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: Eleanor Capaldi

This entry is by Eleanor Capaldi (@brightstarshine on Twitter)

Just the Ticket
‘Are you sure this is your ticket?’ the cloakroom attendant asked me. Of course I was sure, I’d only been given it a couple of hours earlier. But my pal had pulled, and seeing as we were a two woman team, that left me decidedly on my own. Not that I wasn’t happy for her, but it did take the fun out of dancing. Having no-one to dance with.

So, he asks me again, ‘Are you sure?’ Completely. My bag therefore missing, the hunt begins. While mindfully musing the practicality of a sweep of the building, I saw a flash of white heading out beyond the cloakroom and down towards the dance floor. A glance over the shoulder vaguely in my direction. Bitch had my bag.

I forgot my usual feeble approach in the face of danger and set off in hot pursuit. Within a couple of minutes I could just see the back of the person disappear into the civilisation of the crowd. Under the lights, white showed up in a sort of ghoulish glow, as if UV paint had been spilt all over the enthusiastic club goer. I began to weave my way in and out of the maze, searching for spaces; under an elbow here, round a waist there.

Timidity began to grow. The flush of ‘no fear!’ faded as I steeled myself to meet my thief. I hoped they weren’t bigger than me. Long legs poked out the edge of an alcove.

So she was bigger than me. Damn.

Dark jeans to slim body, encased in white shirt. Charm of necklace resting low. I followed the chain and it led to glinting hazel eyes, dark hair pinned back. Oh god she might be Mediterranean. Suddenly my head is imagining beaches and vegan paella and coffee on the veranda.

But I must stop. This is my thief. And there is her loot. My bag. Sitting quite peacefully beside her. Matching ticket number still attached.

She studies me in the eye, and before I can launch into any tirade,

“I knew I had to get your attention somehow.”

Once Upon A Time Writing Contest: Prizes and All Manner of Glories

YES! The post you have been waiting for that announces, in painstaking detail, the amazing and wondrous prizes for the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest! I think that calls for a ‘Huzzah’!

HUZZAH!

So in case the glory of being the BEST IN THE WORLD is insufficient, here are the prizes.

GRAND PRIZE

* Your winning story, posted on the National Flash Fiction Day Website for the world to enjoy

* Inclusion in the National Flash Fiction Day Winner Anthology

* Stunning free OUATWRITING cotton t-shirt (CLICK HERE NOW TO SEE AWESOME T-SHIRT)

* 10 pg edit of your manuscript of choice from Anna, Fairy Queen

* All manner of glories which we shall reserve the right to bestow upon thee

AWAKE PRIZE PACKAGE

* Inclusion in National Flash Fiction Day Winner Anthology

* Stunning free OUATWRITING cotton t-shirt (CLICK HERE NOW TO SEE AWESOME T-SHIRT)

* 5 pg edit of your manuscript of choice by Susi, Dark Fairy Queen

* Your very own paperback copy of AWAKE by Jessica Grey (@_jessicagrey) Thanks Jess!

TWIXT PRIZE PACKAGE

* Inclusion in National Flash Fiction Day Winner Anthology

* Stunning free OUATWRITING cotton t-shirt (CLICK HERE NOW TO SEE AWESOME T-SHIRT)

* 5 pg edit by Susi, Dark Fairy Queen

* Your very own paperback copy of TWIXT by Diane Reed (@TWIXTbook) Thanks Diane!

 
Note: Despite what the images says, winners actually get a paperback edition of these books, thanks to the generosity of Jess and Diane.

Now go forth and WRITE!

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Eric Martell

OUAT flash fiction entry by Eric Martell (@drmagoo on Twitter).  

Remember, if you don’t have your own blog just email me. I will be happy to post your entry on Yearning for Wonderland. 

Prairie Wishes
There are a lot of wishes made in rest stops.
“I wish I hadn’t gone to Taco Bell for lunch.”

“I wish I could stay awake without amphetamines.”

“I wish my kids would just shut up for one goddamned mile.”

At most rest stops, all except one, the wishes are answered in the more-or-less random way wishes are answered everywhere – that is, as a matter of happenstance.

Between mile markers 197 and 198 on a non-descript highway crossing a non-descript state lies the “Heart of the Prairie” rest stop. Most people speed past it, some stop and use the restroom or take a nap or buy a terrible cup of coffee.

The custodian at the Heart of the Prairie is an older man, slow, plodding, and the one who puts up the “Restroom Closed for Cleaning” sign that suffering travelers curse. The name tag on his faded grey shirt reads “Gene” in pretend-fancy script, and he is a three-dimensional projection of a nineteen-dimensional being whose name in his own language, oddly, is Gene.

Bobby Jones was having a bad day. He’d been fired. Again. The envelope marked “Final Notice” was on the floor of his car. And his last dollar was in the motherloving candy machine, but the candy was stuck in the twisty coil. Sometimes a man is brought to the end of his rope by the smallest of things, and he could take it no longer.

Bobby fell to his knees in front of the scratched faux-wood panel keeping him from his Whatchamacallit bar and wept. He wept for all the paths his life had not taken and all the choices he had not made. But mostly he wept for that candy bar.

“I wish, just once, I could have something go right. Just one time.”

Mopping the red ceramic tile in the lobby, Gene heard Bobby’s wish. He moved the mop forward, left, and back, and heard the hollow clunk behind him as the now-free Whatchamacallit bar fell from its perch.

He finished mopping the floor, secure in the knowledge that the universe was, once again, safe.

Cover Reveal! Foreign Identity by Becca J. Campbell

Good morning, Wonderlandians!

I am extremely excited to have the privilege of unveiling the cover of the new release by urban fantasy author, Becca J. Campbell.

Behold! The brand new cover of Foreign Identity!

One reason I loved the cover is the sense of mystery. Becca described her book as science fiction, which it certainly is, but I had imagined starships. The ambiguity of the cover with the spooky hand sets you up for delicious anticipation for the tale ahead!

Below is the cover copy, which hooked me immediately. I have every confidence it will do the same for you!


Cold. Confusion. Fear. This is how it all begins.

Waking up without your memory in a cell and bound by chains is terrifying.

Two nameless strangers, a man and a woman, find themselves imprisoned together. With no memories of their own identities, let alone their captor and tormentor, escape is the only option. The pair faces a bizarre labyrinth of rooms and clues that confuse more than they explain. Every discovery only brings more questions.

Who captured them? Why were they taken? What does their captor want from them? What can the riddles mean?

Who are they?

Lacking allies and options, the duo must learn to trust one another. Mazes, puzzles, and even strange, lurking creatures force them to rely on their wits–and each other–for survival. But survival isn’t enough. They need answers.

Will the answers be enough? Will the truth bring them closer together, or drive them forever apart? Will discovering their identities finally bring them home?

Foreign Identity by Becca J. Campbell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Consortium Books (http://www.consortiumokc.com/)

Pub. Date: May 15th, 2012, available as e-book and paperback

Photography and Cover Design By: Anna Howard (http://dailyikon.com/)

Becca’s Author Blog: http://www.beccajcampbell.com/

Becca’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/beccajcampbell

Becca’s Goodreads Author Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/beccajcampbell

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Cameron Lawton

Here is our first guest entry on Yearning for Wonderland for the Once Upon a Time Flash Fiction Contest, by Cameron Lawton. As always, feedback is appreciated.

Remember, if you don’t have your own blog just email me. I will be happy to post your entry on Yearning for Wonderland.
Otter becomes a Bard
All her life, Otter had wanted to be a bard. She knew that being a fishmonger was a good trade,   but she wanted to be a Bard, she wanted to sing and tell stories to enchant others.
Sometimes she would hide in the reeds of the riverbank and harmonise with the birds that lived alongside – they were not the greatest of songsters, the ducks, herons, woodpeckers and jays but they sat of an evening and made music for their own entertainment.
A bard, however, must know history – so Otter sat under the trees and listened to them talking, she dived into the river and let the water talk in her ears. Rather than just swimming through the water, she let it tell her of its life, the mountain snows where it had come from and the sea where it was going.

But the wise ones, the owls, clever creatures, all hooted with laughter and told her that bards were not fishmongers.
One night, the animals gathered together for the solstice, each to their own stone, in a circle, facing the centre where the moonlight shone and the Spirit made herself known. Something moved the otter to stand on her hind legs.  She sang – sang the song of her river, the trees who had stood for hundreds of years, the stones under which she made her holt.
 As she sang, each creature joined in, until all life offered up one song – birds, insects, mammals, the stones and trees, all of creation offered up one song of Solstice to the Spirit and a ribbon of multicoloured hue rose from the earth to the sky to tie them together. And in that moment the clouds covered the face of the Moon apart from one beam that shone on the otter to make a circlet on her head – the gold of a grateful Queen to her Bard.
Standing on her hind legs, her forepaws clasped to her chest and her eyes closed, the otter swayed to the music and knew that she WAS a bard.