Monday, February 11, 2013



SNARKY RESPONSE: Exactly what I said about dessert the other day! But I ordered it anyway.

Nothing dared, nothing gained

This week's Fortune Cookie works surprisingly well for me. About time! And speaking of time...

Over at NPR, they're running a little writing contest called Three Minute Fiction.

Writers are asked to write and submit a short, and I mean short, piece of fiction that can be read on air in three minutes, roughly 600 words. Entries had to be submitted by midnight last night, February 10th.

They choose a theme for the entries and this year the story has to be in the form of a voice mail message.

The fearless leader of my science fiction and fantasy critique group, Bud Webster challenged us earlier this year to participate in the next contest. He wanted us to step outside of our current WIPs and comfort zones to meet a challenge and a deadline!

Short or Flash Fiction is mucho hard for me. I'm a novella gal. Though I have had two short stories published, it's not my medium. However, I agreed with Bud that we should stretch ourselves. So when I heard about this year's contest, I decided to do it.

There were so many different ways to approach the voice mail concept, but I settled on a basically tried and true one. With a little twist to make it more interesting.

It's the "I'm sorry. I don't really want to break up" call. The "I take it back" that may or may not be welcome words after the recipient of the break-up has been up all night attempting triage on a broken heart and dreams.

My twists were to (1) set a time-limit on the response, (2) show that the deadline is missed, and (3) hint at a darker problem at issue in this relationship or with this apologetic soul.

I set up my time limit with the "unnamed" caller being in the airport leaving for an unavoidable trip. He wants the recipient, Maria, to call him back before he leaves as a sign that she'll take him back.

However, in this day of cell phones and international coverage, why would such a deadline be necessary?

It wouldn't, UNLESS my person will be incommunicado or have to "go dark" for some reason. Heading into the depths of the Amazon or onto the frozen tundras of Antarctica  Or is it something more nefarious? Something involving "contracts," per se.

Well, that's where I went and that's what I sent. If it never makes it past the first round, I'll be posting it here later. Fingers crossed. 


  1. Good luck with your entry, Denise! If it's half as good as your latest, you're a shoe-in! (Started reading last night and finally had to make myself put it down around 2 a.m.)

    1. Thank you, Sofie! Considering the multitude of competition I think I've probably got about the same chance as that snowball in you-know-where, but I feel that simply trying makes me a winner on some level. And I'm delighted that you're enjoying Collector's Item. *squee* I actually kept someone up past their bedtime reading my writing!?! *thud*

  2. sounds intriguing. i'll keep my fingers crossed for you! and kudos on stretching outside your comfort zone!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Joanna. I appreciate the extra bit of luck. Funny, but it actually has me thinking about trying to do more of same for other venues.