Monday 19 February 2018

WEP entry - In Too Deep - a #flashfiction of #floods in #outbackAustralia.

It's time for the Write...Edit...Publish (WEP) February challenge. 

Some suggestions by the WEP team: 

In Too Deep is a prompt for any situation with the potential forunforeseen conflict. Or it could be literal – a flood, a hurricane, a mining disaster, you name it. As always, the badge depicts how wide open the subject is. There are a million possible takes.

I've gone with a literal interpretation of the In Too Deep prompt. All I could see was water swirling, having been moved by news reports of flooding globally in the past months, followed by landslides, mudslides, with tragic consequences. So, here's mine...

In Too Deep

Sunny’s heart pounded in time to the steady drumbeat on the roof. Rain didn’t usually scare her, but tonight the sound unnerved her... just a little.

The whispers of wet leaves blowing on the wind had became a roaring as the galvanized roof took a pummeling. If she allowed herself to turn fanciful, she could imagine a jack-booted army running across the corrugated iron.

Enough of that. She must think about Matt. She wished she’d not been so abrupt when he’d rung earlier and shouted down the phone at her.

“Sunny, get out of the house – now!” 

"Don't be silly! I’ve lived in the country all my life. You’re just a city slicker, and a British one at that." What would he know?

"Just leave, I beg you!"

“Listen, Matt, I’m not leaving my home for some itty-bitty water. I’ve been through worse. And look, no matter how bad the rain’s been in the past, this house has never flooded. When Mum and Pop lived here, it came close just that one time, but never too close. Relax. It’d have to be the flood of the century for our home to be inundated.”

“Don’t be infantile, Sunny. You can’t control nature. With climate change, nothing is simple any more. We’re going from one extreme weather event to the next.”

“Oh, pfft. You sound like some mad scientist with your doomsday theories. I’m a positive person. Nothing bad will happen.”

“Why do you always have to play that glass-half-full card? I might be in London, but they do have breaking news here. This flood is looking grim, according to the BBC. I’ve done the math. Our house will be metres under before the night is through!”

London seemed so far away. It was far away. And it rained every time she set foot in the place. Why should they be concerned about a littl precipitation in Oz? “Darling, you’re such a worry wart. I know it goes with the territory. I love that about you. It’s nice of you to be so concerned, but last time I went outside, the river was way down. The weather reports never get it right. Always sensationalism. They get off on scaring people.”

“You should be scared. You’re so stubborn. Does that go with the territory?”

Best not to answer that.

Matt continued: “If you won’t leave, I’m sending Josh over to drag you out.”

“Don’t waste your time, darling. Josh’s already been. He was very persuasive, but I told him I was staying. I’m a big girl.” She certainly was that.

“I love you Sunny. I can’t live without you. Leave for me and that little one if you won’t do it for yourself.”

Matt continued his cautionary tale, but she hadn’t listened.

After hanging up, she nodded off at the kitchen table, lulled by the wind and rain.

Hours had passed by the time she jerked awake. She struggled to her feet and walked to the window. OhMyGod! The river had broken its banks. Her house was surrounded with murky, swirling, murderous-looking water.  She jumped back in fright. A log shot into the air, narrowly missing her window.

The enemy was at the door. What could she do?

Sunny pottered around the kitchen fixing a snack, singing on top of her voice – singing away the water – anything to keep her mind off the now raging beast which was coming for her. She stayed away from the windows. They might shatter. No one to stitch up a cut for kilometers.

 In the gathering gloom, she could just make out palm trees straining, fronds bashing the sodden grass in long wet trails. She sat back down at the kitchen table, rubbed her stomach, singing softly, praying for the water to go down. Or the rain to stop.

She shivered in the icy coolness. She pulled her parka over her jeans, leaving it unzipped. Uneaten snack pushed aside, she huddled in her chair, alert to the river sounds.

“Matt, my darling, I love you,” she whispered, “I’m sorry.”

Crack! A eucalyptus tree speared her kitchen window – shattered shards of skittering glass pinged onto the tiles, narrowly missing her legs. Rain poured in through the jagged hole.

“Help me God.” She clutched her stomach, cradling its mound, waiting for something to happen.

The phone... again...loud, shrill, insistent.

“Sunny!” Josh shouted down the line. “Get the ladder and climb into the roof! I’m coming!”

The phone dropped from her freezing fingers. Water crashed through the kitchen door and sucked and swirled around her sopping feet.

She was tough. But she was in too deep this time. She lived in outback Australia. She’d overcome adversity many times – bushfires, drought... and now... unusually, floods. A once-in-one-hundred-years event. 

But she’d survive this. She had to – for Matt and their baby.

She set up the ladder.

She had a foot on the bottom rung when the first pain struck.

WORDS: 800+


If you have an extract from a WIP, photos, a true story, or a flash fiction swirling in your head, please feel welcome to write for us! We're simply lovely!

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Wednesday 7 February 2018

#IWSG post - Why I write what I write.

Hi everyone!

It's our favorite time of the month again. Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh, we have the IWSG, ably assisted by an awesome team of writers/bloggers and monthly helpers. This month, helping are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! Try to visit each if you can.

I'm so pleased you rushed over to read my post, but it'd be really lovely once you finish if you'd CLICK on the badge and read some more entries.

February 7 question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I belong to several Facebook writers' groups, and a thread was begun on one recently around whether you should write what you like because you love it, or whether you should write what's hot, what sells, what the market wants.

Okay, we could get on our writer professional high horses and say, what??? Surely all writers write what they want, but, according to this group who like to make a ****load of money from the pen, they study the market, study their own books, to see what's selling and what isn't. There's all sorts of detailed ruminations about choices which made my eyes water and my brain shut down, but I see their point.

F Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote commercially to make enough money to keep he and his wife, the famous Zelda, living the high life, but always, whether in a villa in the South of France or an apartment in Paris, he was working on the novels he wanted to write. We remember him for The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise and other greats; we don't remember him for his commercial work for newspapers and magazines, but he totally had a right to make enough to eat and drink and party hard. How else could he have written The Great Gatsby where Jay Gatsby is supposedly him?

So, why do I, Denise Covey, write what I write?

Most people who know me know I love Paris but not so much that I love Italy, too.

I adore reading novels (and travel articles and non fiction books and coffee table books and old documents and old postcards and drink coasters and placemats) set in Paris, so as I'm such a fan, I've either written, or partially written, two novels set in that fair city along with a ton of short stories. It's a joy and gives me an excuse to go back often to check the details.

Hey, that's how I knew that the love locks that were removed from the Pont des Arts had

been moved to Pont Neuf, the next bridge. Paris without love locks? Pfft. Read my short story here which showcases the locks. That's great work if you can get it. And who knows, I might actually sell a book or two set in Paris one day.

So look out for An American in Paris (still with Avon) and Le Petite Paris Cookery School under construction. Both I adore.

And I also adore Italy, which always speaks to my dark side while Paris speaks more to my frivolous side, or something. I imagine all sorts of weird stuff happening in those dark Italian forests and mountains. Which is why I write Paranormal Romance. Starting with a short story I began in 2010!!! I actually self-published my first completed paranormal novella in, ahem, what was it? 2015 I think. I let it sink without trace, always planning to rewrite it to the MARKET. Which I'm now doing. It's now a 27,000 word novella under critique with my awesome 'critters' after having been edited by a pro.

The cover will have shades of this quick mock up...

With apologies to my cover artist who is reading this post. 

So look out for Vampire Obsession (which first appeared as Under the Tuscan Sun) coming to a kindle near you! I'm really going to finish it within the next 2 years, LOL. Actually, I've set myself an April deadline.

So, that is a little about why I write what I write. Then there's the travel articles and short stories that occasionally put some money into my bank account. That's commercial, right.

Look, I don't know if I got off topic, but we're all good at skim reading, so I hope you saw something in this post. It'd be pretty hard for a writer to write completely to the market. You've got to have something to feed the soul.

  • How about you? What do you think about writing commercially?
  • Why do you write what you write? Do tell....
Thanks for coming by. I do appreciate your time. I'll be over to say hello as soon as I can.

And you can't help noticing that WEP has their new challenge up. See the sign up in my sidebar? Please sign up and let us read your stories. If you go to the site, you'll see we have a new look for a new year!