Quarterlife+


Sheena the Sour Salesgirl (contest entry)

Posted in Writing by Ashley Franklin on February 8, 2016
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It’s that time again! Susanna Leonard Hill is having another holiday contest.  For the First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Contest, your Valentine’s story has to be 214 words or less and include a grumpy character. You can find the full contest rules here:

Oh, Boy! We’re Going To Have Some Fun Now!

I’m not going to lie. I had no idea it would be so hard to write with so few words. It made my soul a little sad, and I was grumpy while revising. Still, I did manage to pull something together in the end, and here it is:

 

Sheena the Sour Salesgirl

Sheena sells seashells down by the seashore each and every Valentine’s Day, but today frosty weather has made seashell selling slow.

“Snow?” Sheena asked, surprised as a snowflake somersaulted towards her shoe. “Please, go!” she said with a kick.

“Valentine seashells for sale!” shouted Sheena. “Humph!” she said, crossing her arms, as customers skedaddled out of sight. Sheena shook her head sadly at the snowflakes.

To her right, the smoothie store added a sign. “Now selling hot chocolate,” Sheena sneered.  “Now that’s a sneaky selling trick.”

When the sign changed, customers came back. Sheena shook her fist angrily towards the store’s customers.

To the left, Sheena saw the Surfing Spot add a sign. “Now selling teddy bears,” Sheena sneered.  “That’s the second sneaky selling trick I’ve seen today.”

When the sign changed, customers came back. Sheena shook her fist angrily towards the Surfing Spot, the snow, and then her seashells.  She sank in her chair and sulked until an idea nearly smacked her in the face.

“Snowshells for sale!” she screeched. No one came. Sheena sucked her teeth and snatched down her signs.  “Silly snow,” she sputtered.

“Charms?” asked a small voice.

“No, seashells,” snapped Sheena. “Scram!” She saw the ocean-themed bracelet too late. Sheena smacked her head. “SHUCKS!”

Well, that’s all 209 words of it. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Best of luck to all who enter! The prizes look fabulous.

Picture Book Magic (the beginning)

I’m taking a class! Writing isn’t always about writing. You can write well, but it still won’t get you anywhere for several reasons:

  1. There’s no audience for it.
  2. Bad timing.
  3. You write well, but the format or style isn’t right.

I’m trying to do my part so that there are fewer and fewer reasons as to why I”m not a published author. So, my first big step of 2016 was signing up for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Picture Book Magic course. I’m doing the self-paced version, but she does have an interactive version.

I’m only on my second day, but I like it so far. The main appeal, for me, is that the lessons are 30 minutes or shorter. That works for me! As someone who always has too many things going on at once, easily digestible lessons are essential. I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!

The year I got off my butt

Posted in Life,Writing by Ashley Franklin on December 29, 2015
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You know what’s funny about wanting to be a writer, you have to actually write to do it. Mind blown, huh?

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer, but this was the first year I actually put forth the effort to reach that goal. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know that the journey would be this intensely hard, but it is.

I don’t do well with no, and I don’t do well with things that take forever. (I’m pretty sure I was pregnant for like 3 years!) Still, I am sticking to it. That’s a major accomplishment for me, and I hope expect to do even better in the new year–especially when it comes to actively writing and being a part of writing communities.

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list of 2015 successes:

  1. I completed PiBoIdMo with more than 30 ideas.
  2. I received a mention in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday contest. ( I won a book!)
  3. I put myself out there and joined a critique group.
  4. I applied for things! (mentorships, scholarships, etc.)
  5. I made some new writer friends who are super encouraging.

I don’t think that’s too shabby for my first year. Besides, the year isn’t over yet. The next couple of days could still be filled with goodies.

I wasn’t a finalist, but that’s okay.

Posted in Writing by Ashley Franklin on December 15, 2015
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So, as my previous post mentioned, I submitted an entry to Susanna Leonard Hill’s holiday contest. I spent around 2 hours writing it, so I”m not upset about it.

I”m probably not upset for the reasons that you think. Do I think that I would’ve done better if I’d spent more time on it? Nope! It usually takes me a shorter amount of time to write something when my “creative juices” are flowing, and the neighbor’s dog peeing on my tree gave me all of the inspiration that I needed. What a muse!

Here’s what I got out of entering the contest:

  1. I’m over my fear of failure/ rejection. I haven’t submitted to that many agents, but I’ve submitted to enough to get me a little down in the dumps.
  2. Friggin’ Susanna Leonard Hill read and commented on something I wrote.
  3. Other writers read and commented on something that I wrote.
  4. I found more writing resources!

All in all, it was not a bad two hours spent.

Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest

PiBoIdMo really encouraged me to come out of my shell and take chances with my writing. So, here I am taking a chance at a holiday contest (weird for me, right?). In a nutshell, the contest was to write a story beginning with any version of “Rocking around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop.”  Without further ado, here goes nothing (oh, and it helps if you sing along):

Picture Perfect

Sniffin’ around some strangers’ legs

while my human’s fixing food.

Music and spices fill the air;

it’s a really festive mood.

 

Circling ’round this indoor tree

cuz I really have to go.

Box after box is in my way.

Why’s my human screaming “NO!”?

 

Going through my doggy door,

I just don’t understand

why I’m in the cold. It’s snowing!

Thankfully, I’m finally going

 

back inside in front the fireplace.

There’s my human all alone.

Snuggled up close we happily

take some selfies with his phone.