Get Ready for a Blog Hop!

So, I’ve been gone for a while. Months, actually. I’ll keep my explanation brief, mostly because I don’t want to go into it much.

Mid-spring, some things came up in my personal life that made it impossible for me to write, or do much of anything, really. Shortly thereafter I picked up a second job, which has been eating at my time, as my total working hours sometimes reach 70 a week. Then, to top that all off, I’ve been moving. So needless to say I haven’t had time for much.

I haven’t been writing, either for the blog (obviously) or for my fiction, which I hate. But now that I’m more used to having two jobs, and I’m nearly done unpacking, I’m determined to make a huge comeback. I’ve got this novel that I’m just itching to write, and I’m so excited to have the time to work on developing and writing it.

In the meantime, get ready for a blog hop! On Wednesday, the 26th of August, about fifteen other writers and I will be posting a single flash fiction piece or short story each. So that means new work from me (my favorite flash I’ve ever written, entitled Body Double), plus new authors for you to discover! (:

bloghop

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Burnt Flesh

by Paula de Carvalho
All rights reserved.

Tarik strolled around the newly re-discovered library’s main room, admiring the erratic rows of shelving units. He could live three lifetimes and never read all that the alien building contained. Why they’d abandoned it, he’d never understand—though at the moment he was more intrigued by the material the tablets were made of. They looked like slabs of sheet metal, but when he ran a finger over the embossed text, it felt like papyrus.

Amber’s voice came through the intercom strapped to his wrist, breaking his train of thought. “Boss?”

“Copy.”

“You’ve gotta get outta there. A fire broke out in the east wing, and its spreading like—well, like fire.”

Tarik shook his head, sure he’d misheard. “A what? How?” But even as he spoke, he began to smell it in the air.

“A fire, sir. I think Cady was smoking while she worked. Does it matter? Get out.”

He’d lost a childhood home to fire. He knew how quickly the flames could spread, and how completely they destroyed.

“Copy,” he said.

Tarik reached for the nearest shelf and grabbed tablets from it at random, hugging them to his chest.

Smoke descended from the ceiling, and flames leaped into the room from the east wing, swallowing shelving units whole.

The heat was suffocating—a few minutes more, and the whole room would ignite.

The tablets he’d already grabbed would have to suffice. Tarik sprinted across the room towards the open door, staying as low as he could manage, weaving in and out through the rows.

Flames danced after him, licking at his heels. He could feel his boots melting into his feet. His lungs burned and his eyes watered. The alien tablets grew hot in his arms.

Don’t burn up, he thought, please don’t burn up.

But his plea went unheeded. They grew hotter still, burning through his shirt and searing his flesh.

On instinct, he dropped them and kept running.

Instantly, he regretted it—but he could not turn back.

Tarik darted through the door and into open air. He fell to his hands and knees only a few feet from the entrance, coughing so hard he felt he would vomit. It didn’t help that the scent of his own burnt hair and flesh assaulted his nostrils.

Through bleary eyes, he saw two dark figures—his teammates—approaching him. They lifted him on either side, slinging his arms around their shoulders, and half-dragged him back to the rest of the team, well away from the fire.

When his coughing subsided and his vision cleared, Tarik looked up just in time to see the building collapse.

“Gone,” he said, through choked sobs. “It’s all gone.”

“Well,” Cady said, wincing, “not all of it.”

Only then did Tarik notice the scorching pain on his chest.

He looked down at his naked flesh, scarred with the mirror-image of some alien text—crudely branded, but legible.

And, through the pain, he smiled.

Back Again

Well, it’s been a while. I’ve been working on my writing (though, granted, not as much as I would’ve liked), but I’ve been seriously neglecting this blog. And I think I finally figured out why:

I’m taking it too seriously.

I forgot why I started blogging in the first place: to have a space to share my thoughts and my work, and, hopefully, to connect with people who think like I do, who like what I have to say, who I enjoy interacting with.

With my first few posts, I was successful in this. I wrote about the things I was thinking about. I liked what I wrote, and I was fortunate enough that a few people stumbled upon my posts and liked them, too. I didn’t plan a theme for my posts, or my blog–but a theme emerged anyway, and I felt like I was stuck with it. I felt like I had to write about writing (more specifically, about motivating oneself to write). Never mind that I love to write about writing. Just the fact of feeling pigeonholed made me freeze up and go off to do other things, leaving my blog abandoned in cyber-limbo.

But no more.

With this blog, like with my writing itself, I’m going back to the roots of my desire to start doing it in the first place: to have fun.

Because if I’m not enjoying something, or living my life the way I want to, then what’s the point?

So that’s my little rant. I can already hear a little left-brain voice telling me that this post is dumb, and no one’s gonna like it, or care. But I’m going to stuff that voice into a box, wrap it in duct tape, and ship it off to Antarctica. Because first and foremost, I write for myself. If anyone else likes it, that’s just a bonus. A great one, but also a completely unnecessary one.

On an unrelated note, expect my flash fiction piece Burnt Flesh to appear here later tonight or tomorrow. I’ve been sitting on these flash pieces for too long (2 of them done, 3 stuck in revision hell) and I want them to see the light of day. Even if the prospect of others reading them scares the shit out of me.

Update: Flash Fiction Anthology #1

First of all, apologies for the lack of posts in the past few days. I’ve been busy with the holidays and some personal things, and I haven’t had the time to write them, though plenty of topics have been zooming around my head.

I hope to get around to blogging more later today, but since I’ve been so busy, I haven’t even had a chance to work on my flash fiction anthology, and it takes priority. I’m seriously behind schedule with the anthology, and one of the five stories is giving me hell, so I’m going to spend the rest of the day working on that. Then, if I’ve got time left over, I’ll write a proper post. If not, then I likely won’t get around to blogging again until after Christmas.

Either way, I hope that you’re all keeping warm (and if you’re in a hotter climate, oh how I envy you), and that you’re enjoying this holiday season (whether or not you celebrate any of them).

Update: Flash Fiction Anthology #1

In my last post, I mentioned the link between able-bodiedness and heroism. I’d been planning to elaborate and write a blog post/rant about it tonight, but I just finished working on my flash-fiction anthology for the day, and I’m too brain dead to write anything else. Anyway, expect that post to be out tomorrow.

In other news, I’m almost halfway through that flash anthology, so that’s cool.