that’s why writers write, because we’re sick of being only players.

Shakespeare remains one of the most recognizable playwrights of this world’s history. Even for people whose interests bear no column labeled “theater”, Shakespeare is a household name. The concept of the Three Act play, however, is more commonly understood by members of the creative community. Let’s not assume all of us have an interest in the stage and move quickly through an explanation of the classic format of the Three Act Structure. Traditionally, Act I (or “exposition”) is meant to introduce the elements of the script, and build the story. This act should also introduce at least one central conflict. Act II takes us through the main action and inevitable “rising action” of the story, building to the peak (also, the “climax”), of the tale. In the movie world, this would be where we see the biggest car chase or the most explosions. By Act III (which may also harbor the true climax of the story), we arrive at the “falling action”, leading to the ultimate closure of the tale. In most writing, we refer to this as “conclusion”. This month, we will be writing based on this classic structure.

Does that sound too simple? That’s because I’m not done. The Three Act Structure is old hat for most of us, but in April we’ll be breaking the acts up into four weeks of writing: Act I, II, III, and Epilogue. You are free and encouraged to interpret this however you choose to, but there is one clear rule: Your four entries should work together as a cooperative series of installments, complementing one another. If possible or preferred, they should also be chronological. This stipulation is not required, but is suggested. In tandem with the three acts and the epilogue, I will provide quotations from Ol’ Billy himself to inspire and drive you. Ready? Curtain up.
 

ACT I: “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

When I came into this world, apart from having no language or motor skills for a bit, I had no general idea of what to expect from this crazy ride called life. I was completely raw material, malleable to a fault. There are a handful of wonderful years at the very beginning that protect you from the terrifying prospect of becoming an actual person at some point. No one ever knows to appreciate those years, however, and all too soon we thrust forward without warning. I think you can identify the cusp between “just got here” and “just realized it’s going somewhere someday” by looking back on your earliest memories, and choosing a median age. Before that, we are so swept up in simply living, there is no time available for holding onto how things happened. By the time I was no longer in Preschool but rather attending Big Kid School (that’s K-6 in my part of world), I knew something was up. I was on the verge of a journey, and I had absolutely no idea what to make of it.

In Week One, I ask you to open your tale. Show me your world and the person, people, or creatures in it. Help me see and understand the surroundings. Will I be able to grasp where this all leads, or will there be a learning curve? An immediate element of mystery? I challenge you to capture me within those first precious moments after the velvet rises slowly from the stage.


Submission closes Sunday, April 12th at 2345EDT. The poll is here.










The Devil I Have Not Met

Thriller fiction is a genre of endless possibilities. Wrought with suspense, danger, and mystery, there is still plenty of room for politics and history, magic, religion, science, romance, erotica, great quests of superheroes and anti-heroes. A single thriller can explore every one of these interests and still offer up a dose of good old fashioned bone chilling horror.

The setting can add depth and intensity, be it in the midst of war or peacetime, in your childhood neighborhood, or, in a galaxy far, far away. A good thriller can exist anywhere.

The key element, of course, is suspense. The writer must bring readers to the edge of their proverbial seats, breathless, dreading what's around the next corner and absolutely dying to know what's around the corner!

Thrill me in whatever world you choose. #gowrite



Entries are due by 11:45 EST, Sunday, March 29th.
Please submit your entries HERE.

Tags:





 


war

Live To Tell The Tale




By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, like the night in the shit field, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help to clarify and explain. - From “Notes” in The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien.




Tim O'Brien dared explore the unmentionable truths of soldiers at war. His is not a tale of glory-seeking patriots, but of regular guys with regular lives, most who considered themselves decent and civilized before the threat of being labeled a coward forced them to become sanctioned killers.

This is not the typical war story chock full of muscular American heroes fighting for the greater good. It is one of guilt, crushing peer pressure, aimless musing, shame, mundanity, and cold fear. This is war.

O’Brien achieves something far greater than realism in his collection of war stories -- he captures an enormous amount of emotional motivation swirling behind the dark eye of reality. The Things They Carried is humanity at its worst, and most resilient. It is art from ashes, life from death, clarification.

Can you objectify your own worst experiences? Can you put a human face on war, domestic or otherwise, and move on with hope to never witness such vulnerability and brutality ever again?

Tell me your war stories.




Entries are due by 11:45 EST, Sunday, March 22nd.
Please submit your entries HERE.


Tags:


Hello Brigit's Flame,


Today I give you the final prompt in our February event - The shortest Tales for the Shortest Month.


"Ha!—would a madman have been so wise as this?"



The line comes from Poe's story The Tell-Tale Heart. I have included an audio performance of the full tale for your amusement.






For the month of February, we have been hosting a series of weekly mini contests for drabbles. If you are unfamiliar, a drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length (not including the title). The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.



For our purposes, we will require 100 words or less. You may submit up to three per week as long as they are all related to the theme, but not to each other. You do not need to single one out for competition, they are all eligible.



Your topic for mini contest 4 of 4 is "Ha!—would a madman have been so wise as this?", interpret it however you like.



Concurrent with the contest, we will have a workshop open for anyone who would like to practice their drabble prowess for a live audience before the deadline hits. Share your thoughts and difficulties with fellow embers and the mod team a dedicated drabble forum.




I hope you enjoy playing with this line and find some inspiration in it.




Submit your entries here - this phase ends Sunday, March 1st at 11:45pm EST



#gowrite #brigitsflame

Heart-shaped Paper






Please refrain from metaphors
Made of heart-shaped paper,
And I will know your love was real.
Describe it glistening with viscera,
Not rose-scented.

Authentic emotion is far removed
From that bloody muscle laced with blue veins…
It’s down beneath the pasty brown stink
Of the liver, in the vicinity of the appendix,
That love throbs and twists–where it thrives
Or dies.

That muscle to the north
Keeps pumping on, uninterrupted,
Unaffected, as love gets ripped from the gut.

I Will Know Your Love Was Real by Kathy Boles-Turner






For the month of February, we will be hosting a series of weekly mini contests for drabbles. If you are unfamiliar, a drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length (not including the title). The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.

For our purposes, we will require 100 words or less. You may submit up to three per week as long as they are all related to the theme, but not to each other. You do not need to single one out for competition, they are all eligible.

Your topic for mini contest 3 of 4 is "Heart-shaped Paper", interpret it however you like.

Concurrent with the contest, we will have a workshop open for anyone who would like to practice their drabble prowess for a live audience before the deadline hits. Share your thoughts and difficulties with fellow embers and the mod team a dedicated drabble forum.

Enjoy!

Submit your entries here - this phase ends Sunday, February 22nd at 11:45pm EST



#gowrite #brigitsflame #wehaveourownpoet
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