Tag Archives: challenge

Beyond the book release, and an artist invitation

Well, kind of. You've seen the reblogs and are probably all aware of my new release. I'm trying to reblog those posts with reviews, or where I wrote part of them. I'm also trying to surf back through the cover reveals and participate in comments.

Sales are still in double digits, and I would like to break 100 before Amazon delivers. The rumor is the pre-sales all count on the day Amazon delivers. More pre-sales equals a higher ranking, and can lead to more sales.

I've been answering a ton of emails, and writing some requested stuff for others.

My wife and I went to pizza and beer last night. Life still goes on outside of work and writing. Had a great pumpkin beer on tap. Forgot to write down the name though, so I can't share it with you.

Had a lovely conversation with my parents today. It's a Sunday thing I insist upon. I missed last week, because I was driving back from the coast.

I finished my critique work this afternoon, and loaded them in my truck. This is a habit I developed years ago, because I tend to forget things. Nothing like showing up for critique group and not having your stuff.

I even managed to write another Macabre Macaroni story today. I may be able to pull this off after all.

I publicly debated not doing Macabe Macaroni this year. Commenters encouraged me to post my micro-fiction again. If I post one story every Tuesday, I only need four. I now have enough stories.

You know how doubt works though. There is always one story you know is awesome. Likewise, there is always one you worry about. Last year my awesome story ranked right in the middle and surprised me. The one I worried about was my most popular one.

When I sent out ARCs of The Experimental Notebook, there was one story I worried about. Two different advance readers chose it as their favorite. I feel the same way about my stories for this year. It will be interesting to see what everyone likes.

On to the challenge. Since I'm doing Macabre Macaroni again, I think it deserves some artwork. Those of you so inclined can send your pieces to: Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com. If I get one, I'll post it with all the stories. If I get enough, I'll do one per post. If I get too many, I'll figure out how to do a seperate artwork post. I'll give the artists a nod of course, so include your contact information. Maybe I can drive you some blog traffic or clients.

So come on you artists out there. Your theme is Macabre Macaroni. If you want to glue macaroni to a board and photograph it, that's cool. Maybe you have some creepy idea to actually cook up and photograph. Maybe some of you can paint something involving a casserole dish and body parts. Use your imaginations, as long as it involves both words “Macabre Macaroni” it's good.

I can't wait to see what you come up with.


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

The 777 Challenge

I've been tagged for this challenge by a couple of different people. The challenge rules are:

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

I clipped the rules from John W. Howell's blog. He's one who nominated me, and the other one is Mae Clair. Thank you John and Mae.

This challenge is a get what you get kind of thing. The section could land within a transition or the middle of dialog. This is from my work in progress called The Playground. My victim character, Chloe, is speaking with her creepy doll, Sandra, about visiting chat rooms and social networks.

“You can accept the request from earlier today,” Sandra said.

“Who was it?”

“Belinda is a girl who attends Jimmy Carter Elementary. Her doll's name is Trilly. Her favorite thing is the Playground Network.”

“That's over near the mall. Yes, I want to make friends with Belinda and Trilly.”

“Trilly is online right now. Belinda wants to talk to you.”

There you have it. With seven random lines you don't get the context, so I'm going to fill you in. The Playground Network is a social network for children. It's been placed in dolls, plush toys, and things to appeal to kids. The network is pure evil, and a madman is trying to raise his own army within our homes.

According to the rules, I can tag seven other writers to run with the 777 challenge. It doesn't say I must tag seven other writers. This thing orbited the planet pretty fast. Most of my friends have already been tagged by now.

It's kind of a cop out not to tag others, but I'm up against the wall here. Unless one of my writer friends has multiple works in progress, they can't play round two. My short stories didn't fit within the parameters either. Feel free to take the challenge and run with it.


Filed under Blogging, Writing

Okay, I’ll play along…

Ali Isaac tagged me for a Freestyle Writing Challenge. The idea was to write for either five or ten minutes about an assigned topic, then stop and post it. You can read Ali’s attempt here.

To recap the rules

Open an MS Word Document

Set a stop watch or your mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat

Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!

Fill the word doc with as much words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.

Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (its only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)

You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.

At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.

Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers)

My assignment was: “If you could go back in time, to any period in history, when would it be, and why?”

Ready, set, go:

If I could go back in time to any period in history, it would have to be the Wild West of the United States.

I know where all the pretty places are to stake out my homestead. I also know where quite a few of the famous mineral deposits are. It wouldn’t have to be a huge strike, just enough to get me started. I could then invest in the companies that are going to be successful, like Union Pacific Railroad.

I have an idea where all of the bad places are, and could avoid raids by Pancho Villa or the various native peoples. I might even stake out some country where all the oil wells are, or simply invest in the right struggling wildcatter.

I’d have enough cash after a time to travel to all the really cool places. I’m sure 1800s San Francisco would be interesting for a week or two. I might even take a ship to Africa or the Klondike, just to poke around. I could buy some items to lock away for future generations like first editions by Mark Twain and Robert Service.

I came up with 188 words in five minutes. Ali wrote 225 in ten minutes. I don’t think I won a prize, but I was competitive.

Here’s the hard part. I have to rat out five friends, and I don’t think I have that many. In fact some of them were already tagged by Ali.

I love playing these games, it’s the ratting out friends part I have a hard time with. Here’s the deal. It’s fun, and you should play along. Set your timer for either 5 or 10 minutes, as you please. Then write your little black hearts out. Link to me, and I’ll read your post. Heck, link to Ali, and I’ll bet she’ll read it too. The whole world should consider themselves tagged.

Set up your keyboard, take a shot of courage, and let her rip. Here is your assignment:











You wake up in an unfamiliar section of forest. There is a small stream flowing past you. The sun is high in the sky, and won’t indicate west for several hours. You have a canteen full of water, a hatchet, and a box of matches. What will you do?


Filed under Writing

Okay, Doobster. I’m your Huckleberry

Doobster wrote a short story the other day that was a setup for a silly joke. I was one of several “groan” commenters. Today he’s really dishing it out and challenging us to either finish the story another way, or move it forward. I usually don’t play along, but since I’m one of the ones he’s jabbing, how could I refuse.

Here’s the link to the original story. You may get a chuckle out of his joke. Here’s the link to his challenge. I hope I included all the proper links. I’ll add Doobster’s line in italics, then my own in standard font:

“What do you mean that something was wrong? What was wrong? What did you need to warn me about?”

He opened his trench coat and revealed a badge. “Please, you’ll appreciate the sunshine for this.”

I followed the stranger outside, but stood in front of the window where everyone could see. I hoped Jake, or someone else could at least serve as a witness at my trial.

“Look around you. What don’t you see?”

I looked frantically. This guy had me scared. “I don’t know, everything’s fine.”

“Where’s your shadow?”

I looked again, but it wasn’t there. It was no reason to panic. “It’s the middle of the day, so what?”

“I have a shadow, and you should too. You’ve been marked. The aliens return in seven days and you really don’t want to go with them. We can help you, but you need to come to our facility.” He reached in his coat and handed me a card.

The card said, “Immigration and Naturalization Services, Special Agent Thomas Mulroney.”

“INS, really?”

“Yes, sir. Illegal aliens are abducting our people. We’ll keep you in total darkness. They can’t take you if they can’t detect your missing shadow.”

“How long are you going to keep me in the dark? I have rights you know.”

“Just until after the national election. All we have to do is keep you in the dark until the vote is in, then you can go about your business.”


Another one of Doobster’s fans can take it from here.



Filed under Writing