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Used under Creative Commons Author: Richard Bartz
_ I hear the song of a silent butterfly
A song of solitude
Like the awesome symphonic tones
Of a lonely violin
I see the beauty of the invisible wind
On which the butterfly roams
It carries him where he wishes to go
Then brings him back again
I taste the sweet flavorless water
Which makes the flowers grow
They give the butterfly perfumed nectar
We haven't time to smell
I hear the laugh of the silent butterfly
A song of scoff and mocking
For in his flight of solitude
Lies freedom eternal.

 
_Discovery
by Wakefield Mahon

Dale volunteered for the survey just to get out of the bunker. Her containment suit was already thick with the acrid smell of her sweat. Radiation levels had fallen to nonlethal levels, but standard protocol erred on the side of caution. Still, it was a relief from the claustrophobia of the warrens where most of the survivors from the Atlantic seaboard had gathered.

She ambled in the rust colored daylight across the desolate slopes. It had been so for centuries, but it had not always been so. At least that’s what her grandfather told her. Before the ice age, before the Great War, this had been a beautiful valley. Centuries of surveys had collected anything and everything that was useful for maintaining the warrens.

She hadn’t been southwest for a while and she wanted to see the interesting rock formation she’d found a few years back. She’d nearly made it to the site when a sandstorm kicked up. Repairing a tear in the suit could take hours so Dale hid behind a large rock until it passed humming an ancient song to herself.

The break in the storm brought with it another rare delight. A ray of sunlight broke through the clouds. Out of curiosity, she hurried to see the place the light touched the ground.

Dale could hardly contain her excitement when she tapped her radio “Control?”

“What’s up Dale, are you okay?”

“Yeah, but you’re not going to believe this!”

“What?”

“I think I found a living plant!”

Stop by http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com to check out the other great stories!
 
__I promised that we would start talking about how to get that beautiful story of yours into the right hands in the New Year.  Before we get into that, I would like to mention what you should have been doing before you even started writing and that is reading.

What you should read depends on what type of writer you want to be.

First, you should read what you like and lots of it.  You are not reading to learn how to write like Tolstoy, Faulkner, or Twain but to learn what type of writing to which you respond and to make you better at writing like you.

When you are ready to tackle the professional markets, you need to find out what they are buying.  For short fiction markets, many publishers make their stories available at no cost.
http://www.dailysciencefiction.com
http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com
Other markets offer a sample, which can still give you an idea of the feel and style the publishers are looking for
http://www.asimovs.com
http://www.themysteryplace.com/ahmm/

This is only a small sample, but it will help you get an idea of the quality of writing that publisher’s are expecting from authors.

Entering and reading the stories from motivational competitions, like Motivation Mondays can be very helpful.  Bear in mind that these are usually unedited or casually edited drafts.  Most editor’s expect perfection, and whether your grammar and punctuation are perfect or not, they expect you to knock their socks off.

Be awesome!  And keep writing my friends!
 
_Siobhan Muir invited me to judge this week's ThursThreads Flash Fiction competition as such my entry was ineligble but I was inspired to write  this story

_ Ultimate Redemption

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_I was the accuser, the breaker of wills. When I saw the creatures he created, I hated them at once. How could I ever bow before such a fragile mortal? I set out to prove that the men were unworthy. I thought I might prove myself, even exalt myself above the throne but he brought me low and cast down to this miserable rock. After 4000 years, I realized the error of my ways. I went to the king begging forgiveness. He said I could return but only if I humbled myself completely before his creation. And so I was born in a stable among the livestock into the household of a carpenter and his wife. I was given all the power of the king and tried to lead men to him. In the end they mocked me, beat me and nailed me up on a tree. For three days I lay in the pit, afraid that I had failed and would never see the throne room again, but the King took me by my hand and drew me out.
“Now I will call you Son,” He said.
So now I who was your accuser, became your advocate and now stand as your judge.
Those who still trust only in themselves, lifting themselves above the throne, will be cast in to the pit. Then the damned will envy my conversion.

_ [This is fiction, not a statement of my beliefs, but as a small child I did always think it was sad that the devil had no chance at redemption.]
 
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Photo by sannse
_Snow is falling and turning to rain
Just like it did that June wedding day
Reminding me still, as it did back then
Of my deepest love and my oldest friend
And I remember

I think of the scarves adorning your neck
That sweet milky nape I'll never forget
Eyes that I knew I would see all my life
Somehow I hoped they'd belong to my wife
Still, I remember

I remember every time we danced
Holding you while I still had the chance
Sharing your hopes, all your dreams and your fears
You found, in my shoulder, room for your tears
Yes, I remember

And if, today, you gave me your heart
Promised we never again would part
Or if you see fit to cast me away
And I never see you after this day
I will remember 


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This week's winner of the 100 word challenge was my good friend Cara Michaels.  You can see her winning entry on the contest website. My entry is presented here for your viewing enjoyment.  It received an honorable mention this week, so a big thanks to Amelia James aka @TrashyWriter
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_
“There’s nothing quite like a baking snickerdoodles to warm your spirits on a cold winter’s day.”
David wrapped his arms around Laura. “Oh I think I can think of another thing or two that might help; we have been waiting for six months now.”
“And we can wait a few more until the wedding.” Laura smiled.
“Are you sure?” David grinned. He gently kissed Laura’s neck while tracing his fingers up her arms leaving a trail of goose bumps.
“Oh David! It’s time!” Laura gasped.
“That’s what I’m talking about!”
“No, I mean the cookies, they are going to burn.”

100 words
@WakefieldMahon


 
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_ It wasn’t the tree that my little brother wanted, but it was better than last year when Mom spray-painted a tumbleweed with gold paint.

Marcus still felt the need to complain.  “One present each?  This is the worst Christmas ever!”

I smacked the back of his head.  She worked so hard since dad left; I prayed that she didn’t hear Marcus.

I opened my present, Air Jordan and ran to give her a hug.  “How could you afford this?”

“Magic,” she said with a grin.

Flakes fell outside the window behind her.

“Snow in El Paso?  It must be magic!”


 
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_  “She’s beautiful,” Tommy said.

“I never thought I would actually see an angel.” Mike rubbed his eyes.

The wispy pale blue woman drifted up the stairs towards the young men.

“Maybe she’s a blue fairy,” Tommy offered.

“There’s no such thing as fairies.”

“I don’t know Mike.  That’s not what your boyfriend told me.”

Tommy punched Mike in the arm.  “Shut up Moron.”

“Tommy?”

“Whoa dude she knows your name!”

“Thomas Allen Wright, how many times do I have to tell you not to smoke that crap in my house; and put your father’s black light away!”

“Alright, sorry mom.”


 
Siobhan Muir has a fantastic new Flash Fiction challenge that will run on Thursdays.  Visit http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com for more information.  Here is my first entry to the contest.
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_ “I still don’t understand what you are trying to tell me,” Sarah said.

Professor Mason Goldberg pushed Sarah’s wheelchair into her apartment.  “It’s not like I’m speaking Greek,” he said.  “On the other hand maybe that would make it clearer to you if I did.” The last sentence Mason spoke in Greek.

“How would it make it clearer if I don’t understand Greek?”

“You understood what I just said didn’t you?”

“You were speaking English, of course I understand you.”

“I guess you would perceive it that way.”  Mason started rolling Sarah’s wheelchair toward the window.  “I hate to go to extremes but it’s important that you understand.”

“What are you doing?  Are you crazy?”

“Probably, but I’ll prove my point.”  Mason picked up speed and crashed through the window at full speed.

Sarah screamed and turned to wrap her arms around Mason as the chair fell to the ground and shattered… three stories below.  Sarah opened her eyes and saw that they were hovering ten feet away from the window.  “That’s impossible.  How are you doing this?”

“I’m not doing this; you are,” Mason said.  “I already told you. Contrary to popular belief, angels come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of wings.”

 
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_The moon rose to its apex as Larry drove up to the lodge.

“It’s about time you got here!” A stout man stood with his arms crossed.
“Oh Chuck you are such a bear.” The lithe woman grinned as she stroked his beard.
“And you are an annoying bitch,” Chuck replied.
“Who’s a bitch?”
“Not you Darlene, I was referring to cat woman over here.”
Darlene grinned, ignoring Catherine’s irritated hiss. “So what’s with the pig, Larry?
“Oh the jeep? It’s a rental.”
“You are a dude right?” Chuck’s deep laugh unnerved Larry.
“I didn’t ask for a pink jeep it’s all they had left,” Larry said.
Darlene nodded at the jeep, “If you intend to be president you need to keep your ducks in a row.”
Larry shrugged. “Your point is taken. Anyway let me open the door and we’ll get started.”
“So you own this place?” Catherine asked as they walked inside.
“Yeah, why?”
Darlene rolled her eyes. “Well you do have to admit, Larry. It is a little bit ironic that you own a former Moose lodge.”
Larry shrugged. “Whatever, it’s time to start. Let us now convene the first council of the moon. Good evening werefriends.”

_