Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tell Me A Story

My writer friend, Jan Marler Morrill, has her own version of show and tell every Tuesday. She provides an intriguing photo and written prompt. Writers are encouraged to submit a story based on these prompts. The link is http://jansthoughtsovercoffee.blogspot.com/2012/01/telling-tuesdays-13112-she-felt-sick.html?showComment=1328042935718#c833707139701219071

Check out her blog to see this week's prompt based on the restless sea which, by several accounts, is causing seasickness, morning sickness and wrecking havoc in general. Here's my story:

Sylvia grabbed the slippery gold railing in an attempt to steady herself. The boat bobbed like a cork in the ocean. She lost her footing on the wet planks and hot coffee sloshed through her white crocheted cover-up and onto her new peach bikini. Damn! That’s hot. She jumped back, steadied her cup and attempted to wipe her cover-up with her hand.

The creaking cabinet doors in the galley alerted her that someone was up. The big-bellied captain groused through the cupboard and sang an Irish jig, seemingly unconcerned about the weather. Tina, the toned, young first mate bent over (yet again) except not in front of Peter’s face this time. Tina grabbed the railing with one hand while the wind caught a basket of croissants. They skittered across the deck and over the side—now fish food.      

Seriously? We’re going to eat at a time like this? The salt water stung Sylvia’s eyes and her now-wet bangs stuck to her forehead. Why Peter thought it was a good idea to charter a small boat during hurricane season was beyond her. She had done the prerequisite spray tanning and had gotten a mani and pedi. But his sudden interest in chartering a boat came out of Neverland.

The restless, dark swells grew taller and angry white caps lapped the boat in every direction. Sylvia’s stomach did back flips. How could Peter sleep through this roller coaster? She decided to awaken him and took one last sip of the now-cold coffee. She covered her eyes with her hand and looked in every direction. The restless sea was far and wide. Before Sylvia turned to go downstairs, strong fingers grabbed her upper arms and shoved her overboard.
That's it. A huge thanks to Jan who has provided at least three prompts this month that I plan to use for my JANO novel. Now, it's your turn. Tell me a story and please copy it and add it to Jan's blog as well. Happy sailing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Fictioneer Time

Here is today's photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers. This was a tough one. Here's my 100-word entry. Please try it and see the other entries at http://susielindau.com. Susie is guest hosting today for Friday Fictioneer founder Madison Woods.

By Beth Carter

Oscar’s neck ached from staring up at the fortieth floor windows. He scratched his head. “Ted, why do you s’pose Trump has to buy such tall buildings?”

Ted switched his mop and bucket to his left hand. “’Cause he can, I guess. What now, boss?

Oscar reached into his pocket, pulled out a blue kerchief and wiped his forehead. “Give me the bucket and go get a ladder. A tall one.”

Ted set the bucket at his boss’s feet. Sudsy water sloshed onto the shiny, tile floor. “I guess it could be worse. One of us could be Donald Trump’s barber.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My First Online Interview

Okay, I'm excited. Award-winning author Jan Marler Morrill interviewed little old me. You can read the post on her blog today at http://jansthoughtsovercoffee.blogspot.com/2012/01/interview-with-author-beth-carter.html

Please join us for a virtual latte and learn about my writing and marketing background, my new picture book, the illustrations, my routine, my published work, and more.

One thing I learned--okay two things--Jan is a sweetheart to promote my new picture book, and I blather on too much. My answers were too long. But I hope I can hold your attention long enough for you to comment because if you do, you just might win a free, autographed copy of WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?! Be sure and comment by February 1 to be eligible.

Thanks, Jan, for interviewing me and thanks to everyone for your ongoing support.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday

Every Friday, author Madison Woods posts a photo prompt to encourage writers to create a 100-word flash fiction story. Read all the great flash fiction on her site at http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/january-13-2011-100words/ and join the Friday Fictioneers!

Here's my entry:

By Beth Carter

Lil' Acorn hates family reunions. He feels like a misfit. Relating to his half-cousins, Rocky, Rolling Stone, and Pebble, is next to impossible. All they want to do is sit around like, well, rocks. Meanwhile, Lil' Acorn is itching to do something. Anything.

"Watch this, Pebble!"

Lil' Acorn proudly displayed his shoot. "Look. I can make it change colors from yellow to red. Cool, right?"

Rocky and Pebble sat there stony faced as usual. Boring cousins. Lil' Acorn wished he could kick one of them.

He looked toward Rolling Stone. Again, no response. Lil' Acorn stared at the dirt wishing he knew the time. "Man, this is one boring family reunion."

Okay, that's my weird entry. Give it a try. Let's write!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Excitement! I snared a first place win at the Sleuths' Ink holiday party--and I was paid $1 per word! Not bad, right? In fact, that's big bucks for a contest! Never mind that it was hint fiction (25 words). Still. I'm thrilled. I won first place and I'm humbled by everyone who voted for my entry.

The Sleuths' Ink holiday contest required members to write a 25-word story that contained a crime and a holiday. Want to read my winning entry? Here 'tis:


“Officer, it was target practice because my husband wanted venison for Thanksgiving." I can’t help it that I mistook the lying cheat for a deer!

By the way, I adore writing hint fiction. Do you? It's fun and forces us to be concise. I encourage you to seek out hint fiction contests. Do you have any contest news you'd like to share? Please do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another New Year. Another Chance.

Inspired by my friend, Jan Marler Morrill, who has a new blog featuring haiku at http://haikubyhaiku.wordpress.com, here's my haiku to celebrate the New Year:

By Beth Carter

Fresh start. New, clean slate.
Promise of new beginnings.
Must be the New Year.

Notice the repetition of the word "new." That was intentional. Don't you love fresh starts? A chance to improve yourself or change your unproductive ways? I do. Care to add your own haiku celebrating, embracing, or even dreading 2012?