Yearning for Wonderland

There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it...until they have grown so old that they forget the way. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again...The world calls them singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland. ~ L.M Montgomery

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Timetable!

No, I have not forgotten you all. I promise! I have been working hard, like a good little contest mouse, on developing further details.

 So without further torture (which I seem to do so very well), I share with you the following video to give you the opening/closing dates and further whet your appetites to share those unexpected fairy tales inside you.

Note: I would recommend either watching it on YouTube or turning off the music before watching (found in the bottom right-hand corner, the pretty lady in white is the music player).

You can go here to read more about the theme.

We’re international this year, so the first place winner of this contest will have their story posted on the National Flash Fiction Day website on May 16th. It will also be loudly heralded on Yearning for Wonderland and SJIHolliday.com.

More lovely prizes and updates to come…after I tease you more, of course, my lovelies! Comment away.

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Theme!

If you are here, you are wondering about the #tweetofdoom, also known as Once Upon a Time Flash Fiction Writing Contest (tag #ouatwriting on Twitter). That, or you stumbled onto my blog due to the surplus of John William Waterhouse paintings.

There are only two general types of people who visit Yearning for Wonderland: writers/those who love good writing and art thieves. For those who are the latter, please help yourself to the lovely Waterhouse sketch below (only kidding, totally ganked this from the Wikipedia page). I do encourage you art thieves to stay and read on a bit, however. Especially if you also write.

A Female Study, John William Waterhouse

So today’s post (not to completely digress) regards the super secret extra exciting announcement of the wondrous theme of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest. *cue bombastic music with lots of cymbals clashing and soaring horns*

Oh, you wanted to know the theme! The theme for the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest is:

UNEXPECTED FAIRY TALES

Take that as you will. Perhaps it is a fairy tale set in an unexpected place, like a gas station. Perhaps it is a fractured fairytale, a fairy tale turned on its head, a fairy tale that isn’t one till the end. There are fairy tales all around us, should we only care to look.

Given the awesome breadth of the Fairy Ring Contest, I have every confidence that our unexpected fairy tales will be equal parts lovely, charming, terrifying, inspiring, and daunting. Plus, this contest is now international and co-sponsored by the lovely British flash fiction writer, Susi Holliday (@SJIHolliday on Twitter), so you know there will be twists even I cannot foresee.

copyright Ulrika Kestere

The photos are by the talented Ulrika Kestere, described as: “a woman whose drying laundry is taken by a sudden storm, and as she travels the countryside discovers her clothing has taken an unexpected form.” You can see her work here.

Copyright Ulrika Kestere

More details to come, be sure to add #ouatwriting on Twitter. Ask me, if you don’t know how to do a tag search and be sure to use it when sharing about the contest.

As the theme is unexpected fairy tales, please try to honor that. You do not have to use the words “Once Upon a Time” in your story. The title is not included in the word count.  If you have other questions, feel free to comment, tweet or email me. Please no erotica or slasher fiction.

So go forth, my fictionlings, and ponder this unexpected magic. I expect great things from you!

In Search of the Creative: #22Things

My lovely friend and fellow NoInkling, Angie Richmond (@write_me_happy on Twitter), has issued a wonderful creative challenge on her blog.

In this challenge, you choose 22 small goals, 22 stepping stones to achieve some of the big hopes and dreams of your creative life.

I love this idea and have been practicing this in one form or another for years. I have my BIG HOPES & Impossible Dreams list, which contains a surprising number of items that I have actually achieved.

So, I strongly encourage you to go to her blog and sign up for this Creative Challenge.

Without further ado, my 22 things:


1) Complete my long-suffering novella.

2) Revive Slowtime, in whatever form it wishes to be.

3) Finish editing NaNoNovel [Working Title] and send it to editor.

4) Resume singing lessons (find mezzo specialist).

5)  Ditto dance lessons.

6) Resume horseback riding regularly.

7) Star in a show (musical or play).

8) Return to my yoga practice, 2x week.

9) Develop NMP.

10) Redevelop my regular writing habit.

11) Go dancing periodically.

12) Create opportunities that allow me time to pursue my passions.

13) Create a library/reading room/writing room, a Room of My Own.

14) Plant a tree.

15) Reduce sodas and junk food intake.

16) Resume playing piano.

17) Document beauty in all of its forms at Yearning for Wonderland.

18) Develop my professional connections and social media relationships.

19) Star in an indie film.

20) Continue to develop SSSG.

21) Redevelop friendships at home that have drifted.

22) Love without judgement.

Please pardon my cryptic abbreviations, but I have a superstitious nature about unfinished creative projects: sometimes if I talk about them too much, they never manifest.

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest

10,000 tweets! And here is the big news!

I don’t know if I’m a glutton for punishment or just love quality flash fiction, but I feel the hankering coming on for another flash fiction writing contest. In the wake of the phenomenal success that was the Fairy Ring Writing contest, I would like to offer up another whimsical outlet for your creative pleasure.

There will be surprises, twists, turns, tears and triumphs! <--- Yes, that is a teaser.

I will be co-hosting this flash fiction contest with the lovely Susi Holliday, aka @sjiholliday. Check out her blog here

And so, without further ado (I say this entirely without irony to my Twitter friends), I announce the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest to be coming soon! You can receive news and updates via #ouatwriting on Twitter. Watch Yearning for Wonderland or @ruanna3 at Twitter for more details, theme, and prize information!

I shan’t give away the theme today, but you can perhaps get an inkling from the title. Fear not, however, it shall be glorious!

Art by Bill Carman, zaniness by me.

Slowtime: Episode 1 – "Waking" – Anna Meade

I am doing my best to write more regularly, so I entered Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Threads challenge. This stretched my comfort zone significantly, as you only have 12 hours to enter and I worked nine of those.

Nevertheless, I jotted down 250 words based on Slowtime, an amazing concept soundtrack album by my friend Paul Ramey.

Every Waking was the same. Adrenaline forced through his veins woke him from enforced sleep. Enu’s lungs spasmed; the first gasp after a year was always the sweetest. He vaulted from his cryochamber, shaking off dreams dark and restless.

The chronometer read ‘Next Sleep: 29 days, 23 hours’.

He hummed as he crossed to Elaida’s cryochamber, entering the code. The unbreakable crystalline cover slid back with a soft phoosh. He stared in horror at the body. Her pale hair fanned out on the pillowslip. Her features were almost identical – snub nose, pointy chin. Could this be Elaida? He’d heard of the Sleep corrupting memory.

Her eyelids fluttered and opened. Brown eyes. Elaida’s were blue. Her eyes were cornflower blue, though they had only ever seen pictures of cornflowers in books.

He stared down at this woman, this stranger who was his wife.

She sat up, “Enu, darling. I missed you so much.”

She smelled false. His bare toes dug into the soft dust. Non-Elaida clambered out easily and wrapped her arms around him. This woman’s muscles were not cramped from long disuse. She had not Slept; she had been placed in Elaida’s box.

The woman sensed stillness, “Enu?”

“Just tired from Quietus.”

“Sleeping a year will do that,” she said, patting his bottom.

Far above him, on a plateau overlooking the blasted landscape, the Keepers stood silhouetted against the harvest moon.

“He knows,” said one, glasses glinting.

“He only has 29 days left. What can he do?” said the other.

@ruanna3
250 words

I did win an honorable mention, which is quite exciting. Below is my snazzy badge and the comments from judge Cara Michaels:

Anna Meade | @ruanna3

Cara says: Best ‘Story I Want Moar Of. Now, Plz. K, Thx.’ I loved the concept, the setting, the MC that just knows something is wrong… and then these mystery figures watching over him. Great stuff. Deliver the whole story to my inbox ASAP.

 
Interested? Why not go read Slowtime: Episode 2