In Too Deep #WEPFF Challenge No. 6 featuring Anybody, Save Me #amwriting #flashfiction

This time around, I took the writing prompt to heart and made sure to actually include the words in my story. I hope you find this piece amusing and will consider the request I’ve posted at the end. So glad to be back in the WEP challenge again. It’s the best writing challenge I’ve come across.

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Anybody, Save Me

How can my throat be so parched when I’m surrounded by water? No matter how hard I try I keep gulping down pounds and pounds of sharp grains. Throbbing constricts my efforts to push forward. My nostrils blister as the particles scratch and burn my nasal passage. The notion of weightlessness is but a faint, cruel, memory now. My feet are lead; my hands are clawing nubs. Coarseness rushes to my lungs and punches out any remaining air leaving behind only a saline sludge. Stabbing blindness and stinging deafness are also claimed by the sludge and I know now, I’m in way too deep. This must be what it feels like to drown at sea.

But, wait. There’s something pulling me. It’s pulling me down even further than I thought possible, aiding the death that lingers in my final thoughts. No one should have to experience their last seconds of existence so vividly. Why – am – I – not – dead – ye…?

>Ping<

What was that? Where am I? Why aren’t I dead?

>Ping. Ping.<

Wait. I can see. I can hear. What the heck? I can breathe, but I’m still under water. Wonder if I can talk?

Yep. I must still be pretty deep. All the colors are somehow a bit grey. But… it’s not cold. At least I don’t feel cold. He he he. I do feel weightless though. I feel like I could float, maybe even fly. Ha ha he he. There’s no reason I should be feeling this good. Pretty sure I just drowned to death, but …

Whoa, am I seriously bound? What the effen heck is happening? Why am I chained to the – the – I guess, the sea floor?

>Ping. Ping. Glur glur. Glur glur. Wooosssssssshhhhh.<

“Ah, there you are. You’re awake.”

Did I seriously just see a green fish person whoosh up to me? “What the holy heck are you?”

“Oh, my love. My sweet mortal. I am your savior?”

“Uh, no you’re not.” Are its eyes fluttering at me? “You’re some magic welding sea monster who brought me back from a death I was just beginning to accept. Please, I beg you. Send me back to my doom?”

“Aren’t you silly. I know this will be quite an adjustment, but once you acclimate, everything will be fine. You’ll see. You’ll be happy here with me.”

“No. This isn’t right. I died. I should be dead.” I sure as heck shouldn’t be trapped by a sea monster. “I’m guessing you’re a nice sea monster and all, but I’m pretty certain what’s dead is supposed to stay that way.”

“First of all, I’m not a monster; just because I look different from you. Secondly, you died a horrible death and I saved you. Would you really rather go back to being a bloated sinking corpse?

A bloated corpse sounds terrible, but if I’m dead, it’s not like I’ll know. This situation, on the other hand, is downright scary. “Sorry, you’re right. I had no right to call you a monster. It’s just that I’m not used to talking to creatures with scales and green skin. Oh, is creature offensive?”

“No, creature is fine. Besides, you’re my favorite creature in all the world. That’s why I saved you.”

“But, don’t you see. You didn’t save me. You brought me back to life. Why would you do that?”

>Ping. Ping.<

“Oh goodness me. I’m so glad I set these alarms. We’ll be late if we don’t hurry.”

“Late for what? You haven’t told me why you brought me back. And while you’re at it, why can I breathe underwater now?”

“Oh you, silly guppy. We’ll have our whole lives to learn about each other. We really must hurry.”

“What do you mean we have our whole lives? Please, for all that is decent in this crazy world, will you tell me what’s going on?”

“Fine. If you must know, I’m Fae of the sea. I grant wishes from time to time. And your wish was irresistible.”

“My wish? What wish?”

“Your last dying request. ‘Somebody, anybody, save me! My lover’s trying to kill me! Save me, please! Save me! I’ll do anything to repay you!’

“Wait. I didn’t say those words to you. I was pleading for my life. I was being thrown overboard. I wanted someone to pull me out.”

“Well, I heard your plea, and unfortunately I can’t pull people out. I can only pull them down. I also can’t restore human lives, but I can reshape a mortal soul into something else. You have been given a second chance. A new life among the merfolk. A life you will spend wed to me.”

“Wait, merfolk? Wed? What the holy…” I can’t believe a scaly webbed hand just mushed my face.

“Sorry, we don’t look like your human fairy tales. But when you live this deep, what do you expect?

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816 words in progressAnybody, Save Me 2018 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas

So, I tried something a little different this time. I wanted to be as descriptive as possible while not using any gender-specific words. I was hoping to tell a story where the reader could decide for themselves the sex/gender of the characters, but I’m not really sure if I pulled it off. I’ve seen other writers try to use gender-neutral pronouns, but most of these efforts have left me feeling disconnected from the story. When I thought I didn’t like romance and could never write it, I challenged myself to dive in and do it. While the work I produced may not be award-winning, it’s not too bad and it’s made me appreciate the genre and those who write it so much more. So that’s what I’m trying today. I’m diving in to see if I can write a gender-neutral story and have it actually make sense. Please let me know if this worked or not; this really is a learning experience for me.

If anyone is interested in the finale to my five-part series, Music My Muse, head over to A Small Gang of Authors to check it out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#WIP Update 22 #amwriting #amreading

WIPU

My writing came to a halt recently when I had a health scare and then I started back to work. So, that basically means that I haven’t written any fiction lately. I’m barely keeping up with my blog, but here I am writing another post. One thing I can say, though, is that the worst is behind me. I’m fine and ready to get back on track.

I’ll be implementing my fall writing schedule starting next Monday. I try not to do any writing or blogging on Sunday and I try to limit my social media interaction. Come Monday, though, I’ll start with 30 minutes a day and work my way to 90 (by the end of the week). It may not sound like a lot, but that’s pretty much all the writing I get in when I’m not on holiday or vacation. It’s increases a bit in the Spring because more daylight invigorates me, but this Winter, I may revert back to 30 minutes. I guess we’ll see how things go.

Next month, I hope to have a more hearty update for you, similar to the last one I posted.

Well, that’s all I have for now. Got some cool stuff happening on my side panel you might want to check out, aaand… If you’re up for it, please check out my Reading Challenge Update.

-Do you have a WIP Update to share? I’d love to see it.

-Feeling a little lost about what’s going on in this post? Just see the side panel and search ToiBox Topics, WIP Updates, to get all caught up. Also, check my Works In Progress tab to see what else I may be working on.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#WIP Update 21 #amwriting

WIPU

So, writing is a tricky thing (in case you didn’t know). I’ve done quite a bit of writing as of late, but I haven’t made a whole lot of progress on any one story. (How is this possible you ask?)

Well, in the process of picking up stories I hadn’t worked on in ages, I found that my original vision for many of them has changed. This month, though, I just want to focus on my progress with the Saying Series 2 book. At the moment, the working title is “Be Careful What You Wish For.”

Since I’m bringing back all the characters from the first book but choosing to focus on one in particular, I had to figure out how to put my new (well, new to this installment) heroin at the center of the action or drama. Needless to say, there’s going to be loads of relationship issues and not all of them will be Lisa’s fault (she’s matured since book 1).

So here’s the basics of what I’m working with. Lisa and Teddy are working to keep a spark in their relationship as they both continue to excel in their careers, which kinda pulls them away from each other. Between Lisa and Rebecca, someone has to get pregnant soon so Sarah Rapture can have a grandchild. Paul, Alex, and a few new comers are back on the dating scene and it’s a little scary (some of Lisa’s life lessons will come in handy here). And while I’m sure some will be put off by this, there will be race issues addressed (in case you didn’t know, Lisa is black… dunt, dunt, dunnnnnn! 😮 )

Well, that’s all I have for now. I’ll explain about some of the other stories I’m rewriting and or structuring another day. If you’re up for it, please check out my Reading Challenge Update.

-Do you have a WIP Update to share? I’d love to see it.

-Feeling a little lost about what’s going on in this post? Just see the side panel and search ToiBox Topics, WIP Updates, to get all caught up. Also, check my Works In Progress tab to see what else I may be working on.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG August 2017: reading/writing/editing pet peeves & other #questions

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Since I really don’t like editing, mainly because I’m no good at self-editing, it’s all one big pet peeve to me. I don’t mind offering feedback on other people’s work, but self-editing seems like an oxymoron to me. To me, if I write something, I know what it’s supposed to sound like and look like, so I can’t see those places where the ideas in my mind and what’s on the screen or paper don’t match. I really don’t like editing.

In terms of writing, my pet peeves are interruptions and inquisitions. It drives me crazy when people won’t let me write. It’s hard enough finding those magical moments when you are motivated to write and actually have the time only to be trapped by someone else’s need to chit-chat after ages of silence. I swear it happens every time. Then there are those times when you’re writing something and people want to talk to you about what you’re writing, or they want to watch you work and get inspired or any number of annoying things to show that they are all of a sudden interested in your writing when they’ve never cared before.

As far as reading goes, while most people will go on and on about style, voice, and p.o.v., the biggest pet peeve I have is when the author has treated the reader like a simpleton. It drives me crazy when authors explain things that don’t need to be explained. I think I do this myself sometimes and I make myself so mad when I do. Gotta work on that.

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Now on to the personal updates.

I’ve been sick, again. I’m always sick, but as long as I’m not in the hospital it really isn’t that bad. I’m used to it, but it does make keeping up with schedules and plans difficult. I’ve also been losing my battle with depression lately. At least I can say that now; I’m currently in a better place. It’s what I call the bounce back. It’s difficult to talk about depression with people who don’t suffer from it because it’s an entirely different thought process; it’s emotional and it’s messy. Most people avoid those who even mention depression, which is why I rarely talk about it. But since I’m doing better at the moment and will, prayerfully, stay that way, I figured it was important to put it out there in case someone is feeling all alone in their struggle.

On a lighter note, I’ve been keeping up with my YouTube channel pretty well, but I’ve realized that I won’t grow a large following with it. With my efforts split between this and other blogs and YouTube, there’s simply no way for me to put the time and interaction into it that would take for effective growth. At this point, it’s just something else I like to do whether others join me or not.

I’ve been writing quite a bit, though I don’t feel like I’m making much progress. Still, it feels good to be writing on a regular basis. I’ll talk more about it in my WIP update on Friday, where I’ll mention how my last public appearance, for a while, went the night before. I’ll be attending “Meet the Authors” at the Central Library in Virginia Beach. At least I’ll get to show off my new business cards.

If you have a moment, I’d love for you to visit my CURIOUS QUESTIONS page and offer your two cents on the question being asked. Thanks bunches.

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So, what are some of your read/write/edit pet peeves?
Any issues you want to talk about?
Any advice for my library appearance?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Christine Rains,
Dolarah @ Book Lover,
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor,
Yvonne Ventresca, and
LG Keltner!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #61).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Return of the #WIP Update 20 #amwriting

WIPU

Well, it’s been a rocky road getting here- posting my first WIP Update in ages, late. Oh well. My plan was to post a wip update or reading challenge video the first Friday of the month and since I posted my Reading Challenge Update video with my IWSG post on Wednesday, today is all about the wips.

Just for clarification, I didn’t forget to post this, I mean not exactly. I actually forgot what day of the week it was. For some reason, I thought there were two Thursdays this week. In any case, here’s what I’m working on.

The 3rd book in the Eternal Curse Series. It’s further in the future and the world hasn’t changed as much as people would like, but it is a completely different world. Oh, and it’s on the verge of complete destruction.

The 2nd book in the Saying Series. This time the focus is on Lisa and Teddy, the best friend and brother of Rebecca, the main character from Sayings 1, It’s Like the Full Moon. New characters will be introduced but they’ll simply find their place within the circle of friends that’s already established.

Solomon Sword (working title). I have no idea what the title of this story will be. It just keeps growing and expanding. I’m very intimidated by this project. This will be epic, if I can ever wrap my head around it. Been building the world for a while and need to settle on plot points.

We are Jardin (Touched by Oma 1). I see this being a two-part series. I thought it would be a simple novella, but the story kept growing. This is a new kind of fantasy for me and I’ve nervous about how it will come off. Almost ready for betas to test it out to see if I’m on the right track or heading for a complete rewrite.

I have several children’s books I’m working on including a story about a chef that’s done but needs to be illustrated and new adventures about my rescue dog, Margie.

I’m also working to finish and or polish several short stories that have been sitting around waiting to meet some beta readers.

-Do you have a WIP Update to share? I’d love to see it.

-Feeling a little lost about what’s going on in this post? Just see the side panel and search ToiBox Topics, WIP Updates, to get all caught up. Also, check my Works In Progress tab to see what else I may be working on.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords