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: Conor A

This entry is by Conor A (@ConorDA) on Twitter. Go to Once Upon a Time: Ready Set GO! for further details on entering this contest.


“So, (belch), so that’s it?  Hmmmm?”  Leaning in with intent, Hank stared with one eye wide and protruding, the other in a sort of confused squint, trying to coax a response from Bronson, currently distracted by the nutshells he flicked lethargically across the bar as the days events traced themselves across his vision once more.  Four weeks suspension, with pay for two.  How would he explain this to Rose?  Not that she hadn’t seen it on the news already, or heard about it in texts of hysterics from the other constables’ housewives.
“So we take our eye offa his Lordship Dumpty… for FIVE seconds, and he… he falls on his arse quicker than our Bertha af’er a ni’ on the piss.”  Hank wiped away the excess beer from his face, his words beginning to trail like the stain drawing itself across his sleeve.  
“Five seconds”, Bronson echoed.  “How did he not jump that wall? It was two feet, hardly a bloody obelisk now, was it?”
“Nothing”, Bronson sighed. “Finish your pint, bar’s closing”, pointing at the clock.
The innkeeper rang for last orders.  An inebriated smile stretched itself across Hank’s face.
“That’s wha’ I like about you, Bron-boy”, Hank flinging a friendly, albeit sweaty arm, across Bronson’s shoulders. “Ed-ya-cated, never… never shy to face up to anyone.  Eh?  Eh? Inspector King, he near had a heart attack when you tol’ him what happen, haha!  You see the look on ‘is face!?”
“I did, yeah”, replied Bronson, wanting to subdue the show-reel in his head.  A broken ankle.  Fractured wrist.  Fractured cheekbone. Cracked elbow.  What puzzled Bronson was how a man could inflict so much damage on himself from one measly fall.
“Still”, Hank raised a hand, calling for last pint of ale, “boy shoulda kept his glasses on, keep ‘is eyes front.  Lords, eh?  Wassa point?  Fat men with no sense, I say.  (burp) What kinda name is Dumpty, anyhow?”

Bronson remained drooped over his beer, listening wearily to the last few chairs being placed on the tables as the evening drew to a close.

Artwork by Jo Bradney

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 (

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

Photography and Cover Design By: Anna Howard (

Becca’s Author Blog:

Becca’s Facebook Page:

Becca’s Goodreads Author Profile:

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.

The Fairy Ring Writing Contest Submission – Mark Blackmore

This entry courtesy of Mark Blackmore (formerly @profquigley) now @mrmarkblackmore who entered this contest under great duress. Thanks Mark!

Unofficial Briefing
by Mark Blackmore
Well sir, PC Stein and myself were first on the scene in Hyde Park. This was at 8.45pm, as it was beginning to get dark. On arrival at the wooded area next to the Serpentine, we ushered back a crowd of approximately 60 people who had gathered to view the disturbance.
I would describe it as a settlement of some sort, though no dwellings were immediately apparent. The trees were illuminated … no sir, I was unable to make out any actual light source. PC Stein also failed to discern any reason that the trees were glowing, sir, and would say so if he were still here.

There were several individuals milling around. I would characterise them as hippies, due to their long hair and mode of dress, which included fairy wings. They appeared to vary greatly in size and the smallest ones gave the impression of hovering in mid-air. I assume the unnatural light caused tricks of perspective, and they were simply very far away.
I attempted to ascertain whether the required permissions for a display in a public park had been obtained, and was approached by two individuals wearing fake ears. On being questioned they identified themselves as Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of Faerie. They were unnaturally beautiful sir, and possessed an inner radiance that will haunt my dreams.
Yes sir. Sorry sir.
PC Stein responded “Is that right? And I’m Bottom, but I’ve left my donkey head at home.” No sir, this just confused me. I’m more of a Dan Brown man. It was at this point that the bolt of lightning struck PC Stein, and he disappeared. Yes sir, it was of course a coincidence, though I’m just wondering if the next lads we send in might wear rubber-soled shoes?