Posts Tagged ‘Cara Michaels’

Let It Go Metal

Writing | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 07 2018

I won another Menage Monday over at Cara Michaels’ site! I have to say I was pretty inspired to learn (as one of the prompts) that there’s a male vocal metal cover of “Let It Go”, so definitely go over and check out the prompts and other entries if that catches your interest as it did mine. And without further ado here is another winning Flash Fiction of 246 words fleshing out my Fantasy Fighter story.

The view from the penthouse isn’t so different from my castle. My companion disagrees, and that’s not so different either. I am still looking down on a world I can’t touch, that exists in my shadow but is largely unaware of my existence. I do appreciate the silk suit though. I think I will make more of an effort regarding my appearance going forward.

My companion, on the other hand, was just as resistant to what our host picked for her to wear as we both were to coming in the first place. I had warned him that she was a biter. Hopefully he doesn’t require too many stitches.

By this time our forest should be ablaze with autumn colors, and I know my companion feels impossibly far from her kin. It’s an illusion. A thousand kilometers from our point of origin and I’m no closer to others; so it stands to reason that my companion is no further.

The window in the next room opens. My companion steps out over the ledge, catches a gargoyle on the way down then descends the tower’s exterior until the next rooftop over is within range of her prodigious aerial talents. Those talents being among the reasons our host recruited her, I hope this comes as no surprise to him. Mostly I hope I won’t be called on to retrieve her.

I have decided to fight for our host’s cause. As for my companion, I’d rather let her go.

Monday Mixer: November 5

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 05 2012

Okay, with Menage Monday finished and Motivation Monday on hiatus, I have made my first foray into the Monday Mixer–partially to keep the creative juices fresh by writing something other than my National Novel Writing Month project which has yet to go well.

So without further ado, I bring you;

 

TIDINGS

Saint Nicholas’ skyscraper pierced the earth like a heaven sent spear, to the euphoric adulation of peoples far and near. From atop the imposing monolith, the holiday harbinger watched the world and judged. Few suspected perfunctory good deeds no longer sufficed to get off the Naughty List. The Saint’s mandate had changed.

The masses burned on their own sinful coals the first Christmas after the coming. People feared God again, recognized the inadequacy of maladroit attempts to live as He commanded. Offerings and sacrifice resurged; pilgrims crossed the icy tundra to the estuary where the North Pole had landed.

The greedy dealt in terms they understood, bringing gold and jewels. The poor appealed to the Saint’s jovial nature, offering holly, verbena, and other decorative plants. The desperate turned to sacrifice, foisting their sins on a goat, a piglet, lamb or even house pet.

All the while, Nicholas watched and judged.

 

 

[trying for Over-Achiever with the entry, since I saw no reason not to]

150 words excluding the title

Defiantly Literate

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
May 09 2012

This week for Other Web Wednesday I’m examining the writing repository of Cara Michael’s, author and host of the Menage Monday blog challenge I participate in weekly, http://www.caramichaels.com/defiantlyliterate/

I’m featuring Challenge Hosts first, in case any of you fellow writers are looking for a place to learn and grow with the writing community while also strutting your creative stuff. These blog challenges have been the best thing for my writing since my professor my first year of college told me I should try writing scripts.

The fun of Menage Monday is the interweaving of three prompts; a picture, a phrase to be included in your text, and a prompt chosen by the week’s judge–all of which must be incorporated within a 200 word story. Having three prompts, and the judges’ prompts can sometimes be unexpected, can allow for some very creative connections and fun both reading and writing entries. Also the competition features recognition of a Judge’s Pet as well as an overall Winner, along with Honorable Mentions, so your odds of achieving recognition are better than some competitions.

Next we have Cara’s own writing–which I am ashamed to say that I am very behind on reading. Her flash pieces are fully good enough to be a regular contender in the many challenges we both take part in–though as host she is of course ineligible for Menage Monday–and often weave into the world of “Gaia’s Chosen“, her science-fiction novel being released for download in segments.

I’ve only read the first segment, “Mayday Directive”, but Cara presents a smart character driven future world–both believable from the direction of real world science and celebratory of the fantastic elements that make epics like Star Wars so darn fun to experience (future swords!). Her writing is sleek and very sexy, so be warned if sexy isn’t your thing that Cara delivers it very well–even when she’s being subtle about it.

Now from Cara herself;

-How long has http://www.caramichaels.com/defiantlyliterate/ been on the internet?

Since March 2011. I’d started and abandoned blogs before. This is the one that stuck. I based the name on one of my favorite chronic misspellings on the web: defiantly / definitely. Usually I see ‘defiantly’ when the writer means ‘definitely’, but I’ve spotted my blog as ‘Definitely Literate’ in a couple places and it always makes me laugh.

-Do you have other sites your fans should know about?

My main site is http://caramichaels.com. All the really big news goes here… at least when I remember to update it, lol. I don’t rate a webmaster to take on those duties yet. I’m also on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter.

-What was your motivation for creating http://www.caramichaels.com/defiantlyliterate/ ?

At the time, I did it because it seems like writers are supposed to have a blog in this day and age. I didn’t have any expectations of having 150+ posts a little over a year later. I’ve grown to love my blog and I’m super pleased to offer content and challenges interesting enough to keep people coming back each week.

-What would you most like to happen with http://www.caramichaels.com/defiantlyliterate/ in the next year?

Between #MenageMonday and #WIP500, I’m plenty busy on the challenge front, so primarily, I’m wanting to add more book-related content (character bios, timelines, and such). I think any blog host hopes to see their visitor activity increase, too.

-Is there anything else readers should know about you or your website?

I’m just getting started, so check in often for updates.

 

And that’s another Other Web Wednesday. Feel free to check out the collection by clicking on the tag at the bottom of this post, or searching for it in the Search bar at the top of the right hand navigation bar. Also if you can think of questions for the websites I feature that I haven’t let me know in a comment and I’ll take care of it.

I should hopefully have things set up to make Other Web Wednesday a more regular feature now.

My Phone Monday

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Apr 16 2012

I’m now realizing that with a couple of Blog Competitions on Mondays (Cara Michael’s Menage Monday and Wakefield Mahon’s Motivation Monday respectively) if I’m going to do a good My Phone Monday post I’ll really need to prepare it by Sunday or just get lucky and have a Monday with nothing else major to do.

So unfortunately this first one will not be a “good one”, but the whole point of these posts is something to keep you entertained and me on the web until August when you’ll get another serious project from me again. But for now, this My Phone Monday I present for your consideration;

Shazam

Not too shocking I imagine, but I have Shazam! On my smart phone. This spiffy music tagging device actually pre-dates smart phones and is fun to yell just before using it like a special technique in an anime.

The range of songs it can identify and then connect me with in iTunes has been a tremendous boon to my library of songs. My family eats out fairly regularly and I love world music, so I get to hear a lot of music that I’d never be able to pronounce the name of let alone read–and thanks to Shazam I now have much of that music in my library to enjoy the music and utterly mysterious lyrics whenever I like–or even better have come on randomly and be like “Wow! Where did that come from? I should Shazam that!”

Now, I’ve got the free version on my phone, not Encore… Though in researching for this post and discovering that fact I am seriously considering the $5.99 price tag for Encore. The free version, which I have, features advertising banners–which are small and unobtrusive, but Encore apparently connects to Pandora and Spotify which could be sort of cool. But mostly I’m looking at it as a free app that I wouldn’t mind paying $6 for, and which a $6 version is available.

Any time I want to know what’s playing–or just save it somewhere to be purchased later even if I do know, but being me am likely to forget–Shazam has shown remarkable ability to identify even obscure and foreign songs, and to work with an average level of background noise. My only real complaint is the few times it hasn’t worked I couldn’t tell for sure if it couldn’t hear the song or just couldn’t recognize it–but that has been a rare occurrence indeed.

So I’m giving Shazam 5 out of 5 Stars, because you can get it for free and it does something pretty cool (identifies music for you) and does it reliably. You’ve probably all already heard of Shazam and have your own opinions on it, but maybe somewhere down the line something will turn up on my phone you haven’t heard of or hadn’t made your mind up about yet.

And that’s the first My Phone Monday!

LGS on Break

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Dec 19 2011

Very sorry to do this, especially in light of a potential uptick in readership during this holiday season, but I’m afraid there will be no Lost Girls’ Society update today, or for the rest of this week. I’m far enough behind on enough things that I’m going to have to spend this week re-establishing a writing buffer for automated posting in order to maintain the quality you should expect from Lost Girls’ Society.

If you’re interested feel free to speculate via comments as to how Audrey, Horera and Nadine might spend a Christmas (or generic winter holiday, though Audrey at least is in fact Catholic). There will still be some sort of frontpage update on Wednesday and Friday (and obviously this one today) so I might delve a little into the holidays from character perspectives. We’ll see what my schedule allows.

If you’re looking for more reading though, feel free to pop over to some of the weekly Blog Challenges such as Cara Michael’s Menage Monday or Wakefield Mahon’s Motivation Monday (which I’m personally judging this week!).

Book Review: Gaea’s Chosen The Mayday Directive

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 21 2011

The new Lost Girls’ Society page is up and accessible via the Pages navigation to the right or the main Lost Girls’ Society story page above or to the right. Anyone new to the site should probably start from the main story page for either Lost Girls’ Society or Niar Saga as they offer the best gateways into the fiction that is the heart of this site.

And now for something a little different, my first Book Review;

Last month I won a copy of Cara Michaels’ Ebook “Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive” and admit it’s taken me until now to read it. Of course, once I did sit down with it I read the whole thing in one sitting. “Gaea’s Chosen” represents a fanciful and well imagined science fiction adventure geared toward more mature readers. The Ebook is available for a modest $0.99 on Smashwords.com.

Cara’s own description of the work is; Gaea’s Chosen: Ten men and ten women traveling 20 light years across the galaxy to settle a new world. The chance of disaster far outweighs the chance of success…

Commander Gemma Bryant left Earth knowing full well the man chosen to be her mate couldn’t stand the sight of her, but she opted to make the best of a bad situation

Now Gemma is awakened from 19K years in stasis to find her mission gone horribly wrong. They’re off course, missing crew and supplies, and for the remaining Chosen, the world they’ve landed on is far from uninhabited. As if she doesn’t have enough to manage, someone new is unexpectedly claiming her attention.

I’m most familiar with Cara through her website, her flash fictions and Twitter, and know her best as the host of the Menage Monday blog challenge—a great exercise and community for writers. Given more words to play with for The Mayday Directive I feel we get to know Cara, her characters and her world even better.

One of the first things that stands out to me about “Gaea’s Chosen” is the significance of the linguistic ability of the main character, Gemma Bryant, which reminded me pleasantly of Samuel R. Delany’s “Babel-17”. In Gemma’s case her linguistic talents allow her to converse with computers and Artificial Intelligences in such a way that they open up to her and reveal their frailties and insecurities.

In fact one of the most entertaining and refreshing aspects of “Gaea’s Chosen” is the idiosyncratic computer system, Gaea. In spite of being a computer, Gaea is no perfectly logical nor really perfectly anything construct. Instead she actually displays less composure and less efficiency than the military trained human members of the crew.

All around the characterizations and interactions of those characters are highly compelling and definitely the best part of Cara’s story. The adventure tends to unfold in the most exciting and interesting way possible, and yet with in-setting explanations so plausible as to make the suspension of disbelief necessary for the story wholly comfortable even after you finish and step away from the book. My favorite example of this is the humans’ use of “arc blades”—because really, who doesn’t think futuristic swords are cool? The blades being elegantly explained within the story as humanity’s inability to give up on war even after guns were ‘legislated into extinction’.

Weighing in at 7 Chapters, “Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive” feels like it’s just the hook from the beginning of a full length novel, but at $0.99 I won’t have any qualms about buying the installments as they come out—though perhaps when the story is finished a full collection will be available for a single download.

I don’t want to spoil anything about this fascinating adventure, but I feel it is necessary to say that a lot of “Mayday Directive” seems to be set-up—as the full scope and circumstances of the tale only just seem to be starting to be revealed at the end of this installment. Also the adult content is mostly just discussed in this segment, whereas I imagine as the story continues we will be treated to more ‘on-screen’ mature play.

And that is my first book-review. Whether I did it right or not, what you should take away is that it is a good story and completely worth picking up if you have a dollar to spend on a quick and engaging read.

Blog Challenges

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 24 2011

The new Lost Girls’ Society post, Nadine’s 7th page, is now up and accessible via the Pages navigation to the right or from the Lost Girls’ Society main story page above or to the right. If you’re new to the site I suggest starting from either Lost Girls’ Society or Niar Saga at the top or the right. The main story pages collect the entries in order and give you an introduction to the stories–as well as linking additional material like the Wednesday flash-fictions.

Looking ahead briefly I thought I’d give you an idea of a few special items coming to the site in the near future (no not the gallery update, that’s coming but it shouldn’t count as special no matter how late I am getting to it). I’m thinking of starting a Monday Miscellany feature on the site which will allow for the Monday home-page updates to at times break the typical mold of the site in small ways.

The first Monday Miscellany you can look forward to is a Kerri’s Creatures Comic on Halloween, October 31st. I had no idea Kerri would get her story developed the way this month has done for her, thanks to Lady Antimony‘s Ghouls Galore blog challenge and a special Extended Edition of Tuesday Tales. Then coming in November I intend to use Monday Miscellany to actually get some reader interaction with the worlds of Lost Girls’ Society–so get ready for it and tell your friends, going to want writers, readers and anyone with any interest in creativity. Until then please note the current poll, and the one that will follow it, in the sidebar will in fact impact the course of Lost Girls’ Society.

On the topic of blog challenges and creativity, I thought I should mention a few I’m part of that you really should check out if you want to flex your writing muscles, join amazing online communities of writers, or even just find a reliable source of good weekly reading.

There is of course Lady Antimony herself, the first blog challenger I became involved with. Every month since the first Seven Sins challenge with her she’s provided further opportunity for writers to come together and tackle common prompts. Ghouls Galore, the seed for Kerri’s Creatures, is the October challenge and worth hunting down the other entries.

Then on Mondays we have Cara Michaels‘ Menage Monday challenges–three part prompt and 200 words with again a great community of regulars that is still growing. Every Monday you can submit your brilliance to her site in the comments and be recognized by other authors, or just stop by and read some amazing flash fiction.

And on Tuesdays there’s The Glitterlady‘s now (or soon to be) legendary Tuesday Tales. Really amazing how rapidly that community has grown. You get 100 words, so it’s quick, but everyone makes their words count so I never envy the guest judges.

I know there’s more great blog challenges out there, in fact I think there’s a Week in Flash or something like that with challenges every day of the week, but these are all the more I can juggle on top of my other activities. Feel free to check them out or link to your favorite blog challenges in comments.