Wednesday, July 25, 2018

When Icy is a Compliment

It's no secret I've been in a bit of a creative slump lately. Blame it on the heat. Blame it on the second season of Netflix's GLOW being over. Blame it on Ben and Jerry. Blame it on the old guy on the next treadmill who runs faster than I ever will (unless I'm chasing Ben and Jerry.)

Whatever the case, I had to do something. So when literary agent Janet Reid ran another flash fiction contest recently, instead of whining to the tortoises - again! - that I have no business being a writer, I pulled on my Minion pajama pants and got going.

I wrote with no expectations. I wanted to experiment, to reach. I wanted to stretch and tone that flabby creative muscle.

My entry made the finals.

The always encouraging and supportive Reiders rooted for my work.

Ms. Reid blew me away with her comments about my story.

And . . . I won!

I'm not sure who's happier - me or the tortoises. (After all, I can - and do - whine a lot.)


For the contest, we had a maximum limit of 100 words and had to include the following - city, lie, sam, hawke, woo hoo. If you'd like to read all the finalists, click here. My story and Ms. Reid's comments (in blue) are below. 

Deer Momma

I shouldn't open the door when your working, but Mister Sam
said it was an emrgenz. The city is full of flew bugs!

We're going someplace safe, sekret. He'll keep a hawk eye on
me until you come. He's a nabor, not a stranger so it's okay. And I scarred of bugs.

Missus Woo came, yelled NO GO! ALL LIES! Missus Woo hooked
her fingers into claws, scratched Mister Sam's face! They fighted until she fell down asleep.

Mister Sam screamed HURRY! so I am.

Don't be scarred, Momma. See you soon!

Your sun Marty

This made me gasp out loud.  The story is icy, but what elevates this is that it's written in a vernacular of sorts, but you still understand every word. That's not as easy as it looks. 


  1. Wow. It's horrifying and a great start to a thriller story. Congrats.

  2. DUDE. Congrats. And as a mother, that's terrifying story...

    1. I would say I'm sorry my story terrified you...but I'm really not. :)

  3. Well done, Madeline! You pulled out all the feels: family, fear, worry, and hope.

    Do you intend to turn this into a full story? You might be on to something here.

  4. Wow, congratulations! Getting high praise like that from Janet Reid means A LOT. Is there a prize, aside from the victory glow?

    1. Thank you! The winner gets the glory AND a book - my kind of prize. :)

  5. Congratulations, Madeline! That's such a cool story and the feedback should make you feel on top of the world.

    1. Thank you! I so appreciate Ms. Reid's feedback and all the wonderful comments I received on her blog and here. :)

  6. Icy? That story froze my blood solid. Well done! And a well-deserved win.

    1. I'm very happy to hear it, Lee! (How's that for a weird thing to say?!) :)

  7. Woo-hoo congratulations on your win!! This story is fantastic. Chilling isn't a strong enough word. Well done!!