#HolidayHop Barbara Silkstone

Click here to go blog hopping to more than 60 Holiday Hoppers...win prizes, enter contests and meet amazing indie authors...

Today I have the pleasure of Barbara Silkstone’s talented words on Dragonfly Scrolls.

Santa and the Super-Glue

By Barbara Silkstone

To:  Kit@DancingQueen.oops

From: Alice@Wonderland.oops

Kit,

Just a short note to let you know I arrived safely in London last night. The tube of super-glue you gave me in case I break a nail came in handy. No, not for me, my Christmas-red fingertips held up nicely even in the baggage claim at Gatwick which was as rowdy as the World Cup and nowhere near as polite. You are the best nail-tech / drag queen in Miami. I miss you already.

London looks like a precious Victorian Christmas card, all lights and smiling faces. The jingle of bells is a constant over the babble of tourists from around the world. Grinning like the Cheshire Cat, I walked to Harrods from my hotel this morning, certain I’d find some lovely gifts for all my friends back in the States. I promise NOT to bring home any English gentlemen for myself, no matter how much they look like John Cleese, but perhaps you’d like a Colin Firth look-a-like?

You are not going to believe what happened when I got to Harrods. I followed signs that offered a free gift to ladies who visited Santa in Ladies Lingerie. No, silly. He wasn’t wearing it. I stood in the queue waiting to sit on the skinny Santa’s lap. There was something familiar about his cockney accent. Just as it was my turn, which I can’t believe I even considered, Santa’s left ear popped out from his head. He yelped and pressed the ear to his white-wigged noggin. As the ladies in the queue gasped, his right ear jutted loose.

Remember that creep who testified against me in my trial? The one who committed perjury for theme park tickets? The guy whose ears swung away from his head like two open doors on a taxi when his super-glue gave way while he lied on the witness stand? Algy Green? He was the creepy Santa Claus! He didn’t recognize me but I sure recognized him behind his fake Santa beard.

Revenge is best served cold. I had a delicious bowl of Payback when the Algy – Santa squeaked “Super glue? Anyone got any?” I reached in my purse, took out my tube and pushed his head back. The bozo thought I was helping. Quick as a reindeer on a roof, I spritzed the glue over his lips and pushed his beard into place. I held it for a minute as I pretended to fuss with his Dumbo ears. He’ll be picking white cotton off his face until August. 

All in all my London shopping trip has been a jolly time filled with satisfaction and holiday cheer. Thanks to your super-glue it’s already been the best Christmas ever. See you on the 24th.

Love,

Alice

~

Alice Harte is the heroine of best selling ebook:

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters

Algy Green is one of the many villains who challenge her in this comedy mystery.

Available on Amazon Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BIGFSE/

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters  ~  Wendy and the Lost Boys  ~  London Broil ~ The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman.

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

Wendy and the Lost Boys topped the charts in comedy, climbing over Tina Fey, Sophie Kinsella and Ellen DeGeneres. The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters has been a consistent best seller in comedy. Both Wendy and Alice have been in the top 20 Amazon comedies at the same time. Silkstone has been fortunate enough to take part in writing workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker, and James Michener.

Barbara loves to hear from her readers. Her blog site is:

http://barbswire-ebooksandmore.blogspot.com/

Barbara Silkstone’s Books


The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters
Wendy and the Lost Boys
London Broil
The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman
Barb’s Wire-eBooks & More
A Moose Walked into a Bar
Thank you Barbara for that wonderful flash fiction. Alice’s adventures sound fantastic… It was a pleasure having you on Dragonfly Scrolls. Happy HolidayHop and Merry Christmas!

 Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch.Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you! 

#Creepfest ‘s Ash Krafton’s Christmas Terror

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour.

It’s scary 6th day…half way through the #Creepfest and that much closer to Christmas!

To scare you silly this 6th day of #Creepfest…I have the rare honour of the lovely Ash Krafton, dark poetess, author and blogger…She brings you “A Christmas Terror”

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#Creepfest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

A Christmas Terror

God damn ye, scary gentleman
I’m begging—go away
Remember when I saw you on the night ‘fore Christmas Day?
You slithered down my chimney
toward the tree where presents lay
No tidings of comfort or joy.

At first I’d thought Saint Nicholas
had come to visit me
I saw the fat pack on his back
and almost danced with glee
But then he turned—I saw the face
I wasn’t meant to see—
Where are tidings of comfort and joy?

The scarlet eyes that smoldered there
looked treacherous and cruel
They burned a hateful fire that
fed on demonic fuel
His teeth were long and vicious, dripping
incandescent drool
No tidings of comfort or joy.

I didn’t want his presents, didn’t
want to see that face
I shut my eyes in terror but my
mind would not erase
All images of Christmastime
were tragically replaced
No tidings of comfort and joy

He loosed the strings and tugged it open
I saw what’s inside
A group of children, bound and gagged
their wrists and ankles tied
He could have turned and seen me but
I’d run away to hide
Forget tidings of comfort and joy
None for this boy—
No more tidings of comfort or joy.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Ash’s Flash Fiction is the fifth entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the sixth offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this fifth story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, terrifying Ash Krafton out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

Hi, everyone. I’m Ash Krafton and, as you can see, I have the tendency to take the happy and innocent things in life and kind of ruin them just a little bit. I don’t think I ever intentionally set out to become a dark poet. That’s just where I ended up.

Maybe that’s why I ended up on the Naughty list. No matter how much good a person does, it’s the bad stuff everyone remembers. Santa is no different. Shoot, can he hold a grudge or what?

So maybe I dug up a lover’s corpse in The Vigil (Danse Macabre). Well, two, if you count The Downside of Undying Love (Lightning Flash). But I’m not all about reanimating corpses. Sometimes, I make them—like I did in So Long, Warren (Red Penny Papers)—but that time, I think I pled insanity.

Anyway, Santa’s a jerk who won’t remember all the nice things I’ve done because the naughty things were just too great to overlook.

My favorite villain in a classic fairy tale is Godfather Death in the tale of the same name. Although he is meant to be the adversary in the story, I can’t help but sympathize with him. Damn, those Grimms were twisted. They really knew how to tell a dark tale.

When it comes to A Christmas Carol, I’d definitely be Jacob Marley. It might be too late to save myself…but it won’t stop me from trying to save someone else. There is always hope for the living. We can change our ways. We can learn from another’s mistakes. I love what Jacob Marley represents.

He also gets the best light and sound effects in live productions. =)

If I were the Grinch, I’d leave a broken candy cane under the tree. There is nothing more depressing than a broken candy cane, especially if the cellophane is loose and the broken section hangs like a dislocated shoulder. *shudder*

All in all, I suppose I don’t get invited to many Christmas parties…but that’s okay. I’ve seen the true Spirit of Christmas and it’s not something I want to drink punch with.

Thanks, Kim, for being such a great hostess…and for giving me the chance to show off my Christmas Creepfest side. I’m also glad to share my own tidings of comfort and joy—for me, anyway—by announcing the upcoming release of my debut urban fantasy.

BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde by Pink Narcissus Press. Available March 2012

When shy advice columnist Sophie meets dark and alluring Marek, she learns life-changing secrets about them both—he’s a demivampire struggling to avoid evolution and she’s an empathic oracle destined to save him. Sophie possesses the rare ability to reduce the spiritual damage that causes a demivamp to Fall, making her the only thing to stand between a DV and his evolution into vampire. However, as Marek’s dangerous past propels him toward his desperate fate, his enemies make darker plans for him: once vampire, Marek would be second only to the Master himself. The vamps want to cause Marek’s Fall and they intend to use Sophie to do it.

As a special treat, I’ll give commenters on this post an extra chance to win a prize. Once you’ve entered to win on The Kraftmatic Adjustable Blog, leave a comment here and I’ll pick another lucky sonofagun. Easy, peasy, baby-squeezy and you’ve got two chances to win. (More if you’ve been stalking me. In a non-threatening manner, please.)

Good luck, everyone! Thanks for creeping by…

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Thank you for that frightfully scary Christmas Terror Ash. Oh I agree with you, loved those Grimm brothers. Give me the Brothers Grimm over Disney any day. Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas! 🙂

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucherThe runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#HolidayHop Kristy Carey’s “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”

Click here to go blog hopping to more than 60 Holiday Hoppers...win prizes, enter contests and meet amazing indie authors...
Christmas is all about realising the child in you, whether you are adult or child. It is about celebrating childlike ideals and believing in good things. This Hop I am dedicating to the land of our stories and fairytales re-imagined. The first person to take up the challenge of re-imagining a fairytale is the talented Kristy Carey – writer, blogger, and jewelry designer. Take a step back in time to the child within you as she spins “Beauty and the Beast” for us.
Beauty and The Beast come alive once again...

He looked into the mirror and saw only the beast he was, nothing else.  With a howl of rage, he picked it up and threw it across the room.  There was no way he could be loved…. He hadn’t been before and nothing would have changed him now.  That didn’t stop the longing in him.  This wasn’t a fable.  Not fairy god mother was about to pop up and make it all better.  Santa Clause wasn’t going to drop down the chimney with a gift to change it all… There was no wizard behind the curtain, with a bag of tricks.

No, he was trapped in this beastly form… With no chance of returning to the person he’d been before.

Moving to the long broken window, Tri looked out at the garden below, watching Calla as she walked through it.  He figured that she was dreaming of her home… Of a time before she’d ever heard or seen of this place.

With a sigh, he turned away and moved toward the door to call for one of his people, telling them to have dinner ready for them in the dining hall, rather then the small room they had been using before.  Since he planned on letting her go home tonight, he thought it best to offer her the best they had, before letting her return to the family she loved.

Inside his own head, the reflection in the mirror was that of a beast, large and snarling.  Fangs dripping, claws ready to rip into the tender flesh of the people around him.  A beast… A monster.  Tri didn’t understand the truth of his unique situation, he didn’t see just what others saw.  But then in truth, he didn’t care.  The beast was there, that part of him that could kill without caring.  It didn’t matter that he had to call it out, that right now… He looked like a 25 year old young man, with white and black hair and stunning, deep purple eyes.

Dinner progressed normally, even with her surprise at the formal nature of the meal.  She tried to engage him in conversation, tried to draw him out, as she’d tried so many times before.  But instead, he kept himself quiet and barely responded to them.  Even when he told her of her freedom, it was as few words as possible.

Calla watched him walk away and sighed softly.  She did want to go home and see her family, but there was a part of her that also wanted to stay and… Show Tri how she saw him.  He wasn’t the monster he thought he was… Even when she’d seen the other side of him, she’d seen that he was far from a monster.

But, it seemed her future was to be spent at home, away from him.  With another sight, Calla packed her things and was soon setting off for her home.

Weeks went by and Tri debated in his mind the choice of letting her go.  He wondered if she was happy, if her family was well… If she missed him.  Spending more and more time in his other form, the servants tended to stay away from him.

So it was, almost two months since she’d left, that movement was heard along the roadway to the large manor house.  Excitement rolled through the servants, hoping it was the young woman returning to them.  The sight that greeted them instead, was what looked like an army of villagers, marching toward them. The anger seemed to roll off them, directed at the house.

Just outside the gates, they demanded the master of the house be brought out to them.  Voices rose in anger at the seeming ‘monster’, that he was.  One man stood at the front, looking arrogantly about as if, he’d been the one to bring them all here.

Tired and lonely, Tri stepped out onto the balcony over looking the courtyard and stared down at the people.  The arrogant man yelled up, here is the master of the house… Here is the one we’re after.  But the people saw only a sad young man, not a monster.  They remembered the young woman, Calla, who had spoken so highly of the man and how he had cared for her, even as he’d held her here… And he had let her go.

Tri never saw Calla again.  The truth of who and what he was finally came to him and he took up his heritage.  The young woman searched for him, gathering tales of his passing, putting them all into a book, hoping they would lead her to them.  Two young brothers helped her as she grew older.

Wilhelm and Jacob never wrote of her story, choosing instead to carry on her work of gathering up stories, believing there was truth in them.

Tri – The Beast, is from a WIP story about the Ulfur Drykkur, my own version of the Werewolves.
Calla – Reprises her role in the retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  Look for her late next year in my novel ‘The Charming Line: Truth Behind The Fables’

Kristy Carey
~waves~ Hi all!!  I’m Kristy, your guest blogger for the day.  I’m almost 30, proud of my age and… Just starting to learn who I am.  Jobless, I’m in school online to get my BS in Business.  ^^  One year left!!!  I’m also a budding Graphic Designer, self taught and mostly doing jobs as they come up.  Its something I have fun doing.  Last year I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo, and am planning on ePublishing it in 2012.  The novel I worked on this year in November, I’m hoping to have out next December.  On top of attempting to get published, I’m also starting my own business as a jewelry designer.
Kristy's Jewellery

I’ve actually been removing a lot of my stories from the net, as I’m preparing to do some self publishing.  I am hoping to edit a few short LGTB stories I wrote a few years back, into a small gathering and publish those, just to get my feet wet.  All this, while finishing school, editing my novels, building my Jewelry Design business, and generally trying to stay a little sane.

Kristy's WIP - Her upcoming debut novel
Thank you Kristy for awakening the childlike spirit by re-imagining Beauty and the Beast…I look forward to more adventures with your Ulfur Drykkur and Calla. Happy HolidayHop & Merry Christmas!
Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here.  There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch. Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you!

#Creepfest ‘s Axel Howerton’s “Letter to SantyClaws”

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour.

It’s the 17th and the stretching out bloody hand tells us we are 5 days in, the blood is creeping through…Hope you have been hopping to all the above blogs…there is plenty tales of horror and freebie flash fiction as well as some great giveaways, sweepstakes and prizes…

Five days in...

Today I have the pleasure of the wicked hilarious man with a sharp tongue, the one and only Axel Howerton – lately of #CoffinHop 2011 fame…He spins some flash fiction for us that can only be pure “Axel” and tells me a little about his Christmas favourites…did you think he makes the naughty or the nice list? Find out here…

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#Creepfest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it. Max words: 200

“Who’s next Larry?” The booming voice echoes across the rooftops, the giant in his red suit struggling out of the chimney stack, blazenly ignoring every law of physics held dear by the most serious of men. When he finally wriggles free, like a fully-inflated beach ball magically erupting from the business-end of a wrapping paper tube, there’s a squishy “pop”, and a barely audible snicker from the midget standing next to the ornate wooden sleigh with the quad-thrust boosters and touch-screen GPS control panel.

“McGinty, Jimmy. 43, lives with his mom, owns a comic-shop…” Larry squeaks his words out like a mouse in heat.

“43? Jesus. Are you kidding me?”

“You know the rules, Boss Man. As long as they believe.”

The big red beast shakes snow from his long white beard and makes a long reach back to scratch at the expanse of red velvet covering his well-fed haunches.

“But 43. Why hasn’t his mother given him the damn “talk”. We can’t afford to be giving gifts to kids until they’re 50! 12… 13… max! Then we have a nice rollover that allows us to keep up with the… what is it now? 10 MILLION a year?”

“10, 964, 998.8”

Bushy white eyebrows rise as gleaming blue eyes narrow to slits.

“Point-eight?”

“Don’t ask.”

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Axel’s Flash Fiction is the fourth entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the fifth offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this third story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, twisted Axel Howerton out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

This may be a little gross for a happy-go-lucky Creepfest interview, but my poor, lovely, saint of a wife lives with 3 boys. SO I spend a lot of time cleaning in front of the toilet. Santa knows what I’m talking about. You hardly ever see girl elves in mainstream depictions of the North Pole… Who do you think cleans up after all those little buggers? It probably is not Mrs. Claus. Nick feels my pain. Ergo – always on the nice list. I could chop up a scientologist and feed them to a nun, I’d still be gold… You know, there’s a whole separate afterlife for janitors and plumbers. They get to sit in a big shiny white room that never gets dirty. They sit there and they eat ribs and drink whiskey and they watch Monk on the greatest HD TV in the Universe.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Let’s see, Rumpelstiltskin was a black-market human trafficker, the witches in Hansel & Gretel were cannibals, the Queen in Snow White was a Republican and the “evil” stepmother wasn’t evil, so much as a real buzz-kill. Soooooo… Grendel. I mean, he was just a giant BAMF berserker looking for his revenge on the men who tormented him out of religious bias. He’s minding his bidness, slaughtering townsfolk and sending half-eaten Viking warriors off to Valhalla, when that smarmy jag Beowulf shows up and rips his damn arm off… Where’s the respect?

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

Well, when we JibJab it, my kids always make me Bob Cratchit and, I suppose, he’d be who I would both most resemble and most relate to. I’m just a poor shmoe trying to afford the proverbial Christmas goose and a couple of lumps of coal. I’m happy and content with being in the middle. I don’t need to be the richest man in town, but neither will I let my kids go hungry or without Transformer KRE-O. Also, my boss is a dick.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

Zee Grinch cares about nosing, Lebowski! Zee Grinch leaves nossing. He comes from nossing and creates nossing! The Grinch is the personification of nihilism.

Axel Howerton

Axel Howerton is most often described – in order of import – as: Badass Dad. Attendant Hubby. Loverman. Author. Reviewer. Time Lord. Bookhouse Boy. Coffee Addict. Dudeist. Sox National. Enmascarado. Reformed pugilist. Ink Monkey.

His work has appeared in Dark Moon Digest, Dark Eclipse, Kitschykoo Magazine, Last Writes, My Good Eye, The Den of Iniquity, EyecraveDVD, and many more. Axel’s zombie novella Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy is available at most online retailers and his story “Hum” is featured in the anthology A Career Guide To Your Job In Hell, alongside the likes of Scott Phillips, Robert Vardeman and Victor Milan.

Click here to Buy Axel's novella...but read it with the lights on...

Axel spends most of his time braving the frigid tundra and rampaging sasquatch tribes of Canada – usually two steps behind his two brilliant young sons and a wife that is way out of his league. He is also currently hard at work on several new short stories, as well as putting the finishing touches on his crime/comedy novel, “Hot Sinatra”.

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Thanks Axel…As always your macabre wit had me in stitches – pun meant in the spirit of Creepfest. EEww…so glad I am a girl…yes you get to be on the “Nice” list for your good deeds in toilet hygiene. Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas! 😀

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucherThe runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#Creepfest ‘s Annetta Ribken “Naughty, Naughty… Santa”

Four days in and things are crashing against the door…

kim-creepfestlogo

Today I have the lovely Annetta Ribken … an author, editor and blogger who lives to weave webs of words together…

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#Creepfest’s Guest Author Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it.

Max words: 200

“What’s this?” asked Santa as he pulled out a stuffed doll from his magic bag. “I don’t remember this being on the list.” He placed the doll under the tree. “As a matter of fact, I though little Miss Maisy was on the naughty list this year.”

Thomas scratched his pointy ear and consulted his notes. “She is. This is a special request from Mrs. Claus.” He squinted. “Say, that doll looks a lot like…”

Santa took a closer look.

“Nah, can’t be. We broke off the affair a year ago.” His hand trembled as he reached for the doll to examine it further.

Thomas didn’t bother shouting a warning as he saw sharp, needle-like teeth erupt from the doll’s mouth and sink into Santa’s hand and chew up his arm. Thomas also didn’t bother to call 9-1-1 or mop up the blood; he simply made a check mark on his list and hurried back to the sleigh, grateful these days everything was automated.

Hey, an elf had to earn his Christmas bonus, right? And Mrs. Claus was very generous. Thomas was looking forward to assuming the big seat next year, although dolls with teeth were definitely off the list.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Netta’s Flash Fiction is the third entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the second offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this third story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, talented Annetta Ribken out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you

got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

Naughty and nice are a matter of perspective, don’t you think? That being said, I’m gonna opt for nice.

  1. I took in a shelter kitty this year.
  2. I gave blood.
  3. I didn’t kill any one of the 4,398 phucktards who crossed my path this year.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Rumplestiltskin. I think he gets a bad rap. He’s just a guy trying to make a living. He presents choices to people, and then is blamed when things don’t go exactly the way they’re expected. I think that’s unfair. Although Rumple is muy creepy and gives me nightmares. And I always wonder what the hell he has in mind for all these babies he seems to want. What is up with that??

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

I’d probably be the Ghost of Christmas Past. I have a baby face, and I think it’d be really cool to have light emanating from your head.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

I AM the Christmas Grinch. Heh. I’d leave beautifully wrapped boxes which are totally empty to remind people it’s not the THINGS that matter, but the spirit of giving and sharing. Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Author bio: Annetta has been writing since words were carved on stone tablets with chisels. Not only does she write her own words, Annetta is also an accomplished editor. She lives just outside of St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena.

Twitter me @netta50

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Annetta.Ribken

Blog: http://wordwebbing.com/

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3414795.Annetta_Ribken

My blog: Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 2 – Rollin’ in the Deep

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Thank you Netta… Your flash fiction was a very original spin on Santa’s visit. No scorn like Mrs Claus it seems…I must say I love Rumpelstiltskin too. Happy Creepfest and thanks for creeping by on my blog. 🙂

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.~~~~~~

    So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

    Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

    ~~~~~~


    I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher

The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…kim-talesforcanterbury(large)

#Creepfest Erik Gustafson & Santa’s full moon visit

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to the blog tour.

There are more creepy crawlies edging through the doorway…

Three days in...Nine days to go....

It’s the 15th, three days into #Creepfest and the creepiness is only beginning…

Today I have the creepy pleasure of Erik Gustafson…an author who specializes in Apparitions of Fear …Remember to hop over to his blog for more terror this #Creepfest!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#Creepfest Guest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it.
Max words: 200


Santa pulled hard on the reigns and the reindeer clomped to a stop on the asphalt parking lot in front of the mausoleum. The moon was a bright white circle staring down as the jolly man stepped off his sleigh. He stood in the quiet night and surveyed the rest of the cemetery around the ornate stone structure. Bells jingled on his ankles, wrists, and the end of his thick red stocking cap as he walked to the back of the sleigh where massive burlap bags were stacked. The sound of the bells echoed over the shadowy headstones lining the fields around him.
He cried his trademark cheer. “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
The grounds seemed to move and come alive as dirty, rotting hands reached up out of the ground. Santa strolled through the grass unloading his gift of brains he had collected the night before into their undead, clenching hands.
As he grabbed the final bag off his sleigh, one of the reindeer snorted as he skipped past it.
A tall stone door with angel carvings at the front of the mausoleum creaked open. Santa slung his sack over his shoulder and marched inside.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Erik’s Flash Fiction is the second entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the second offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this first story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, talented Erik Gustafson out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

I would be on the nice list I think. For one, I help people with disabilities all year long, I am great dad and I haven’t been convicted of any crimes this year!

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Ursula the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. She is cunning and evil, she knows exactly what people want and preys upon that weakness to steal their soul. Absolutely beautiful woman has charm and can sing! Plus who wouldn’t want a pair of electric eels as pets?

4) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

I would be Jacob Marley because it would be fun to come back from the dead and mess with people, and maybe try to convey a message or help someone too would be alright too I guess!

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

I would find the children’s list, get everything on the list and mangled, shred and smash each and every gift then place them neatly under the tree with bright bows on them.

Stop by my Amazon Author page athttp://amazon.com/author/erikgustafson and check one of my stories. My debut novel is Fall Leaves and the Black Dragon.

I also have several short stories including The Fishers, The Blood Knows, and My Lover, My Garden.
Follow me on Twitter at @Eriktiger

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you Erik. You chilled me with your flash fiction…bbbr..never going to look at Santa’s sack of gifts the same way now. I must say Jacob Marley is also a favourite of mine. You have to love those clinking chains and padlocks. Remind me not to invite your Grinch to my house 🙂 Happy Creepfest! ~ Kim

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. 

The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher

The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#Creepfest ‘s host Rebecca Treadway is “Not so nice”

Click on Poe's green bow tie to take you to the Creepfest home zone and read some great #Creepfest posts from the #Creepfest Authors/Bloggers.

It’s the 14th and you opened that creaking door!

Day 2 of #12DaysCreepfest

It’s Day 2 of 12 Decadent Days of Creepfest.

Today, in honour of the start of Creepfest, I have the pleasure of hosting

the Creepfest Host herself…none other than the wicked talents

of RL Treadway

This woman has mega talent as both an artist, author, blogger and social network guru.

So without further ado, I will give the space over to Rebecca.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#Creepfest Guest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin
on it. Max words: 200

Not So Nice

By RL.Treadway

“Who’s next on the list?”
“Tracy Hoffman.”
Santa eyeballed the palatial living room of spoiled Tracy Hoffman and
snorted.  “What could this rich kid possibly want from me this year?”
“Apparently a rare and I quote “Seventies Super Barbie”.
“Naughty or Nice?”
“Naughty.  Mom and Dad “forgot” to donate to the homeless shelter this year and Tracy said “More for me!”
“You don’t say?”  Santa put a hand on his hip and lay a finger to the side of his nose.
He set an elegant box beneath the tree with the clear plastic front forming a cathedral window around Seventies Super Barbie.  With a wink, the collectible transformed into a tired doll with grey hair, sagging breasts,
dropping eyes, and varicose veins marring spindly legs.
“I’ve seen real women that age in better shape.”  The Elf chortled.
Santa scratched the wall of the master living room, peeling away embroidered, imported wallpaper, sniffed the wall and satisfied – punched a hole in it.
The Elf plugged his nose at the odor of decay overwhelming the scent of pine.
“Oh lookie here, toxic mold.” Santa tossed his moldy glove into the fireplace, then snatched a cookie.
“Want one?”
“Thanks, Santa!”

**

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you got onto either the naughty or the nice list.

Rebecca: I’m on the nice list.

I refrained from beating up anyone who hassled me while I took a walk.
I held my tongue, which if you knew me – is rather difficult at times, when people turned unpleasant.
I helped out some street people a time or two with either money or food, or just talking to them like the people they are.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Rebecca: The wicked faerie in Sleeping Beauty.  Being overlooked like that was really mean and that was a wicked vendetta she slapped on their heads.  In the Disney version? I want Maleficent’s wardrobe and the ability to shape-shift into a Dragon!

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

Rebecca: The Ghost of Christmas yet to come.  I tend to be the one in the family reminding people they’re acting like jerks and a “look what’s going to happen to you” if you don’t shape up. :p Probably because I say it to myself all the time.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

Rebecca: The wrapping would be gold foil with a red velvet ribbon. Said gift shall be filled with dust-ridden feline furballs and shredded toilet paper.


So more about me…

I don’t have a novel available just yet.  Here’s the blurb. (I hate these so I went snarky!)

*******

Aside from working on a dark fantasy novel series coming in Spring 2012, Rebecca’s first venture into e-publishing was a testing of the waters.  At  Amazon you will find collections of anxiety ridden and angry poetry written in her early to late twenties, the result is the critically acclaimed with 4 and 5 stars  – by three people – Grotesque Mind Circus. Shortly thereafter, inspired by arguments overheard by her ghetto neighbors – she wrote a freestyle “poem” called The Little Book of F**k You with a soon to be re-released cover make-over.  It’s sequel, the Little Book of F**k You, too!  is in the first draft since the neighbors were evicted.  She’s the Art Director for the
small press publisher Angelic Knight Press and keeps company with snarky intellectuals.
She’s inspired by Michael Moorcock, Robert Howard, and Hong Kong Cinema.

RL Treadway ~ #Creepfest is her brainchild

Here’s the links to the two poems in question and my Author page.

www.amazon.com/Grotesque-Mind-Circus-ebook/dp/B004RCLVNC

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-You-ebook/dp/B004V121Z6

http://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Treadway/e/B004RXKLHS

Thanks, Kim!

/R

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks Rebecca…Great post and I had to love Santa’s evil payback on a spoilt brat 😀 Thank you too for taking the time to guest on my blog…I know how busy you are. And if I were Santa’s elf, you would definitely be on the NICE list. Happy Creepfest!

So just a reminder…Rebecca’s flash fiction “Not so Nice” is the first entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the second offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this first story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, talented Rebecca Treadway out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant). 

__________________________________

Now…What you readers have been waiting for?

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. 

The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher

The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others.

What’s that you say? Christmas? No it’s #Creepfest time!

Who’s there?

Knock Knock…Creak…Bump…Crash…

Careful…before you open that door…

I don’t think it’s Santa Claus nor Rudolf…

~It’s the Grinch, ghosts, gargoyles,vampires,zombies ….

and a whole creepy clutch of #Creepfest writers!~

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to the blog tour.

Today is Day One of the Blog tour...

So what’s going to be happening here on Wrestling the Muse…

I am going to post a creepy Christmas nightmare,

but only a little will be unveiled every day of the Creepfest…

There will also be some guest bloggers joining in with

their own creepy deliciousness of Creepfest…

It is a Christmas Creepfest which means that there will be Christmas gifts…

But

The Grinch is running this competition along with

the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present & Future, which means…

You will need to complete a few simple exercises

to be in the running to win these three prizes…


The guest bloggers participating on my blog have

each been given a challenge of a Creepmas flash fiction.

The best flash fiction will be chosen by YOU, yes that’s right YOU, reading this right now.

There will also be a challenge for you lovely readers to complete for the length of the tour.

But I will tell you a little more about your challenge tomorrow…

So there will be 3 winners:

A #Creepfest Author/Blogger

and

2 Readers

There will be prizes…

Winning Reader Prize 

E-book copy of Tales for Canterbury

+

$10 Amazon Gift Voucher

Runner up Reader Prize

$10 Amazon Gift Voucher

_______________

Winning #Creepfest Author/Blogger Prize

Print Copy of Tales for Canterbury

a surprise gift

For more info on Tales for Canterbury, click here…

This is an anthology of short stories you do not want to miss out on.

It has tales by Neil Gaiman, Jay Lake and 32 other incredible authors…

It also includes my debut short story, The Ring of Fire, a YA dystopian tale…

There are tales of zombies, other worlds but above all

all the stories are about survival in the face of danger or disaster.

__________________

Do you have what it takes?

Are you ready for the challenge?

Do you enjoy dark fiction, paranormal and stories

about things that go bump in the night?

Can you take 12 days of #Creepfest?

So make sure you stop by the blog tour home (by clicking on the Creepmas tree)

and make sure you get yourself to this blog and all the other #Creepfest Blogs

to win yourself a Creepmas Bounty of #Creepfest prizes…

Ooh It’s going to be a Creepy 12 days!

“It’s beginning to feel a lot like #Creepfest!”


Short,Sweet & To The Point

story

I have recently been stretching my narrative abilities through the medium of Short Story. This is a medium that I find very challenging. Not since High School have I really read or written any Short Stories. Last year at the RWNZ Writers’ Conference that I attended I specifically enrolled in a talk on the Short Story and on Novellas. Then this year I started looking at writing some Short Stories for competitions. This month though I am working on three Short Stories. One is for an anthology that I have been asked to contribute to. The other two are for writing competitions. So I thought today’s post would be focused on the Art Form of Short Story Writing.

What is the difference between a Short Story and a Novel?

A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the 20th and 21st century sense) and novels. (Wikipedia)

A short story is more concise and tight in writing than a novel. Unlike a novel where there may be a number of incidences leading to one climax; a short story usually contains one incidence.

A novel can have multiple plot lines, different settings and a variety of characters. A short story has one plot that covers a short time period in one setting and fewer characters.

A novel is very structured in the traditional 5 point structure: Plot; Exposition, Complication, Climax, Resolution and Anti-Climax. A short story on the other hand follows a much looser structure. You have a limited space to write in so often the beginning of the story is started abruptly and often in the middle of action. The Short Story still has a Climax/Crisis/Turning Point. The ending of a Short Story is abrupt and open sometimes having a moral turn to the story. Short Stories that follow a strong moral or ethical theme are called Parables or Fables.

Now we come to the Length of a Short Story. The classic definition of a Short Story dictates that it should be read in one sitting. When talking Word Count though there are varying definitions. Often the consensus is that a short story is between 7000 and 9000 words. Once a short story gets to a count of 15 000 – 20 000, it starts becoming a Novella. Stories with less than 1000 words are called Flash Fiction.

The History of The Short Story

Short Stories find their birth in oral story telling. All the ancient cultures of this world have a base in oral story telling. Stories that were told to one another to pass down truths and teach lessons. These stories were the fodder for early imaginations. As children short stories are the first stories we come to hear, read and love. Whether we call them Fairy Tales, Bedtime Stories or Fables; these are all Short Stories. Think of ghost stories you heard sitting around camp fires or the stories your parents told you to calm you when you woke from a nightmare. In contemporary times, magazines are filled with Short Stories. Radio brought another form of media to the art of Short Stories. Short pieces are pieces of fiction to wet our imaginative taste buds.

These are the points to write a successful Short Story:

  • Have a very clear theme but Beware of being Preachy
  • Have a very strong Protagonist with clear characteristics and antagonist and a maximum of 2 other characters should secondary characters be needed
  • Hook your readers with a powerful first paragraph
  • Immediately grab the reader’s attention with an action or a conflict point
  • Strong POV – Choose 1 point of view to write from
  • Stick to one tense: Either Past Tense or Present Tense
  • Decide if your Narrator is going to be subjective or objective
  • Write tight and meaningful dialogue
  • Be very concise in your setting: Include just enough detail to put your reader into the story but make sure your detail only adds to the story
  • Set up the plot very clearly before writing
  1. Beginning – Start with a situation of conflict
  2. Middle – Present the problems (Rising Action) that occur from this situation
  3. End – Solve the problem. Keep the reader’s suspense by revealing the final point as late as you can.
  • Create Conflict and Tension quickly
  • Build this Conflict/Tension to a Crisis Point/Climax
  • Find a Resolution by showing your character has learnt and will grow from the Conflict you threw them into
  • Use vivid imagery
  • Use your words like a man uses water in a desert: very sparingly and with clear intent

Below are authors that were successful at both the Art form of Short Stories and Novels:

Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Nathaniel Hawthorne, Virginia Woolf, Boleslaw Prus, Rudyard Kipling, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, P.G. Wodehouse, H.P. Lovecraft and Ernest Hemingway

Like with any medium of story telling you need to immerse yourself in Short Stories to be a successful Short Story Writer. Read Short Stories. Read some fairy tales or fables. Take note of what points the various authors use to make that Short Story a success.

What have I learnt from Short Stories?

I have found that dipping my pen back into Short Story telling is teaching me to be concise and to the point in my writing. It is teaching me the value of a gripping start to a story. It is teaching me to have a very clear POV. IT is also teaching me the essential tool of having FOCUS in a story. I have even been editing one of my full length novels with all the above points in mind. I think that the lessons from writing a short story translate perfectly into a Suspense / Thriller or Adventure story. Your words and sentences have to be short and sharp. You have to connect with the reader in a very immediate way that is very visceral in impact. This is definitely a medium of writing that I am going to continue to further hone my writing craft.

Have you written any Short Stories? What challenges did you face?

Stretch your creative muscle this week by writing a Short Story. You may just find that this Art Form teaches you essential points about writing that you have missed before now.

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning

Colouring outside the lines

left-brain-right-brain
Image by vaXzine via Flickr


I have spent a lot of time today contemplating this post. I knew that I had to come up with some fresh creative exercises. Unfortunately due to a bad case of hayfever, I had little to no sleep last night. Tired person = tired brain. So instead I went to my online creative clusters and trolled though the websites of writers and creatives on my favourites list. It resulted in a few surprising exercises coming to the foreground. Enough to do today’s post.

Strangely enough, I then got an email from one of my subscriptions about unlocking the potential of the right brain: the creative you or me. Intrigued I clicked through to the post and then read to the end. It fascinates me that in most articles about right brain vs left brain, all the writers, bloggers and experts tell us that the world we live in tell us to make the left brain more dominant.


Left Brain

Logical

Analytical

Realistic

Rule-Follower

Schedules

Lists


Right Brain

Intuitive

Impulsive

Risk Taker

Fantasy

Imagery

Visual


Above are just some of the differences between the right brain and left brain. We are told as children to stop day dreaming. We are told to focus. We are told to stop playing. We are told to never fail. We are told to follow all the rules. We are told to get our head out of the clouds and get back to reality.

Was this correct teaching? Or has all this pre-determined teaching instilled in us a dominance of reality and impaired us creatively. Cases could be made for both sides. But isn’t it uncanny how a child can believe that there is a mouse or a fairy that comes to collect children’s lost teeth at night. Yet as adults every time we catch ourselves slipping into a day-dream, we mentally tell our minds off and remind ourselves “that will never happen, it’s impossible or just a fantasy”.

A lot of articles on the net are trying to explore the “unlocking” of the right brain. Why you may ask? Isn’t it better to live a life based in only what’s probable then dream the impossible and maybe set our hopes too high? You might think it is. I don’t think it is. I think it is vital to dream impossible dreams and hold them as goals before you. Unfortunately to be a creative individual means, by society’s benchmark anyway, that we fall into that latter group. The dreamers. The fantasists. The day-dreamers. The hippies. The arty-fartys. The unstable ones. The emotional ones. Any of these labels have and will be used towards you if you fall into a creative group. Are you fearful of those labels?

So you are a writer, an artist, a photographer, a painter, a sculptor, a musician, any and all of the previous labels: So then you have the right brain unlocked then just by being focused on the creative. Right? No. The answer is that though you are a creative person (let me just use the term “artist” for all creatives from now on) you live in a left brain dominated world. How do I know that? How many times have you had raised eyebrows as a response when someone has asked you what you do and you have told them? Or maybe you have not even got the courage to voice what you do or who you are. Just because you maybe do an office job for 40 hours a week and work creatively all the other time that you are not sleeping does not make you any less of an artist. So let’s get that out-of-the-way! Say it now. We will practice:

What do you do? (Picture a bland face looking at you waiting for the answer)

Now, don’t think, don’t hesisitate:

Answer: I am a ______________. (Fill in the blank with writer, artist, painter, sculptor,photographer,graphic book author,cartoonist,musician.)

Now pat yourself on the back. Was that the first time you said it aloud? Be proud of yourself, admitting it is the first step to success and authenticity.

So are there exercises or tools we can use to unlock the right brain in ourselves? Is there a way to allow ourselves to colour outside the lines of society’s “normal and accepted” which hardly ever included creativity unleashed? Well I have spent the afternoon researching this for both myself and for this post. Here is what I came up with:

LaTeral ThiNking

This is a process that allows you to see things in a different way and to express them uniquely. So for this week, the lateral thinking exercises are:

  • Spend an evening doing some riddles.
  • Go and get yourself some 3d pictures and practice 3d watching.

Here are some riddles to start out on. Think about them and if you think you have them figured out, type your answer in the comments. I will post some clues throughout the week. Next week Monday I will post the answers to these riddles.

Riddle # 1: A man lives on the seventeenth floor of an
apartment building. Every morning he takes
the lift down to the ground. In the evening he
goes into the lift and if it is raining he goes
directly back to the seventeenth floor.
Otherwise he goes to the tenth floor and
climbs up seven flights of stairs.

Riddle #2: A man walks into a bar and asks for water.
The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at
him. The man says, “Thank you,” and walks
out.

Riddle #3: A landlord is threatening to evict a father

and his beautiful young daughter, unless she

agrees to marry him. There are a lot of

witnesses and in a false gesture of sincerity,

he offers her an opportunity to remain in the

house without marrying him. He has a silk

bag in which he says he has placed a white

and a black stone from the footpath on which

they’re standing. If she picks the white stone

from the bag, then she wins; if she picks the

black, she loses. However, the young girl saw

him place two black stones in the bag. She

can’t accuse him of cheating, because he

would say that his good question was called

into question and storm off without showing

the bag. How does the clever girl win?


Riddle #4: A man is alone on an island with no food

and no water, yet he does not fear for his life.


Riddle #5: A man managed to visit over thirty foreign

countries without his passport. He was

welcomed in each country and left each one of

his own accord. He did this in one day.

Puzzle # 1 Look at the below words for a while. Say them in your mind. Now repeat them out aloud. Did you get all the words correct?

Green

Red

Blue

Pink

Orange

Purple

Black

Writing Exercise #1 What’s another word for it?

Each day of the week, pick a word  and play with it.

Monday: Begin with the word creative. Intially think of as
many words that come to mine when you focus on the
word. Then take each of those and visit a thesaurus
and see how many words you can generate or find in 15
to 30 minutes. Review the words when your time has
ended. What did you discover that was new to you?
What patterns do you find?

Tuesday: Begin with the word dull. Do the same as above.

Wednesday: Pick up a newspaper and randomly pick 6 words and do
the same thing as you did with creative and dull.

Thursday: Listen to a radio for 5 to 10 minutes and list words
you hear randomly. Then pick 6 of them and do the
same thing.

Friday: Look at billboards or other forms of environmental
communication and choose 6 and use the same process.

What did you discover over the week?
Did you control your thougths or were they directed
randomly or intuitively?

Writing Exercise #2 Cliche stretching – I have listed cliches here. The exercise is simple using only these cliches, write a piece of flash fiction or a story plot.

a bad scene
add insult to injury
agree to disagree
all things considered
all too soon
along these lines
ample opportunity
armed to the teeth
as a matter of fact
at a loss for words
at one fell swoop
avoid it like the plague
awaiting further orders
 

back at the ranch
back to the drawing board
bated breath
beginning of the end
before you know it
benefit of the doubt
best-laid plans
better late than never
better left unsaid
beyond the shadow of a doubt
bite the bullet
bitter end
bone of contention
bottom line
budding genius
burning question
busy as a bee
by leaps and bounds
by the same token

calm before the storm
call of the wild
casual encounter
chain reaction
charged with emotion
checkered past
cherished belief
circumstances beyond my control
clear as crystal
come full circle
contents noted
cool as a cucumber
curiously enough
cut a long story short
cut down in his prime

days are numbered
dead as a doornail
deafening crash
depths of despair
diamond in the rough
dig in your heels
do not hesitate to
drastic action
due consideration

each and every
easier said than done
eat, drink, and be merry
eminently successful
engage in conversation
epic struggle
even tenor
exception that proves the rule
existing conditions
express one’s appreciation

fall on bad times
fall on deaf ears
far and wide
far be it from me
fateful day
fate worse than death
feel free to
feel vulnerable
festive occasion
few and far between
final analysis
finishing touches
fit as a fiddle
food for thought
fools rush in
foregone conclusion
foul play
from the sublime to the ridiculous

generation gap
give the green light to
go down the drain
goes without saying
good team player
grave concern
green with envy
grim reaper
grind to a halt

hands across the sea
happy pair
hastily summoned
have the privilege
heartfelt thanks
heart of the matter
heart’s desire
heated argument
heave a sigh of relief
herculean efforts
hook, line, and sinker
hook or crook
hope for the future
hot pursuit
hunker down

ignorance is bliss
ill-fated
immeasurably superior
in close proximity
infinite capacity
innocent bystander
in no uncertain terms
in our midst
in reference to
in short supply
in the limelight
in the nick of time
in the same boat with
in the twinkling of an eye
in this day and age
into full swing
irony of fate
irreplaceable loss
it dawned on me

keep options open

labor of love
lashed out at
last analysis
last but not least
last-ditch effort
leaps and bounds

leave no stone unturned
leaves much to be desired
leave up in the air
lend a helping hand
let well enough alone
line of least resistance
little woman
lit up like a Christmas tree
live and let live
lock, stock, and barrel
long arm of the law
look before you leap
 

marked contrast
matter of life and death
mecca for travelers
method to his madness
milk of human kindness
miraculous escape
moment of truth
momentous occasion
monumental traffic jam
moot point
more than meets the eye
more the merrier
motley crew

narrow escape
nearest and dearest
needs no introduction
never a dull moment
never before in the history of
nipped in the bud
no sooner said than done

one and the same
ongoing dialogue
on more than one occasion
open secret
order out of chaos
other things being equal
outer directed
overwhelming odds
own worst enemy

pales in comparison
paralyzed with fright
paramount importance
pay the piper
peer group
pet peeve
pick and choose
pie in the sky
pinpoint the cause
pipe dream
place in the sun
play hardball
play it by ear
poor but honest
powder keg
powers that be
pros and cons
proud heritage
proud possessor
pull one’s weight

rack and ruin
ravishing beauty
red-letter day
regrettable incident
reigns supreme
reliable source
remedy the situation
right on
ripe old age
round of applause

sadder but wiser
saw the light of day
scathing sarcasm
sea of faces
seat of learning
second to none
select few
selling like hotcakes
shattering effect
shift into high gear
shot in the arm
sigh of relief
silence broken only by
silhouetted against the sky
simple life
skeleton in the closet
snug as a bug in the rug
social amenities
spectacular event
spirited debate
stick out like a sore thumb
stick to one’s guns
straight and narrow path
structure one’s day
such is life
superhuman effort
supreme sacrifice
sweat of his brow
sweeping changes
sweet sixteen

take the bull by the horns
telling effect
terror stricken
thanking you in advance
there’s the rub
this day and age
those present
throw a monkey wrench
throw a party
throw caution to the wind
tie that binds
time of one’s life
tongue in cheek
too funny for words
too numerous to mention
tough it out
tower of strength
trials and tribulations
trust implicitly

uncharted seas
unprecedented situation
untimely end
untiring efforts

vale of tears
vanish into thin air

watery grave
wax eloquent/poetic
weaker sex
wear and tear
whirlwind tour
wide open spaces
words fail to express
word to the wise
wrought havoc

So I hope your Mental Muscles are feeling stretched. This week is all about refocusing our right brain and allowing yourself to colour outside the lines and for that to be ok.

All of these exercises were found on various lateral thinking and creativity sites. I take no credit for them, only for sharing them as tools and exercises that I have found handy today.

Enjoy colouring outside the lines this week.