Thank You For 2017!

Hi, everyone!

So … our radio silence, huh? Again …
Well, it’s the same old story. Hard times hit and we hustle, and this time we had to hustle hard. We still are, and we seem to be getting things done … but just not fast enough 🙂
As a family, a rough time like this means not only one person struggles, we all do. And it’s a huge test of strength and family togetherness when we all have to battle our stuff together, and we are. Amidst a fresh wave of financial struggles, and studying and exams that have to be done, and so many things …
We simply can’t work on all fronts at the same time. And that’s why, in the thick of things, Musae Mosaic has been so neglected.
It’s sometimes so amusing and actually juts painful to think of all we want to do for the magazine, you know, the heights to which we want to take it and here we are, struggling just to stay above the breadline for one thing and actually find time and energy to give to something we love so much for another … but nothing’s changed. We still want to make it happen. We really, seriously do. But life is a human struggle and as this magazine is not run by bots, we have had to take a step back before everything became too much and it imploded forever.
We hope to have our stuff in line by the end of this awful, awful year. We hope to have forged a new way ahead, made a fresh plan for the life we live, regained the will and the energy to just keep swimming …
So while it may be a hard time, and while our step back meant the utter neglect of everything here … we will be back, all of us GRAY’s, stronger than before.
We don’t have anything except our hope and our efforts, so we are treating this new, fresh clean slate as a last chance. It’s now or never.
And we hope to do everything we’ve failed at before better than all of us can imagine, at this point.
So it’s a few more weeks of this horrible year and then it’s over and it can be forgotten. The Musae Mosaic magazine will remain silent until the New Year, and we will return stronger. This magazine will return stronger.
We will begin living again … because in the wake of this year, with all the hell, all the health issues, the studying, the struggling, everything, we have nothing left but the hope and faith that next year is a turning table, and as broken as everything is now, it can somehow be mended.
The #FP game every Friday will go on as usual, but any activity on the magazine will be suspended for the time being.
We will still send our requests for Monday Author Interviews and we will compile it all for a new lease on the magazines life in the year to come.
Thank you everyone for the endless, endless love and support this year. You can’t imagine what it means to us here. Thank you for everything.
Every debt of kindness that has been given we hope to repay in the months to come.
Until then, you have our endless love and gratitude, because we are utterly lost without you all and your friendship mean more to us than you may ever know.
See you all on the other side!

Love,
Lara and Adele

Expedition Awesome With @Callow_Explorer!

  Looking through the list of the questions it seems as if the intro might be the hardest to answer. I’m a run of the mill guy who enjoys fairly regular things. I was born in Northern Ireland and have spent most of my time here but I enjoy travelling a lot and can see me settling somewhere abroad. My year in Canada was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had in life. I enjoy listening to a lot of music although I’m not musical in any way whatsoever. I’ve worked a lot of jobs but finally made the decision to leave it all behind in an attempt to work on the book ideas and some photography projects. I’ve always been one to take a risk with that sort of thing. I learned a long time ago there’s no point in having regrets, instead I look at them as opportunities to learn from poor decisions (of which there has been many). A couple of years ago I made the decision to embrace the vegetarian lifestyle and I have my friends and family to thank for their support with that. I don’t really know what I write about in all honesty. I don’t have a ‘thing’. I thought at one stage I wanted to be a travel writer but anything I tried to write felt so fake and clunky. I try and use real life experience in my stories or any observations I make when I’m out. It really just depends.

MM: What do you love most about writing? What speaks to you?

KC: I enjoy words and the expression that comes with it. It’s the text version of me talking out loud which is something I tend to do. I wish I was better with words, even though I’m attempting this whole novel writing thing I’ll never be as good with words as I’d like to be. I write for me and then I force it on everyone else or they feel obliged to read it because they’re my friend.

MM: So, what have you written?

KC: I have lots of half drafted ideas that haven’t really gone anywhere. The first ‘proper’ thing I remember writing was published in an online paper and it was about ride-sharing abroad. I did try my hand at poetry but I’m not entirely sure I understand exactly what poetry is, so I cobble together some words that seem stuck in my head. I finished the first draft for some kind of autobiographically thing but I’m not really sure how I feel about it and I like to enter the #200WT stories when I can. Other than that I’m working through a novel at the minute that seems to be going well. I’m about 35,000 words into the first draft and have a good friend keeping me right as we go along.

MM: When did you know writing was for you?

KC: It was only a few years ago that things kind of came together. Growing up I never thought, “Hey! I could write a book.” A couple of years ago I thought it would be nice to write something for fun and battled with myself as to whether there was actually any point in my doing it. I ended up enrolling in a Creative Writing class and while it didn’t really teach me much about the writing process, I made some new friends and had the freedom of really just making some stuff up and people responded well to it.

MM: What are you working on at this minute? What was the inspiration for it?

KC: Right now I’ve an untitled novel in the works. There are one or two ‘b-stories’ happening throughout but the premise is that the main character tries to use stand up comedy to deal a death in the family. It results in him getting involved with terminally ill people and telling funny eulogies. The story focuses around the protagonist and his life, how he deals with this new ‘career’ and his everyday life. The inspiration comes from my own experiences, the main character is closely based on me, to a degree and his partner in the novel is based around a good friend of mine. It’s helps for me to write something when I can draw on my own experiences and easily put myself in the shoes of the characters.

MM: What was the first story you ever remember writing, and what was it about? How does it compare to your writing now?

KC: There’s a lost story somewhere from the 90’s about a boy called Thomas Trainer and his dog that I started when I was in my early teens. I’m not sure that counts but I don’t really remember anything else until recently and I decided I’d try to write.

MM: Do you work to an outline or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you? Plotter or Pantser?

KC: A bit of both. I usually have an idea of where I want to go, but then it’ll change direction as the characters and the story grows. I try not to have restrict myself to writing a certain way so it allows me to do whatever I want really. There are times though I’ll set a goal or a place in the story for the characters to reach but often how they get there is up to them.

MM: What draws you to flash-fiction, to #FP? What do you love and hate about it?

KC: I struggle with #FP, mostly because I’m not good with one short pieces of text. I often find the things I come up with to be very predictable and quite mundane. I much prefer #200WT. The word limit suits me well because I can write short stories and it doesn’t matter if the idea doesn’t carry into a story. It allows me to find a home for ideas that burn out quickly.

MM: Who are your writing inspirations? How do they influence your creativity?

KC: There are authors whose work I enjoy but few inspire me to write. The exception is probably Carlos Ruiz Zafon because his descriptive text is exceptional and the pace of his stories is so fluid. My biggest influences comes from musicians. People like Colin Meloy, John Darnielle, John K. Samson, they are so good with words and have introduced me to a whole new vocabulary. Plus, a lot of what they write seems honest but still very story like.

MM: What is your favorite motivational phrase or musing on writing, and why? What about it really hits home?

KC: I’m not really sure I have one. I certainly can’t think of one anyway. I know a lot of people tend to come off with quotes from famous authors. If I had to pick something, I vaguely have memories of Neko Case saying that writing isn’t a talent, it’s a skill you develop like reading. Or something like that, I could be paraphrasing. I like the idea that anyone can do it. To me it means I’m a ‘writer’ in as much as I’m a ‘reader’, in that I have the ability to do it.

MM: What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

KC: Convincing myself it’s worth it. I keep telling myself I’m writing for me but it’s hard to believe that’s entirely true if I’m writing a novel. Once I bring in the fact that other people will read it, I start to wonder why anyone would be interested in reading anything that I wrote.

MM: What do you tell yourself every time it gets hard? Every time the stars stop aligning? What do you do when writer’s block knocks on your creative door?

KC: I tell myself its okay and then just get on with it. If it’s really not working I put it aside. I read an interview with John Darnielle and he said he doesn’t believe writer’s block exists so I try and have the same mentality. Even when I’m not writing I might be thinking of the book and to me that’s all part of the process. There’s no point in forcing it or putting myself under any pressure. The words will come when they’re ready.

MM: Do you have any secret and wacky writing rituals that help the words flow?

KC: No secrets. I have to find an environment I’m comfortable with, which is usually somewhere away from the house and I write better listening to some music. It has to be an album I’m familar with though so as I’m not distracted by some new sounds.

MM: What advice would you give to aspiring writers and poets, anyone who wants to free the art within? What helped you make it to this point?

KC: I’m not entirely sure I’m in a position to give advice but if anyone asked me or said they wanted to write I’d tell them to just go ahead and do it. I’m fairly sure there will be someone out there who can relate to whatever you have to say, even if it’s one in ten, a hundred or a smaller fraction. It helped me having some friends who supported what I do. I have friends who are interested in my writing and say some really kind things, but I also have friends who don’t read what I right but they support and respect my efforts and that means a lot to. I’d like to think I offer the same to them.

MM: What genres do you find yourself most drawn to? In your books and in your #FP’s?

KC: There’s not really genre I’m drawn to. If I like the sound of the book I’ll read it. When I’m in a book shop I never really know what I’m looking for but I know when I come across it. It’s probably more a case of what I don’t like. I’m not into fantasy or sci-fi so I tend to stay away from those kind of things, for the most part anyway but it’s not always the case.

MM: Sooo … reading anything good lately? Any recommendations?

KC: I’m reading The Master and Margarita now which I’m enjoying even if the text is a bit challenging sometimes. I’ve enjoyed anything I’ve read by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and there’s something I enjoy about Barbara Kingsolver’s style. My favourite book of all time is The Three Musketeers, the whole series is good but the first book really does it for me.

MM: Any last thoughts for our readers?

KC: Hopefully these won’t be my last thoughts and I still have a few more in my yet. Thanks for the chance to participate and for the work involved in keeping the magazine going. I’m purposely staying away from those terrible cliches about being anything you want to be.

MM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?

KC: If, on the off chance anyone wants to know more or keep up with what I’m doing you can visit my website, callowexplorer.com or say hello on Twitter @callow_explorer. You’ll see some of my photography there as well as some updates on writing projects that don’t really make it in the real world.

The Inexplicable Thoughts of a Near Death Experience

By Kieron Circuit

Seconds before I was hit by that car it wasn’t my life that flashed before my eyes. Instead I found myself wondering if I remembered to unplug the hair straighteners. No one yelled out but I thought I heard the buildings gasp and the road brace itself for the impact. The smell of burning rubber infiltrated the air as the brakes bit hard under the panicked press of the pedal. Through the windscreen I could see the fear in his eyes. Maybe in the past he had collided with a rabbit or a fox, but never a person. Automobile meets flesh and bone. There’s only one winner here. I’m on my back, not moving like I’ve been glued to the asphalt. I can’t even be certain if my eyes are open, darkness everywhere. I can hear screaming; people and sirens. Calls for a doctor or just someone to help. I start to come around, not because of any medical intervention but the smell of someone’s lunch. I can’t get up to vomit. I think about the indignity of being covered in, and choking on my own puke. My phone buzzes beside me but I can’t reach it. Someone else does and I can hear them say, “It’s not his day. That was his landlord saying his apartment caught fire. Someone left a pair of straighteners on.”

Without Directing

By Kieron Circuit

We’re similar you and I, it’s partly why we work so well, neither of us really one to make plans in advance.
The hotel staff insist that we take all of the literature they force upon us, proud of what their city has to offer, or highly enthusiastic about what they do. Concealed in our room, I watch with keen interest as you lay everything out on the bed; museums, tours, restaurants and other tourist attractions. Carefully you unfold the map and bring it to your face, inhaling its scent, that of previously unhandled paper being one of your favourites. Then, holding it between your delicate fingers you proceed to tear it into pieces with reckless abandon, tossing them into the air and watching as the floor becomes littered with fragments of a broken city.
You approach me with measured steps and in your eyes, I can see mischief tinged with excitement.
“I’ll get us lost if you can get us back again”, you offer, smiling at me as you slide your hands into my back pockets.
I can’t help smiling back, still trying to get my head around the fact that you’re here with me.

Ifor the Hamster Detective

 

By Kieron Circuit

 

A cigarette balanced between his lips, half ash and filter, ready to crumble at any given moment. He was staring at the typewriter with his hands posed over the keys. Any wrong key stroke would mean he’d have to start again. He was trying to find the perfect opening for his latest story about a hamster detective called Ifor. Words and ideas started to swim around his head, almost making him feel a bit nauseous. He was sure he fingers wouldn’t be able to keep up. Taking a breath he tossed the filter from his spent cigarette into the makeshift ashtray. An avalanche of ash had already assaulted his cardigan. A cardigan which showed evidence that this sort of thing had happened before. Still afraid to make a mistake he took a hit of his sugary drink. Underneath his glass the wet ring stain on the table displayed his total disrespect for wood. This story would be his big break, he’d said it before but he knew it this time. He said that before to. He watched as each key imprinted an inky letter on the crisp white paper. In this story the antagonist stole a precious stone, the jeweled eye of a beaver. He already had a title; “Ifor an Eye”.

Magical Moments #200WT Edition

Well, here we are! We have arrived at Tuesday and what an amazing day it’s been already. This week began on a big bang for us. Everything is suddenly on a turnaround and huge things are in the offing. Seriously huge things, and we can barely begin wrapping our minds around it. It’s just that awesome.
Another thing making this month so amazing is, of course, #NaNoWriMo2017!
Every time this month rolls around, I just get so excited. It means words are all around us and the magic is overflowing.
And to make that magic even more magical, we have a few things lined up for this month!
First of all, our super amazing #200WT themes are Charms & Amulets and All The NaNo WIP’s, meaning we wanna read the raw magic of your book in just 200 words! It’s so amazing, and the stories we’ve read so far has blown our minds!
And the second is the five one-on-one interviews we have going around this month, to talk about your NaNo book and what inspired it, how it’s going, and all that awesome stuff! One of the five interview places has been snagged, so if anyone else is interested in telling the world about your WIP, NOW is the time to DM us on @MusaeMosaic or email us at musaemosaic.info@gmail.com and tell us why you’re interested in being one of the last four people on the interviews!
We would like to take this moment to thank @Rhapsody2312 for her amazing contributions this week to Musae Mosaic, and for opening a pretty amazing door for us here! And to all the new players of the #200WT game, welcome to our awesome community of writerly types! We can’t wait to read more of your amazing stories!
I’ve now taken up too much time from the awesome selection of stories today, so that’s it from me and now … Musae Mosaic is proud to present the Magical Moments #200WT Edition!

Lara Savine,

 

Jeweller’s Charm

By Nicolette Stephens

The charm gave him away. Unique, it was his trademark symbol used by no other jeweller in the world.
He stamped it on all the pieces he made, on every ring, pendant and chain. Gold, silver, stainless steel, if someone bought a piece from him, guaranteed it carried his mark.
He’d made a name for himself in the world of jewellery design, his work prized by collectors internationally. He’d worked hard for his success, and the design of the charm had taken him years to perfect. Finally; happy with the endless looping effect of the single line design, he had crafted his maker’s mark.
It had been well-received, with his sales tripling in the first month of its release, particularly with orders from the rich, bored housewives fascinated by the portrait of a brooding artist impressed on their expensive jewels.
Captivated with the discovery that he wore a larger, gold charm of his mark on a chain around his neck their enchantment with him led to hotly illicit affairs that seldom ended well.
At first, the gold branding melted into the tender flesh of his victims had been incomprehensible, but as his skill increased; one woman at a time, so did the visibility of his charm.

Author: Nicolette Stephens
Twitter: @Rhapsody2312
Website: https://chasingdreamspublishing.wordpress.com/

Breath of Life

By Nicolette Stephens

She wove it from grass and small seeds dried into beads. An intricate web of interlacing leaves, interspersed with silky smooth spheres. It took time, and patience to ensure that the delicate grass did not shred, though many of the strips tore regardless of her tender care.
From one hopeful moon to another, she wove the grass and seeds into a deliberate dance that spoke of love and beauty. From one mourning dawn to another, she cried her tears into the bowl that rested in her lap, holding the dust of her beloved heart.
Strand by strand, bead by bead, tear by tear, she wove the figure from her love and hope, her loss and despair. In the end, when it was as fragile as her stillborn child, she took the amulet from around her neck and placed it over its heart.
Whispered words spoke of their lives together; mother and child, as she coated the figure with the mingled ashes and tears. Ancient magic seeped from the amulet; up through the seeds of life that lay at the throat, third eye and crown; down through the solar plexus, navel and root.
Connected to spirit, rooted to earth; the mother’s child took her first breath.

Author: Nicolette Stephens
Twitter: @Rhapsody2312
Website: https://chasingdreamspublishing.wordpress.com/

A Soul for a Charm (Part 1)

By Nicolette Stephens

The charm was to prevent him finding me. After he’d bought my soul, granting me my wish in return, I’d known it would only be a matter of time before he found me to cash in on the deal.
“This will hide you from his sight.” The old woman’s mumbling had been almost indecipherable. “Be sure never to remove it – he will know if you do.” Her sightless eyes had stared up at me as her gnarled fingers traced my fear-frozen face.
I’d stammered my thanks and beaten a hasty retreat. She’d given me the heebie-jeebies worse than he had.
Now, in spite of the charm, he stood in front of me, a scroll in his hands. The contract on my soul.
“I need a favour.” He held it out to me. I ignored it.
“How did you find me?”
“My mother is dead. The charm is gone.”
“Your… mother?”
“The old woman. Fate. My mother.”
“Wait! She was Fate? And she’s dead? How?”
He rolled his eyes, as though running low on patience.
“She placed more than a charm on you. She cursed you with her burden. You get your soul back, but her duties are yours now.”
I should have known better than to trust a woman who could hide from the devil himself.

Author: Nicolette Stephens
Twitter: @Rhapsody2312
Website: https://chasingdreamspublishing.wordpress.com/

 

CHAOS

By Joanne Karina Gray

She was on the battlefield from her dreams. It seemed like the battle hadn’t yet started.

The woman had her hood up, black hair streaming down from the soft gray folds of her cloak. A pale man stood next to her, holding a silver bow notched with his arrow in hand.

Behind her, as silent as the night, stood her army draped in darkest black.

“Don’t do this…” a voice, riddled with suffering, whispered from the other side. Her enemies wore an assortment of clothes, no organisation in sight.

The whisper had come from a boy who looked at her with pain lining his face.

“I can do whatever I want,” the woman snapped.

“I loved you. I really did.” The boy said, his eyes betraying his fear.

The man beside her glared at the boy, “She didn’t love you, you fool.”

“I’m not a fool! I loved her and I know she cared for me!” The boy cried out in defiance. The man sneered in disgust as the boy stupidly turned his back on them.

The pale man’s arrow flew, he always kept it notched. It struck the boy clean in the back and he fell dead to the ground- the first body of thousands who would soon touch the ground, never to rise again.

And chaos reigned.

Author: Joanne Karina Gray
Twitter: @Fyremancer

Number 6 Melrose Drive

By Nthato Morakabi

A slight gap wedged its way between the heavy beige drapes at the house of Number 6 Melrose Drive. Furrowed brow of deep lines, and squinting dark eyes peered briefly between the schism as whirring blades rumbled over our heads. I followed the white of the ‘copter until it faded into the blue sky. I turned to find the window of Number 6 Melrose Drive empty.

Jeffery’s boy kicked the ball over the wall at Number 6 Melrose Drive. Red sphere glistening in sunlit glory and fading within the abyss beyond the bricked wall. Silly boy, NY cap askew, ran to the front door and knocked. The quiet storm of grey and cavernous toothless mouth greeted child with youthful vigour. Flimsy robe cloaking skeletal bare frame as the child was waved in. Stupid boy.

A slight gap wedged its way between the heavy beige drapes at the house of Number 6 Melrose Drive. Raised eyebrow on smoothened skin peered briefly between the void. Wide, bright eyes glistening as whirring blades rumbled over our heads. I did not follow the ‘copter. I followed the toothy grin watching from behind drapes revealing plump frame between bulging robe. NY cap askew, a new trinket matching little Jacqueline’s amulet.

Author: Nthato Morakabi
Twitter: @Nthito
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nthato.Morakabi.Author 
Web: www.nthatomorakabi.com
Blog: http://ascribetodescribe.wordpress.com

 

Souls

By Vic Hayden Gray

They said it was cursed.
All who had worn the amulet had perished and their souls were forever bound inside the glimmering red jewel as punishment for their crimes.
She didn’t believe it though, it was just a necklace.
A very beautiful necklace that she desperately wanted.
Despite all the warnings she donned the amulet and at a grand party she was the centre of all attention, all eyes were on her and she revelled in the attention.
But she had begun to feel strange.
Unexplainable hatred was seeping into her heart, jealousy at the other girls, and so much rage.
The feelings built and built until she snapped and with the power of all the trapped souls she slaughtered everyone at the party, not stopping until they were all dead.
Realizing what she had done she took her own life and she too became a soul in blood stained jewel.
Hundreds of years later the amulet found its way into a shopkeeper’s stall and lay there for a few more years before being purchased by a travelling woman.
She was as enchanted with the necklace as all the other women before her but she too had heard of its powers and so she did what the others could not.
She destroyed it and set the trapped souls free to be at rest and saved her own.

Author: Vic Hayden Gray
Twitter: @luciadevic   

Immortality of the Soul
Chapter Two: Introspection

By Katrianna Ray

When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the young midshipmen stood horrified at the events that had taken place. He himself was unshathed, but many did not get the blessed fate that he did. Silent and stoic he helped put the ship back together. He stood with his crewmates as the captain read the list of the dead, face drawn into a deepened frown. Raising his head from his shoes, he looked out at the sea.
Her hues of blues gave him no comfort.
Nothing that lived in those waters were kind, nor those who traversed them gentle. Men tried to play God with their wooden ships and bent nature by using fire ships and hot shots. Nature prove these falsified gods wrong time and time again, and yet they keep on trying. They conquer and enslave, calling themselves kings and ruling over a nature that was never meant to be ruled upon. Those false gods never suffer due to their action, but their pawns do in their stead, fighting on the deep and on the lands with banners painted red-
The splash of the bodies returning to the sea made William jump, blinking away the thoughts and bowing his head with the rest of the ship.

Author: Katrianna Ray
Twitter: @TalonedHawk

 

In Absinthium

By Lara Meone Savine

He’d escaped to the quiet lure of the garden, the yarrow, valerian, and wormwood glowing under the moon … the absinthe spirits being sucked in to his willing veins.
For now he slept, but in sleep, he roamed, dancing in a marbled hall of the minds making.
His body seemed so powerful, so rapt, and free, tulips blossoming around him … verdantly sensual creatures danced, and kissed him, leaving lusty bite marks on his lips.
The bite marks tingled … and then the tingle became a burn and it spread fast, his jaw searing, the heat spreading, the throbbing torture reaching into his ears.
He fell to his knees, eyes boring into the white floor, and, mouth opening in a blood soaked scream, the burn began to push his teeth out, one by one hitting the floor with mute little clinks … he began to choke, blood gathering in his lungs …
Then long, needle-thin worms began oozing from the gaping holes in his gums and fell amidst the bloody teeth, writhing, and hundreds followed, thrashing out of his mouth, crawling in the blood around his body.
His gut heaved, threatening to expel, and he pulled handfuls of the worms from his gums, before he retched.
The worms began spewing out of the holes too fast and slithered back, toward his gullet … he choked as they thrashed around, eyes bulging … the burn finally reached his heart, slowing to a plod … thud, thud, thud.
All that remained was a dream he never woke from again.

Author: Lara Meone Savine
Twitter: @LoonymoonyLara 
Website: www.theshitspinnersplace.com 

Descry-First Glimpse

By Christelle Bloem

Lina was about 12 years when the first signs of her gifts made their appearance. It was a horrible sight; one that she could never forget. She never felt release from the guilt that gripped her heart for the ailments she caused that day. There was nothing like that feeling: the feeling of despair when you caused someone so much pain.

She wasn’t sure what had happened. She was standing next to her mother cooking when she dropped the pan on the floor. She gave out a grunt of anger as she bent to pick it up. When she did, she heard the thud on the floor. She quickly turned around, still frustrated with the messed she caused when she had dropped the pan. That’s when she saw her mother lying on the floor after she had hit her head against the corner of the table.
“Mommy” she said with a shake in her voice. That’s when her mother opened her eyes, and a flood of relief flushed all over Lina. She immediately fell and wanted to embrace her mother, but her father instinctively pushed her away slightly. It was only a small shove, and he hardly noticed that he did it, but it was something Lina would never forget.
The first time her family rejected who she was becoming.

Author: Christelle Bloem
Twitter: @StellieB3 

Brilliance with @black_canary02!

Hi! I’m Susan Lundberg, known on Twitter as Susan Canary or @black_canary02. I write poetry to post on Twitter, and also comic book reviews for The Pullbox (www.ThePullbox.com). Not yet a professional writer, I have a mundane job in customer service for an international company. However, I think I’ve been tapped to write for every job I’ve ever had.

MM: What do you love most about writing? What speaks to you?

SL: I’ve always been a reader, and would read anything I could find. When you’re a kid at home for the summer and there’s no one to take you to the library, that means you read whatever is on the bookshelf at home, whether it’s appropriate for your age level or not. My sister was reading “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair for a college class when I was 12, and I just picked it up one day, but I’d been reading classic writers for some time. I love language and clever turns of phrase.

MM: So, what have you written?

SL: As mentioned, my non-work related writings include nearly four years’ worth of almost daily Twitter poetry, plus random comic reviews for The Pullbox. I had two poems published in Carl Smith’s “Be Careful What You Wish For” horror anthology in 2015.

MM: When did you know writing was for you?

SL: was trying to work through some big emotions at one time in my life, and so I’d tried doing some drawing and watercolor painting, but it was so laborious and time-consuming for me, and it never came out looking the way I wanted it to, so I added in some words and realized that if I’d listened to my college English professor (“You write too well to be a science major”), I’d be in a field for which I have a modicum of talent. All the words were there in my head, and I just had to arrange them.

MM: What are you working on at this minute? What was the inspiration for it?

SL: Right now, I’m working on my first poetry collection, kind of a collaboration between myself and some artists that I know from comics and from the internet. One of my professional artist friends asked me how the poetry-writing was going, to which I said “Oh, fine.” Then the kicker was “…and when are you going to publish?” Which started a discussion between him and my friend about how my poetry book would feature all my art friends, and then he offered to do a piece for it. They were all so positive, as is my husband, that I actually considered it as a doable thing. I’m culling through old poetry now, so will likely publish next year.

MM: What was the first story you ever remember writing, and what was it about? How does it compare to your writing now?

SL: The first story I’d ever wrote was in 2nd grade, and it was about my friend that died in a car accident when I was in kindergarten. I don’t remember the story exactly, but I know it caused a meeting at school with my parents and my teacher. Turns out I’d just been sitting on the story until I knew enough about writing to put it down on paper. It was also emotionally influenced, so I guess that’s my M.O.

MM: Do you work to an outline or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you? Plotter or Pantser?

SL: For poetry, I generally work from the gut – the words fall out and the poem is done. I will work the wording for length or to remove redundancy or repetition, but mostly it’s an open vent from my brain to the paper. When I have to write an actual story, though, I have a plan of where I want to end up and work that direction.

MM: What draws you to flash-fiction, to #FP? What do you love and hate about it?

SL: Sometimes restrictions cause you to be a better writer. When I write poems for Twitter, the brevity is forced (although we all know there are ways around that) and often I’ll cut opening explanation to get the meaning out. Prompts and guidelines are great for that.

MM: Who are your writing inspirations? How do they influence your creativity?

SL: Truthfully, I’m totally inspired by other poets I’ve read on Twitter, like Nina Loard, Jim Macintosh, and so many others. My classic inspiration is Robert Frost. In Frost’s world, a path might be metaphorical, but it’s still a path.

MM: What is your favorite motivational phrase or musing on writing, and why? What about it really hits home?

SL: Hemingway said “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” We are all writers, some are better than others, but not being paid to do so does not make one less of a writer. I don’t aspire to write; I write. I aspire to be paid to do so.

MM: What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

SL: The hardest thing about writing is to write someone else’s story. I’ve been asked a couple of times to write creative pieces for others based on their ideas, and I always overwork it and make it less than it should be. I can write factual essays about anything, but creativity is not an “on demand” thing for me.

MM: What do you tell yourself every time it gets hard? Every time the stars stop aligning? What do you do when writer’s block knocks on your creative door?

SL: Every time writing gets hard, I remember that I do need some rest from trying to get the right emotional pitch every time, but then I just need to keep writing. Even a haiku or a six-word story is writing. I can talk about the weather and still write. That’s also a good time for me to do reviews. Finally, if nothing else is working, I’ll read other poets, fiction, comic, but real published things and stop distracting myself with the internet.

MM: Do you have any secret and wacky writing rituals that help the words flow?

SL: Nothing too secret or wacky. I listen to a lot of music for writing, but usually instrumentals – jazz or classical – so that the lyrics don’t get in the way of my writing. I also walk outside most days, and just zipping my phone into my pocket and leaving it there makes nature so much easier to hear. The wind and the trees and the water all talk to you if you listen.

MM: What advice would you give to aspiring writers and poets, anyone who wants to free the art within? What helped you make it to this point?

SL: If you want to create, whether it’s drawing or painting or writing words or music, do it every day. That’s how you get better. Find honest mentors to check your work out and give feedback, because even though your inspiration makes you unique, there is always more to know.

MM: What genres do you find yourself most drawn to? In your books and in your #FP’s?

SL: I like writing poetry, but I don’t have a ton of patience for reading it. Most classical poets take too long to get to the point, in my opinion. That’s why I like Twitter poetry so much. It’s succinct. Other than that, I like a good story in any genre, although I will waste a lot of time on mysteries and fiction with a little romance. Short stories that I’ve written lately have been romance stories, but those were on spec and didn’t go anywhere.

MM: Sooo … reading anything good lately? Any recommendations?

SL: There is a wealth of excellent writing in comic books and graphic novels. Anyone who says there isn’t hasn’t read Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” or anything by Terry Moore. Otherwise, I’ve been reading horror novels by Michael Carey (“The Girl With All the Gifts” was amazing, and he just keeps on with it) and Paul Cornell (starting with “London Falling,” and going onward). I’ll get more reading in this winter.

MM: Any last thoughts for our readers?

SL: Readers, just remember to get up from your desks sometimes and live. Try new things. Fall in love. Get your heart broken. Dance, either poorly or well. Give yourself something to write about.

MM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?

SL: I post poetry most days to Twitter @black_canary02. If you’d like to hear me read poems out loud, I record them sometimes at audioboom.com/black_canary02. I had a Tumblr at one time, but I think it’s expired. Oh, and comics reviews by me can be read at www.ThePullbox.com.

 

 

 

 

 

November #200WT Themes

Hello, all you awesome people! Wow, November arrived with a big bang, didn’t it? I always look forward to this month of the year, because of this amazing overflow of #NaNoWriMo words and writers. I get so inspired to write every time this month rolls around. And so, in honor of this amazing month and #NaNoWriMo2017, the themes for this month are …

ALL THE NANO WIP’s

&

CHARMS & AMULETS

 

In this month, you can in 200 words, submit any excerpt from your NaNo WIP for #200WT and Charms and Amulets … both or just one of them, it’s up to you! Cursed objects, lucky charms, the possibilities are endless, no?
So write ‘em and send ‘em in!
We love all the words!
A very happy November month for all of you, and to you awesome NaNoWriMo participants, good luck and congratulations on all the words already written! YOU’RE DOING GREAT!

Lara Savine

 

Happy Halloween!

Hello.
Today you have the dubious pleasure of listening- er… sorry, reading the uh- words of my… mouth? Let me start over!
There is one important thing you need to know right now before I continue writing this- this is not Lara!
Guess who! 😉
To all of you who guessed right, HI yes it is @Fyremancer here! To those of you who didn’t guess right… meh, s’alright, next time maybe.
Now that you’ve had a good and proper dose of my special crazy, we’ll move on to more important things. (What do you mean more important? Ain’t nothin’ better than my crazy! *offended look*)
To you fantastic writers out there, a single word to express just what I am thinking when I read through these amazing #200WT submissions- WOW.
How cool is it that something that was inside your head, traveled to your fingertips only to be printed across a blank page and shown to the entire world? No, it’s not creepy, it’s cool.
Let me just say how thrilled I am with these stories and how totally grand you all are! Half the time I’m reading through these stories, I’m just sitting there with my coffee and I’m thinking… (Sorry, the words trailed off because this writer’s mind exploded from overload of awesomeness.)
Anyway, I think you guys have properly consumed the remnants of my insanity so I’m free to end it here with my mission completed- mission being to infect you with my eccentricities. I’d say mission accomplished, right?
And so we move onward to the crazy awesome, mind blowing, selection of beautiful stories!
Happy Halloween, people, y’all are just- just the bees knees, man.
*shakes head slowly, wiping away tear*
Byee!

 

A Call in the Dark pt 7 to 13

By Lord Stabdagger

7

He sat there frozen with fear; he didn’t have the strength to jump. The face was looking straight at him, the eyes still in the sockets, the lips stretched over the teeth. The body was half buried in ice and clearly the remains of a man. His clothing seamed to date from the great war; and as the light quickly faded he saw a rook sack by the bodies side.
In the sack that practically fell apart as he fumbled to open it, was a collection of useful items that could help him survive for a short while, including a old fashioned can opener and a bunch of flair sticks.
For two days he managed to hold out. Using parts of the crates to burn with a box of matches that miraculously still struck after all the years that had passed. He had food, warmth and a gruesome companion for company, but no medication to aid his frost bitten limbs. Of course he was delighted to be alive, but for how long he wondered. Without rescue, he’ll soon be joining his new friend.
For those two days he didn’t hear the woman calling, instead, another sound came that raised his spirits.

8

The storm had passed but the wind remained relentless in its ferocity, but just like the mysterious voice calling him to safety, the wind carried with it another delightfully familiar sound, that of an engine close by.
He grabbed one of the flair sticks he’d carefully been drying out by the fires he’d kept going, and carefully held the end into a flame. As the airplane grew louder he begged for the flair to still have a spark before it was too late.
He heard the plain fly overhead, willing the flair to light up. Finally, a spark, and the end erupted into life. He staggered to the ledge holding the flair up, his legs in agony and weak. He could hear the plain circling round as the wind picked up in strength, and just as the fire in his hand began to die he watched as the plain manoeuvred round to take a closer look.
He collapsed, exhausted and weary. This ordeal was finally over. As everything went black the sound of that engine rushing past overhead was the most glorious sound in creation. He thought of his wife, her sweet smile, hazel eyes; her childish giggle. The others didn’t make it, but he at least was going home.

9

His eyes ached as they tried to open. The first thing he became aware of was the sensation of lying on a warm soft bed. The relative silence enhanced the tinitus ringing constantly in his ears that felt like they were on fire. His body was stiff but eager with the need to move and stretch like waking from a deep sleep a thousand years long. His lower legs also felt like they were burning hot, then his hands and finally his nose. He could only breathe via his dry thirst stricken mouth, and from somewhere an echo of a woman’s voice was talking, gradually becoming clearer until he could hear her plainly. “I repeat, can Dr Forrester please report to the Dispensary immediately. Thank you.”
He realised he was in hospital with no recollection of how he got there. He fully expected to find himself stuck on the mountainside. A rush of excitement overwhelmed him and he fort hard to sit up. He took one look around the room, down upon himself, and lay back choked with shock and sorrow. As soon as he was able to take a breath he yelled, venting his anger and frustration into the air.
Half his legs were missing.

10

“Your extremely lucky to be alive,” said Doctor Conley. “You’ve been in and out of a coma for the past two months. You’ve lost four fingers and your nose to frost bite, and I’m sorry, but we had no choice but to amputate your legs from the knees. Your eyes are permanently damaged but you’ll manage, and we’ll need to keep an eye on you for long-term effects of oxygen depravation. Otherwise, your fighting fit.”
“Will I go blind?”
“There is the possibility.”
He held his sleeping baby daughter more snugly while observing every detail through the bandages around his face. “As for your face,” said Dr Conley, “I’ll put you in touch with a surgery who can help reconstruct your features.”
The Doctor left and his wife gave him a reassuring hug.
“I’m so sorry Karen,” he said with a whimper.
“Its ok. You’re here that’s all I need.”
“Did they find the others?”
“…No…but, I was talking to the man who lead the team to rescue you, they found some pretty amazing things on the mountain where you were.”
He looked up to her with teary eyes. “Like what?”
“Things from the second world war, and a whole host of old bodies”

11

“I need to know,” she said, “how did you survive?” He was silent as he found the courage to recall. “First,” he said, “we were one and a half days ahead of schedule and they wanted to continue to the summit. We would have broken the world record but the storm hit. I argued we should sit it out but Luke was adamant we push on… The avalanche came from nowhere. It was dark. I have no idea how but I found a hole in the rock and was sealed in… I was going to freeze to death, then,…”
“What happened?”
“…A woman, calling to me.”
“What woman?”
“I have no idea, but she kept calling and, I tried to find her. If I didn’t, I’d be dead.”
“Where was she?”
“All I had was her voice. She guided me to the cave that was recently buried under the ice. There was a body, and crates full of supplies.”
“Darren, the team who found you, also found a forgotten chapter of World War 2. It seams the nazi’s were thinking of building a base up there, as mad as it seams. Clearly the mission failed, but they did make an important discovery. A woman’s body of an X German spy.”

12

Darren could clearly remember that ghostly voice carried on the wind. Could it be her? Karen took some paper from her bag. “Her name was Gretta Von Howgsen. In 1940 she defected from the nazi party and joined the British war effort. She was on the mountain in 1941 to collect intelligence on what they were doing up there. To cut it short, she was captured then escaped when an avalanche wiped out the mission. She lost her supplies and died of exposure very close to where you were found.” She gave him a moment to take it all in. “With her body they found a diary. This is a translated transcript of her last two entries. Would you like to read them?”
“Read it for me. My eyes aren’t up to it yet.”
“October 30th 1941. I’ve managed to evade capture but I fear I may never make it back to the main land. It seams my fate is sealed. The bunker project was destroyed by the snowfall, but they may try once more. I have no means to deliver my intelligence to British HQ, so it must die with me. It seams the legend of this mountain is true, it is a monster that takes lives.”

13

Karen continued to read. “The bunker is a pivotal part of the Fuhrer’s nuclear project, the cavern providing perfect protection from the explosion. I can only hope and prey to the mighty lord that the allies put a stop to the plan.
If the lord is graceful may he send me rescue, or else may my knowledge be found and delivered in good time.”
“…She saved me.” He said, and Karen smiled as little Chelsea stirred and settled back to sleep. “According to the rescue team,” said Karen, “they think if she did make it back, we’d have won the war three years sooner.”
“Read the last entry,” he said.
“Death, it seams, can be cruel to those he is about to reap, and often takes the fancy to play games. I know there are no survivors from the bunker; such was the violence of the snowfall. I know there is little oxygen up here, yet clearly, as I would hear my own, a caller is somewhere close by.” Darren looked up as she continued to read.
“How can it be for a woman to be calling for me to follow her? My fate is sealed, but my imminent doom if I leave this rocky hole…”

Happy Halloween!

By Lord Stabdagger

Twitter: @Lord_Stabdagger
Website: castle-stabdagger.blog

 

 

The track

By Lady Stabdagger

He had been running for as long as he could remember. Just him and the open track. The repetitive sound of his footsteps hitting concrete mirrored the beat of his heart. Running was a part of who he was. Where he was running to or what he was running from he couldn’t remember, all he knew was that he wasn’t going to stop. He was afraid to stop; surely something bad happened if he did. He repeated his mantra in his head. Keep running … don’t stop … always move forward … never look back. He couldn’t remember where his mantra came from but he clung to it in his desperation to keep running. Following his track was the only thing he knew. It was like some form of life support for him; like him and the track were connected somehow. Lost in his thoughts he didn’t notice the obstacles that lay ahead in front of him. In one swift movement he tripped and fell to his knees; the wind had been knocked out of him. Fear struck him; he had stopped. Getting up he looked to see what he had fallen over. He shouldn’t have looked back. The reason why he was running became clear. Her saw that face; the one that would haunt him forever.

Twitter: @ladystabdagger
Author: Lady Stabdagger

 

 

The Tybalt Perdition with John Cordial!

In our line of work, we see many things. Books, launches, events … but rarely do we have the honor of actually being there to be part of one.
And today that changes!
Today we have the huge honor and pleasure of featuring this week’s author, John Cordial, in Musae Mosaic’s very first author platform building extension, by promoting book launches.
This launch support will be the first of many, we hope, and as such, this day is extra, extra special.
Many congratulations to John Cordial on the Tybalt Perdition’s release! We hope it skyrockets you to success!

A Few Word from John Cordial himself!

So after more than a year of sharing lines and tweeting about Caldyr Prayers, Tybalt Perdition is finally out! It’s her first novella and the start of her adventures as a detective. The story centers on an unwanted client with an issue of celestial proportions.

The Glass Fate series, Caldyr’s stories, are my main WIP right now. Book One, Museum of Starving Things, is being edited and I’m doing some self-edits on book two. Taking a break for all that for NaNoWriMo, of course. Working on another book in my other series, a cyberpunk.

My inspiration for Glass Fate, and Caldyr in particular, is pretty complex, but mostly I just wanted to write about a cool little fairy that acts a bit like Sam Spade on a bad day. Also wanted to mix up some mythology and folklore, see how all that plays out. It’s set in my hometown of Stockton, CA. I live a few miles south now, but it’s a great place for a fairy detective to set up shop. Reynardine is just a fox trickster I always wanted to tell a story about.

The cover is my own design, I’m an amateur graphic artist besides writing. Choosing my own cover is one reason I took the indie author route, albeit a small one. I like simple styles, I feel like it fits my writing somehow. Another hobby, and good practice for the covers, is making quote graphics. Just relaxing and I like to switch up my desktop a lot. Here’s my latest favorite.

Here’s the links:
Tybalt Perdition (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076JRHH2B/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_cdI8zbGY88PVH)

John Cordial Author Page ( amazon.com/author/johncordial )

Blurb:

In another world, a ship sinks above an ancient reef. Beneath the icy waves, among scores of drowning sailors, she was born.

Caldyr Prayers is a mostly normal fairy, but a not-so-normal detective, especially for Stockton, California. She’s looking to make a name for herself and build a real life; a proper legacy as the World’s foremost fairy private eye. She’s just gotta get off the ground with her wings tied behind her back (to keep her fairyhood secret from the humans.) All she needs is a chance…

And in walks Reynardine Slybold—the Dread Fox. God, trickster, seducer, petty thief, and chaos in a lurid suit. But he just might have a legitimate case for Caldyr. He’s giving up his divinity and needs her to find a solution to his oldest feud. If she can solve the Fox’s problems, and keep them alive, the fairy could make a few much needed bucks… maybe even a name for herself.

 

The Very Best of Tall Tales #FP!

So!
There it was! The Very Best of Next Door Neighbors! Now before we forget what it feels like to walk down #FP lane, and wander amidst the awesomeness, we have the second Best of on its way!
Funny story about Friday 13th, you know, I forgot to add it in the last post, but does anyone know why it is such an inauspicious day? I didn’t until about five years ago, and since then the particular history of this event has become a historical obsession of mine.
The fear of the number 13 is triskaidekaphobia and it is what that little mouse in the old Disney movie The Rescuers suffered from. Nice, subtle touch, I thought.
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday 13th, and there is a lot of debate about the accuracy of its origin. The most popular of these theories is that in the year 1307, a scroll was given to officers of King Philip IV of France to capture, arrest, and exterminate the Knights Templar, an order of men charged with protecting Jerusalem and the Christian pilgrims during the Crusades.
During their two centuries of existence, large sums of land and money were given by to the Knights Templar and the King, who was running out of cash, then decided to go after theirs.
By publicly accusing them of heresy, he and not Pope Clement V, had the ace of cards he needed to wage an epic smear campaign against the Knights Templar and because of its growing bad rep, Pope Clement V had the order disbanded.
Sensationalist propaganda, as this one article refers to it, then alleges that the King had them all exterminated and that the surviving Templars became the Freemasons (apparently a rumor actually started by the Freemasons) and that in the centuries to come, they became the new face of the illuminati, choosing science over God in retribution over the injustices their fallen brethren suffered so many centuries before.
One wonders which Wikipedia source they used in the 15th century, y’know … anyway, fascinating stories, even if it’s become conspiracy theories and conjecture! But there you have it. The history of the world scariest number. Except maybe number 666 … but there you have it!
A nicer story to tell now would be that of this last week’s #FP. The theme was Tall Tales, inspired an insanity-induced reality TV binge-watch of mine. The ridiculousness of it all just made me think What If and my genius solution was to manifest it in a #FP theme. Go me!
Now that awesome #FP theme has come back to us in the form of a Very Best Of feature, and I am super thrilled to present it to you today, brought to you by the genius of the Musae Mosaic Community.
So be enthralled, and enjoy the Very Best Of Tall Tales!

Tall tales

God is Tricksy‏ @AdrianYoung10
Wow! Look at that tale!

“It must be at least 300 feet high!!”

That’s what I call a tall tale!

“What’s it about?”

Unicorns.

“Ah”
#FP

God is Tricksy‏ @AdrianYoung10
life
passes by
like wind swept
cloud-filled skies
as memories fade
and graves
and ovens beckon
and tall tales become
a necessary evil
#FP

God is Tricksy‏ @AdrianYoung10
The house had been empty for years. But everyone had seen the little girl in the window. Smiling. Blowing kisses.
In her red 50’s dress.
#FP

chris p‏ @chrispapps2
#FP
On a dark Sligo evening the tall tales told with a candle flickering brought Emer and Cu Chalain into the room in all their glory.

C Alexandra‏ @NerdCactus
“Once upon a time, there was a charming, handsome, witty god of mischief…”
“Isn’t this story supposed to be about you, Luck?” #FP

Cedrix E. Clarke‏ @CedrixClarke
Ed’s doubt in himself rose to such an acute level he wasn’t surprised when he heard a poof! sound just before he stopped existing. #FP

Roger__Jackson‏ @jabe842
She asked him why he was smiling, and his soft answer kindled her own smile in return.

“I’m thinking of all the ways I could use you.”
#FP

Mori Kaithor(spooky)‏ @MoriKaithor
#FP
A long long time ago, there was a cellphone that lived in a leather socket. His owner touched him often, with his bacteria-fingers.

Bobbi Bowman‏ @bobbibowwoman
Hyperbole was an art around the dinner table. Laughter and tall tales. We never spoke of the pain. #FP

Bobbi Bowman‏ @bobbibowwoman
I froze as the furry tail circled my foot at the dinner table.
“Your dog has a tall tail.”
“What dog?” #FP

Becky Spence‏ @bex_spence
Another story. Another lie. Empty words pour, ink falling from your lips, seeping into the air. Dissolve before they touch the floor. #fp

Lexi Lefevre‏ @LexiIsAWriter
Tell me
a story
of long
ago,
when
you’d
fallen
so hard,
it’d broken
your
heart
of stone.
How all
that’d
crumbled
failed to
re-mold,
before
light
and its
love
made
things
better,
or so
I was
told.
#FP #vss

KizzyLouFreebush‏ @kizletwiggle
His words shook her to the core.

“You’re mine, now.”

“But…!”

“You should have read the fine print, dear. It said body AND soul.”
#FP

stevemcauliffe‏ @beholdcosmicwav
A golden land sprung liberated from out of our collective imagining
Golden pillars framed the ponds
wherein children bathed delightedly #FP

Karina Lawrence‏ @KarinaLawrence
She’s becoming Voldemort, she who shall not be named. Though her name lingers on my vocal chords like a tattoo. #FP #amwriting

Karina Lawrence‏ @KarinaLawrence
I wait a beat, enjoying the tense moment, my body shaking with the effort of restraint. I count to five.
Four
Three
Two
One
Then nod
#FP

AJ Mullican‏ @AJMullican
“She’s the best Hawkeye in the Dead City.”
“Best Hawkeye in this whole damn sad excuse for a country, I’d say.” #FP

Anna Chant‏ @anna_chant
I thought Oengus was telling a pretty tale to put heart into the men That is good for the young lads like your brothers & indeed Cinaed #FP

Casey Costra‏ @CaseyCostra
“…used to use ’em for toilet brushes. And that’s the story, son, of why humans lost their tails.”
#FP Tall Tales

Debbie Crypt Owens‏ @CribbOwens
#FP
“By my own tenacity and the grace of God, I overcame every obstacle and stand before you victorious!”
“Oh good. You got the milk.”

Karina Lawrence‏ @KarinaLawrence
I find her presence in the small things, a ripe avocado, morning sunlight falling on crisp white sheets, a snug pair of jeans #fp #amwriting

Vicki Addesso‏ @VickiAddesso
You tell me your truths in the moonlight.
I listen.
The earth spins round.
Sunlight burns holes in those lies.
Frayed fables remain.
#FP

J.L. Brown‏ @AuthorJLBrown
They took a pledge, a blood oath, to protect me. The sacred oath they swore was no child’s play. It was ancient Druid magic. #FP

Mr Paul‏ @CnstantGardener
She hears the tall people tell tales but every time they only let her stay for a while. When she moves to the big house the tales stop. #FP

Chris Mahan‏ @chris_mahan
#FP
They sat around the campfire
After a long day
Each regaling the others
With embellished accounts
Of their adventures

KizzyLouFreebush‏ @kizletwiggle
He took her to the darkest places in her soul, holding her safe. “Look,” he whispered, “There’s nothing to be scared of. Embrace it.”
#FP

Karina Lawrence‏ @KarinaLawrence
And I know you’ll think “she’s probably not all that”. Maybe my mind has conjured up an image of her so perfect it can’t be real
Maybe #fp

Paul Jameson‏ @Modquokka
“Yousefibbin’,” she frowns, unsure.
“Perhaps,” the undertaker smiles, shrugs. “But a story’s only a lie if you don’t believe in it.”
#FP

Roger__Jackson‏ @jabe842
“You look sweet.” he said.

He brushed a firm thumb against her mouth, smearing lipstick towards her jawline.

“There. That’s better.”
#FP

Casey Donart‏ @CaseyDonart
Lies tangled in the trees
falling
in vines
of vices
we can’t undo
#FP #poetry #poem

A.M. Hounchell‏ @inferno4dante
Dragon of fire and brimstone
The last of his kind
So he says to the rest
While wearing his crest #FP

αηηίε‏ @anniescribes
He loved hearing her tell stories. The short and sweet kind, just like her; the kind he could fold and tuck in his back pocket.
#FP

K.N. Hyatt‏ @kn_hyatt
“I’m not trying to convince you of anything, but I believe there are things in the pass that long ago faded into myth.” #FP

C. M. Turner‏ @authorCM_Turner
There’s a bridge where I come from with many souls living beneath. Sounds like a tall tale but I assure you it’s true.
#FP

Every Writer‏ @QueryAnne
Been waiting forever to see the moon because the mountain blocks it from view, so you pretend to be a monster while we sit in the dark. #fp

𝓑👀…𝓜𝘦? 👻‏ @Lilsweetnspice
I weave in my mind
a tall tale
of a whimsical,utopic
place to reside.
Beauty surrounds
kindness has
no bounds
& love is
without fail.🌎
#FP

Karen‏ @KarenOhren
Beneath
my umbrella
these little legs
a mushroom
dancing in the rain.

I’m a short story
not a tall tale.
#FP

God is Tricksy‏ @AdrianYoung10
Yesterday, I was innocently crunching autumnal leaves underfoot when I was surreptitiously approached by a squirrel in a red bandana.
#FP

Owl Write‏ @OwlWrite4Cake
She carried them with her everywhere she went. Each tale, tall or small, was kept safe in her leather satchel. Stories were her currency. #FP

Shara Godwinson‏ @sharagodwinson
#FP “All these myths, legends, stories; they’re nothing but tall tales full of non-sense.”
“I like non-sense,” Clive said.

 

The Very Best of Next Door Neighbors #FP!

Well, well, well … what have we here?
Looks like awesomeness to me, actually! And ya wanna know something great? I’m right! Hahahahaaa! Wheeeeee
I apologize. I am currently experiencing a worrying coffee high, and things are a bit blurry and weird.
But good news is I am of sane mind (mostly) and I am not about to stop (yeah, I’m lying. Sorry.)
So, his has been a strangely productive week and compared to the three weeks before this that were just such a nightmare, it feels a bit weird. However, thank heavens, we are absolutely taking it into our stride and good things are happening.
Monday, we published this amazing interview with a longtime #FP participant and super amazing author, John Cordial! You ever just meet someone like that who blew your mind to bits? We just did, and we are more than happy to share our utter wonderment with you.
So if you have not yet done so, you simply MUST catch up on this interview. You really, seriously must.
And following that one awesome Monday, we also had an amazing #200WT edition! Joy is when there’s enough content to have an amazing #200WT edition and it hits above 300 views, so … we hit the magic maker and it was wonderful.
Please share that good streak of amazingness and share the #200WT Edition, because the more views it gets, the more fans of these authors it makes and THAT’S A GOOD THING!
And now, to the #FP’s …
So because we had such a fluctuation in our content schedule, what with my laptop and all, it was very hard to keep to it in the last week. As in, nearly impossible, so what we have here today is the Best Of Next Door Neighbors and the Best Of Tall Tales. A Best of All World, if you ask me 🙂
To begin the beautiful series of #FP’s, here we have and we present, the Very Best of Next Door Neighbors!

Next door neighbors

 

Jiangshi-chi-yeah  👹‏ @demiurgent_G
The sun rose on us, the moon set and your totem of me swung from the tree. Still we were neighbours. You laughed as you spit on me. #fp

Chris Mahan‏ @chris_mahan
#FP
It’s never easy living next door
His tomb is always noisy
Something in there stirs
All the night long
Can we not rest in peace?

Willie Crypt Handler‏ @WillieHandler
#FP
I sense an annoying humming sound in my head. The Martians look at each other with worried looks.
“Someone is at the door” say Bleeker.

Jacqueline Dooley‏ @jackie510
I can’t see the moon, so I’ll watch the neighbor’s cat. Wrapped in scarlet curtains, her eyes look like two glowing moons #FP #FridayThe13th

J.S. Mitchell‏ @inkpage
We tried to escape the glare of his front porch stare, but keeping secrets from him was like playing poker in a house of mirrors. #FP

C Alexandra‏ @NerdCactus
Around her family, Lyn often felt like the neighbor no one talked to out of a shared conviction that she would eat their children. #FP

Roger__Jackson‏ @jabe842
The next door neighbour welcomed me to my new home with a vegan pie. It was delicious, but later I found an eyelid between my teeth.
#FP

chrisp‏ @chrispapps2
#FP
The arid wind from the north was our only constant neighbour, it brought dust, not gifts and tore relentlessly at the rusty iron roof.

Roger__Jackson‏ @jabe842
Yes, I take my cosplay seriously, but I just love the character. That’s why I always wear the mask when I kill someone.
#FP

Brandon Custy‏ @brandon_custy
She loves the sun and hates the rain. I love the rain and hate to run. One door down and worlds apart. She could feel my heart
#FictFri#Fp

Necropolis Frau‏ @prosateuse
They’re so nosy, that family next door. Can’t a woman bury her husband in peace?
#FP

chris p‏ @chrispapps2
#FP
My neighbour , a winged master beloved of Athene who keeps the mice in check and loftily surveys my futile human scribblings.

Jiangshi-chi-yeah 👹‏ @demiurgent_G
I grew up in a semidetached house & wanted to fall in love with my neighbour, so we’d marry & merge our homes. I didn’t, but we did. #fp

Lexi Lefevre‏ @LexiIsAWriter
With porcelain skin
& eyes of
glass,
she opened the
door
for me,
at last.
Upon greeting,
she took
my hand
& said,
“hello,”
in an
eerie
voice
I believed
was reserved
for the
dead.
Alas,
betwixt an
endearing
pixie smile
& pearl-adorned
collar
was
nothing
at
all.
#FP #VerseAngel 129

You can call me V‏ @vspearson85
So kind of the neighbour to help me dig my garden.
He didn’t know it was a grave.
I’ve a spot picked out for him if he wakes me again.
#fp

Mr Paul‏ @CnstantGardener
The neighbors kid just got a drum set. He practices at 9pm each night. Perfect for drowning out the screams.
#FP

Roger__Jackson‏ @jabe842
I don’t know what shocked me more: seeing my neighbour spying on me, or the thumbs up she gave when I stabbed my victim in the face.
#FP

Roger__Jackson‏ @jabe842
It’s hard to believe that this time last week, I was in the dark, because this time last week, I’d never seen your smile.
#FP

Jon 🐌‏ @sloopjonb1960
“Some of us have, alas, fallen into brigandage and piracy, so that our reputation is fallen low among our neighbours.”
#FP

Eric Lahti‏ @ericlahti1
Over time, she got used to the fact that her neighbors were maps, stuffed jackalopes, and that weird mummy that groaned all night.
#FP

Paul Jameson‏ @Modquokka
Neighbours walk floorboards, move, make noise; tip tap, tip tap. Talk noisy. Whisper, whisper. No more. A hammer bleeds; cats purr.
#FP

chris p‏ @chrispapps2
#FP
An ancient fig tree spreads its leafy boughs over my neighbours yard, we agreed its canopy made a fine scene and we enjoy its bounty.

Larysia🖊‏ @Larysia
He peered in through her window. She was peeling off her bra. Then she peeled off her face & stretched her mandibles. Feeding time. #FP

Kris. always Kris..‏@superkrispydj
#fp The chair in the porch rocks to &fro, a whisp of smoke rises from the pipe clenched in a gummy mouth. He just watches, always there.

Stephen 🍁🍂🎃🎃🍂🍁‏ @GallifreyGamgee
Officer Wade glared at Tippy. “This is the last complaint we’ll respond to on your neighbors! They’re honest hardworking cannibals!” #FP

Rêve-Ree‏ @ReeDwithaBee
Thru the lace curtain her face is blurred – as tho behind a bridal veil, but he thinks he sees a smile as she plays those dreamy chords #FP

Saint Eric‏ @Mr_Micawber
Gone was the next door neighbor
No more arguments or fights
Now only quiet nights
Filled with many meals to savor
#FP

You can call me V‏ @vspearson85
The neighbours are ok.Don’t see them in the day at all. Keep bats too.
Idk why the last tenant planted garlic under all the windows tho #fp

jfxmcloughlin‏ @jfxmcl
“Come now, no need to bother about the neighbors,” she said. “Unless of course they come with the torches and pitchforks again …” #FP

Briana Morgan 🖤👻‏ @brimorganbooks
He thought it was his lucky day. Instead, it was his last.
#fp #horror

Larysia🖊‏ @Larysia
The crone next door gave him the evil eye. He didn’t believe in jinxes, but when he grew a tail, he considered he was hexed. #FP #SciFiFri

so_manywords‏ @so_manywords
When she was alone, she only had her thoughts to keep her company. Talk about your crazy neighbors… #FP

PlatinumRoseLady‏ @PlatinumRoseL
#FP

The kids told Kara she lived next door to a witch.

Relief bloomed in her soul.

Finally, maybe now she could find a teacher.

Brynhildr☾‏ @Anachronist3
#FP
“She murdered my husband, the evil old hag next door, she did!”
The detective gave her a look.
“She happens to be my mother, madam.”

R.B. McConnell‏ @BunnyDarkness
Staring at the snowflake tattoo on his neck, she moved past him. Looking up from his book he smiled. She got off the train,a lost chance #FP

Sarah Brentyn💀🖤‏ @SarahBrentyn
He’s a good neighbor. It’s nice having company, though I’ve always envied his view. They hung him from the branch facing Lake Mors.
#FP

Casey Donart‏ @CaseyDonart
Passion
Once burned
In this home
The walls bled
The cracks deepened
The wolf came
And
Blew
Our
House
Down
#FP #poetry #poem

Bobbi Bowman‏ @bobbibowwoman
A bomb shakes; we watch a swat team surround the next door neighbor’s home.
“There are kids there!” hubs runs out.
“Back inside, sir” #fp

Bobbi Bowman‏ @bobbibowwoman
A tiny voice on the other side of the neighbor’s fence beckons my grand babies to play.
I peek over the fence.
No one is there. #fp

Nate Ragolia‏ @NateRagolia
The saddest day in my life was the day when I realized that our neighbors cared nothing for us, and would sooner squirrel away a fortune they’d never spend than help anyone else survive. #FP

Roger__Jackson‏ @jabe842
It was a funny trick, the way the clown used telekinesis to hurl the custard pies. It was funnier still with the knives.
#HorrorPrompt
#FP

Lord Stabdagger!‏ @Lord_Stabdagger
#FP Months of intense waiting, finally, a message from our closest neighbours across the stars. It said-Can you keep the noise down please?

Ariana Bella Durante‏ @ArianaDurante
Each year the crimson roses bloomed & bled such stunning aromatic jewels.
She’s on her 4th neighbour, fertilising the soil perfectly. #fp

Hannah Powley‏ @Hannah_Monster
She had no next-door neighbour to greet her each morning, just the ghostly imprint of his body on the lawn to silently watch her leave #FP

God is Tricksy‏ @AdrianYoung10
My mind is empty. Devoid of thought. Barren.

Although I’m not quite as bad as Barry, my next door neighbour, who’s a complete idiot.

KizzyLouFreebush‏ @kizletwiggle
Shame was bitter on her tongue, bile & regret in a nauseating cocktail. She heaved, gagged, wept.
It didn’t stop her next time, though.
#FP

Lord Stabdagger!‏ @Lord_Stabdagger
#FP I like my neighbour, such a sweet old lady and darn good babysitter. I haven’t the heart to tell her she’s been dead these past 5 years.

Lord Stabdagger!‏ @Lord_Stabdagger
#FP Your lucky, my neighbour’s a time traveller, irritating git! He once brought back a cave man and the cat’s been missing ever since.

Call me Trulock‏ @CrTrulock
I hated people so much, it was a relief to move to the space station. No more neighbors.

So what’s with the knocking at the airlock? #FP

Rose Erlin‏ @RoseErlinWrites
Inhuman lover,
my shining knight
of flame

Come live and love
beside me

Melt this ice
queen’s heart
#fp #fictfri #PinkPrompt#DimpleVerse

Karen‏ @KarenOhren
The next door neighbour
watching
clever eyed and silent
sneaking furtive glances
black cat
on the garden wall.
#FP

J.S. Mueller‏ @JSMueller_5150
Entering my apt, I was greeted by my neighbor, on the sofa, wine glass in hand. My heart dropped. “What have you done? Where’s my wife?”
#FP

 

Absolutely Awesome #200WT Edition!

Wow, this has been a hard few days.
I mean, we all get them, but these were especially brutal. In a big way. But things are changing. I mean, they’re really changing, and for the first time in a really long time, we’re feeling rather good about them.
So last week, we put up a poll asking who’d be interested in the MMVP, the Musae Mosaic Volunteer Program and the feedback was very interesting. However, it was also mostly negative, so while as an experiment is was very worthwhile, we will not be rolling this program out after all.
There are many, many reasons for this and listing them all would contravene our privacy policies, and thus it will just be laid to rest. Nice and easy.
We want to thank everyone who participated in that poll and gave us an idea of what to expect. It would have been impossible without you. Thank you so, so much for your time! *mwahs you all!*
But onto better things!
With the unprecedented hole that a broken laptop has left in my life, keeping up with everything has been very, very hard. But in between breaths of life from my laptop, I have been able to put together a little bit and I will continue to do so as best I can.
Here today, we have a wonderful, wonderful selection of #200WT stories and they are just magnificent. I really, seriously do mean magnificent. The gifts of words are not freely given, but to be able to showcase the words on #200WT today, that is an honor I can’t believe we have.
Thank you so much to the writers who have contributed to this week’s edition of #200WT and thank you for keeping it alive.
To the wonderful readers, thank you for taking the time to love and adore these amazing authors work! Please share and keep sharing it, so their stories can go as far as possible, and we can make a fan out of the many out there who didn’t know these stories were exactly what they needed!
And now, read and enjoy!

Lara Savine

A Call in The Dark pt. 4, 5, and 6

By Lord Stabdagger

4

He managed to lift his head. His blurry vision able to detect some form of dull light. The entrance to the rock hole was no longer blocked. “Hier Druben!… Eile!”
Sheer determination acting on behalf of his wasted strength he clambered towards the entrance. In the distance the evening sunset was peering through a thin gap in the storm clouds, being the only thing he could make out with his half frozen eyes, but he searched for any sign of the woman calling. Again the wind carried her voice, which seamed to come from everywhere. He took a deep breath and yelled with all he had and waited to hear her again.
“…Hier Druben!… Hier Druben!” This time she seamed closer than ever, just around the corner of a large chunk of rock that formed part of the hole he’d stumbled upon.
The gap in the clouds was closing; taking what little sunlight remained away as it got thinner. With limbs struggling to respond he dared to edge his way around the rock, fighting against the strong wind and sharp clumps of snow battering him from all sides.
Half way round he yelled again and waited. “…… Eileeee!…… Eileeee!” came the voice.
A strong wind hit him hard and he lost his footing.

5

The avalanche had stripped the rock face bare of nearly all the snow and Ice. He fell onto a ledge protruding out from a crack, cushioned by a lair of fresh snow from the avalanche. He lay still, partly due to exhaustion and to try to assess any damage he may have incurred from the fall.
With the freezing wind snatching his breath from his mouth he heard her once more, “Hier Druben!… Eileee!” Where could she be? Who was she? “Eileeeee!”
He couldn’t feel any broken bones, and forced himself up to crawl toward where the voice seamed to be coming from. Every few moments she called and he soldiered on to find her, trying to call back with nothing more than a grunt.
The ledge opened out and he rested against a square rock to catch his breath. As he fell against it, he noticed it made a hollow sound and the surface seamed somehow soft.
He turned to examine it, and found it to be an old large wooden crate. The base of it was smashed, clearly dropped from somewhere above. The ropes that were connected to a Para shoot were still attached. He scraped the snow away from a branded image on its side, and saw a swastika.

6

All the effort had got his blood flowing. Mild feeling was returning to his legs and his eyes were clearing slightly. He sat there staring at the nazi symbol on the crate and wondered why it was there. There was something silver at its base, a can, with several others peering from the ice. He prised it lose and saw it was a giant tin of baked beans. The crate was full of tinned food.
In the fading light he could see another crate several meters away with the remains of its para shoot draped over a third behind it. Beyond the crate was a dark void and from it he heard her voice once more, much fainter but most certainly coming from that darkness.
He crawled his way towards it and found it to be a small cave like opening in the rock. He tried to call to her as he dragged himself in out of the wind, but she didn’t respond.
Once inside he rested against the back wall. The sun made another brief appearance, sending a shard of golden light into the opening. He was shocked to see the mummified face of a long dead person slumped to his right.

Author: Lord Stabdagger
Twitter: @Lord_Stabdagger
Website: castle-stabdagger.blog

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

By Lady Stabdagger

Part 1:

The rules were simple; solve the puzzles in order to escape each room and whatever you do don’t turn out the light. The second part was simple enough Louisa had no intention of turning out any lights. Louisa liked to believe that she would escape soon enough, she did have brains after all, even though most people took her for a common bimbo. That was the trouble with being an actress, sometimes the audience didn’t know how to separate the character you are playing from the person behind bringing that character to life. Why her agent signed her up to take part in this silly game show she didn’t know. Celebrity game shows were for those whose careers were going down the drain, not for someone like her who was still cast for new roles.
She looked around the first room. It appeared simple enough. The instructions on the wall told her that all she needed to do was turn the wheel in front of her until she had made an eight letter word on each side. It reminded her of the time she appeared on the crystal maze for charity. Louisa could hear the sound of a storm building up outside.

Part 2:

Louisa wondered what the attraction of this game show was. Why did the rules specifically say she couldn’t turn out the light when there was no sign of a light switch. She heard a rumble of thunder; the lights flickered. As if her question could be heard a voice came over the speaker system.
“Go to the hatch in the wall and you will find a small candle and a single match. Take these with you as you go to each room. If the lights go out completely, you will die. You have 4 rooms to solve. The backup generator is located in the last room. The candle can only be lit once. Use it well.”
The lights flickered again. That certainly changed things. Suddenly the game show had taken a more sinister turn. There was no way that candle would last for all the tasks. She would have to pick the moment carefully. Surely her agent wouldn’t have signed her up for anything that would risk her life. Somehow the voice on the speaker sounded like her agent. The lights flickered more and more. She found herself in darkness.
“You have 30 seconds before the device is triggered.” The voice told her.
Louisa started counting. One … two … three … she fumbled for the match. The lights returned.

Part 3:

She must act quickly. She needed to solve this room and get to the next room as soon as possible. She doubted the candle would last all for rooms, so she must choose when to light it carefully. Louisa moved the wheel one more time and it clicked into place. The centre of the wheel lifted up revealing a key. It was onto the next room. The lights flickered in the corridor. Louisa froze. She couldn’t see where she needed to go. She hoped the rules only applied to each of the rooms and not the corridors between them.
She finally made it to the next room. The puzzle in here was a bit more physical. This time there was a set of scales in the middle of the room surrounded by what looked like water, however the smell in the room suggested it was more likely petrol. On the wall to her left hung various different sized sand bags and in front of her was a series of stepping stones leading directly to the scales. It was obvious what she needed to do in here; she must balance the scales. It seemed simple enough but then nothing about this was as it seemed. She came to the conclusion this was unlikely to be a real game show.

Author: Lady Stabdagger
Twitter: @ladystabdagger

Banshee’s Wail

By Chris Mentzer

Gather around the campfire
And I’ll tell you a tale,
A story about the North Wind
Known as The Banshee’s Wail

A child went out at nighttime
And wandered in the dark
He thought he heard a cat cry
Or maybe it was a Lark.

He came into a clearing
The wind kicked up all around,
So he hid inside a fallen log
And prayed he would be found.

The mother left the homestead
And called out for her boy,
She knew of the creatures there;
Sneaky and real coy.

She knew the forest faithfully
And came upon the stream
She followed it to the north
Until she heard the scream.

The voice was from the darkness;
And come from straight ahead
She fearthat her little boy
Was not living; but now dead.

She then traveled onward
Her fate she just sealed,
For the creature that lie in waiting
To her, was fully revealed.

When the sun arose that day
The boy returned to bed,
He had survived the windstorm;
Alive and not dead.

So you see when the North Wind blows
The truth is fully known;
A motherly figure searches the woods
With a wail that’s all her own.

Author: Chris Mentzer
Twitter: @Chris_Mentzer

An Act of Revenge

By Kieron Circuit

“You’re such a baby. Your Native American name would be Running Scared”, my best friend teased.
Best friend. That’s a joke. His crown is one of convenience, not only does he live next door but he’s the only kid my age who lives on my street. We’re nothing alike, I’m fairly sure he’s a bully but what am I going to do about it?
My frustration gets the better of me as I hurl a piece of a broken branch that is lying nearby. It flies past his head but only seems to give him pleasure, as if bringing about this reaction is what he’s after. “You throw like a girl to”, he sneers, not really understanding the offense.
“You go in then.” I challenge him, knowing he won’t back down.
I watch as he advances into the darkness, and as his form disappears I pull the door shut, sliding the deadbolt. It isn’t long before his rhythmic thumping on the wooden door signals his distress. I could let him out now, but he needs to be taught a lesson. As I walk away, I become aware of the grin slowly forming on my lips.

Author: Kieron Circuit
Twitter: @Callow_explorer
Website: callowexplorer.com