Sunday, December 29, 2013


Winter Moon
The lighthouse swept the darkness of the sea and the vastness of the coast, alive in the distance, sparkling with tiny glow-worms.  Being a tormented diva was hard work. So, when Millie ran up the stairs of the lighthouse with the intention of pretending to jump off, she didn’t really expect to see a man, struggling to swim ashore. Much to her surprise, Millie forgot about the diva plans and ran down the stairs. She jumped into the dark tormented waters and saved the dying man. That’s how she went from diva to angel. And somehow, she enjoyed the change!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Anything but Christmas

Rebeca Bashly - The Tower

The state of affairs called for immediate action. A man in a black suit stood outside Ronnie’s door. The festivities had been canceled, all of them. “No, please… You can cancel anything but Christmas. The children will be devastated. We’re so close,” pleaded the most famous Santa in the whole world. But the authorities were ruthless. Believing in non-existent entities like Santa was destroying future generations. It was destroying the potential for obedience. “We don’t want imaginative minds, we want them blind.” Ronnie disappeared a few days later and on TV, they announced that Santa had died. Christmas was gone.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Vice City

“Sometimes things happen that we hope never did. Sometimes we bury our heads in the sand and pretend they didn’t happen. Sometimes others pass judgment on us without knowing the whole story, without even making an effort to. They think they are better than us, purer. However, in the bitter end, they are just as pathetic as anyone else, although in their self-righteousness they are incapable of seeing that,” said the private detective, who spent his life being a spy of other people’s pitiful lives. “There’s nothing worse than a lie. It digs a gap that will never stop bleeding.”

Sometimes things happen that we hope never do. Sometimes we bury our heads in the sand and pretend they don’t happen. Sometimes others pass judgment on us without knowing the whole story, without even making an effort. "They think they are better than us, purer. However, in the bitter end, they are just as pathetic as anyone else, although in their self-righteousness they are incapable of seeing that," said the private detective, who spent his life spying on other people’s pitiful lives. "There’s nothing worse than a lie. It digs a gap that will never stop bleeding.”
Changes suggested at Twisted Stories, March 18 2014

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm a Golden Monkey!

I'm a goal oriented person, yes, I confess, I am!, and today I have reached a goal I set almost two years ago with I Don't Know! I wrote one hundred 100 Word Stories for Laurence Simon's Weekly Challenge and Podcast and now I can call myself a Golden Monkey. \o/ Hah!

Now seriously, it was this challenge that, back then and often still today, pushed me to write on a regular basis (thank you!).

I had been writing all my life, but only when "inspiration" struck. Having to write weekly and being "limited" to the 100-word rule made me look at language, pace, plot, characters in a totally different way.

Anyone can blabber on and on. However, it takes skill to write a story as short as these stories and actually say something.
A bunch of people do it weekly and they do it amazingly. Laurence does it daily, but that's a different story altogether!

 You should check the weekly challenge and take the chance. It's a great way to learn about (your) writing and be inspired by others' creativity.
Aim for the Golden Monkey!


Tokyo 3.1

“Blame it on the water,” said the dying man from his hospital bed, all alone. Everyone else had died, even the nurses and the doctors.  The communication channel wasn’t working properly, because there was no one to adjust it. “Can you hear us?” asked Control back on Earth. The man couldn’t, but he kept on talking until the very end. The water had been contaminated during the unscheduled visit of an alien peace envoy. They’d have their peace... A human peace envoy would take them the most precious treasure, water. Even aliens needed water. And they drank it, the fools.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Sea Salts
A postcard from overseas arrived in the mail this morning. It had the picture of a mountain. The stamp was smudged and torn on the edges. The mountain was just a mountain, no location disclosed. It was addressed to me, but it had no address on it, only the country and the town. I live in a large town, so it was surprising that it actually found its way into my hands. It said “I’m coming home”, no signature.  I knew he had written it, my brother. At the back, the date was from six months ago… I miss him.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


“Carving the turkey is a fine art, my friend.” John moved the sharp knife up and down with great proficiency, stripping the bird to the bare bone. The thin slices of meat piled up on the edge of the tray, invitingly. The interplanetary exchange student observed silently. He dared not utter a single word, although he fervently wanted to. “See.” The guest did see. Suddenly, the horror, right next to the slices of meat was one of John’s fingers. I saw that coming, thought the guest, this is a strange art. I am glad we don’t have this type of thing in my planet.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Sea Salts

The old man threw his books out the window, one by one. No one loves books anymore, he thought. He walked downstairs and lit up the first book, turning it left and right, watching its hardcover burn slowly. Suddenly a kid walked up to him. “Don’t burn it. I’ll keep it for you.” The old man’s eyes teared up. He put the fire out and sat on the floor. The kid sat beside him, holding the half burnt book like a treasure. Many others joined them, each grabbing a book. The old man was never so happy to be wrong.

Sunday, November 10, 2013



His fingers slid over the keyboard, barely touching each key. Soft sounds echoed in the concert room. He closed his eyes and traveled through an avalanche of sounds, from one piece to the next, from one composer to another, from time and space to silence, the audience suspended in a timeless stillness. He stood up and took a deep bow. You could hear a pin drop. The audience looked at him, mesmerized. “I took you on a voyage. I hope you enjoyed it,” he said. A roar of applause erupted. They were not the same anymore, and they knew it.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Canary Beck

... asks Canary Beck in her post at her blog Songs from the Coalface about the flash fiction story I wrote a few weeks ago for iRez. Time flies!

The starting point was a set of amazing photos taken in Second Life by several virtual photographers, among which Canary Beck.

Becky's photo is impressive and it was one of the first I really wanted to include in this project. It seems I saw something just beyond the surface!

I'd like you to drop by her blog. Her photos are exquisite and her posts are very well written, becoming a powerful framework that invariably take us on voyages through Becky's experiences in the virtual world.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Throughout the day, people complained furiously about the relentless rain. It was annoying; it was infuriating. The screeching of cars at a distance got mixed with the hustle and bustle of a normal afternoon, preparing to close the day. No one knew it yet, but this would be the last day of their lives. The alert came over the radio. A shattered voice announced the unexpected tragedy, stuttering. It never completed the last sentence. A massive wave of water and debris killed all communication, turning cars into weightless toys. The irony… What was a bit of rain compared to this…?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Log

Milk Wood

This log has the purpose of serving as a work document for future participations in NaNoWriMos. 


November 1 - Prompted by the Word Scrimmages Wednesday, where I am the host at 2pm GMT, on Twitter, I plunged into writing furiously. It only seems appropriate, considering my profile. My main difficulty at the moment is to start writing at a fairly paced velocity immediately; it usually takes me the first 15 minutes to write up to 200 words. After that, the pace picks up. I need to constantly stop myself from rereading what I wrote!

November 2 - There was a write-in at the Writer's Camp in Second Life's Milk Wood. Two hours of writing amongst fellow Wrimos. I can already spot a few weaknesses in the sequence of the plot. That means that in the editing process, I must shuffle a few chapters around. Note to self: stick to one character's point of view per chapter for now.

November 3 - Write-in at Milk Wood went well. I managed to increase the word count considerably. This sentence got me energized "You are the light that the morning brings. Believe in you. I do." LJ  Thank you! Finally, I added an unplanned chapter to give a bit more depth to both the hubby and the nosy neighbor characters. I think it works. More tomorrow!

November 4 - Today's chapter was a tough one and a bit of a struggle, but I managed to achieve my goal for the day! It was a central part of the story and I think I may need a few additional chapters before this one... Note to self: Prepare plot structure a bit more thoroughly next year! I did want to do it. However, I tried not to go into too much detail so that the sequencing didn't look too rigid. The trick is to find the right balance between planning and not planning, I guess! Day 5, here I come!

November 5 - I started late today, had to do a bit of researching for names and character development. The result was... drum roll... not enough words! I also had to be veeeery careful not to give in to info dumping. It's so tempting to simply throw everything I have on a character - physical and psychological details - into a paragraph! Not a good idea! It turns into boring reading, not to mention... writing! Tomorrow, we have the Word Scrimmages on Twitter (I host at 2pm GMT/ 6am SLT) and that will help! In the meantime, Mickey Mouse, No Nose Barboza and Ralph The Barber. Yes, this is what I had to research! LOL At least that was fun!

November 6 - Reshuffled a chapter. It makes more sense now in terms of pot sequencing. Smarty pants nosy Eugenie took over today. The chapter was fairly easy to write. The Word Scrimmages helped a ton. I'm still amazed at how much they boost the word count. The major issue of constantly feeling tempted to edit and re-edit is slowly behind me. I write like crazy. Let all those sentences monsters in the text sleep for a while longer! I'll poke them out of their holes later!

November 7 - The affair! And another reshuffle! Note to self: REALLY prepare the sequence of chapter A LOT better! It will save time!

November 8 - Today's dilemma was... move on with the story or add (yet another unplanned) chapter to create even more confusion... aham... I mean doubt in the mind of the reader. I went for the second option, go figure!

November 9 - Went to the Virtual Writers Inc. write-in in Second Life, but kept dragging my feet. Slow writing, although I knew exactly what to write. Sooo, ended up writing below the word count for the day. No biggie... I'm still ahead of the game. My private motivational speaker (LOL!) spent 2 hours talking about my lifelong writing path, anticipating my future too! Note to self: Make sure you have your own cheer-leading team ready for slow moments! As to the story, I didn't manage to write the chapter to the end. Tomorrow, I'll work on that at the write-in (noon SLT/8pm GMT). Also, there will be a workshop at Milk Wood about character development - "Questioning your characters" with writer Diana Hunter, 3pm SLT/11pm GMT. It promises to be very interesting!

Milk Wood

November 10 - Today's writing was much easier. At the write-in, I managed to finish yesterday's and write one whole new chapter. The workshop was very interesting. I found out that one of my rough detective characters likes romance novel, she slips and reveals that to her colleagues. They won't spare her! BUT because of that characteristic, she'll find something very important! So, there!

November 11 - Slow writing, not because of being stuck, but because of issues that have nothing to do with writing. I must be patient. Wrote half of the word count for the day. Note to self: It is a good idea to write as much as possible when I can actually do it.

November 12 - Good writing pace. Finished yesterday's chapter and wrote today's fully. In come the police! Should I worry that minor new characters keep popping up, wanting to come to life?! Tomorrow, Scrimmage!

November 13 - Word count for the day is done. This part of the story is the hinge point; the players are on the board and now it's time to move them.

November 14 - It's amazing how some characters surprise you. Diana Hunter, in her workshop a few days ago, defended that the characters make the story. I must admit that my first reaction was... uhmm... the story is pretty important too. But I see now what drove her to say this. If a character becomes "richer", the/his/her story will develop in a much more interesting fashion, influencing each of the other characters and, in turn, the rest of the plot. Interesting.

November 15 - Halfway through!! \o/ Today, there is the write-in at the Virtual Writer's Milk Wood sim in Second Life. That will help with the word count. I need to get going with the story! 20k words left and so much to tell still. I may need to go over the 50k. According to the NaNoWriMo site, I am ahead of the game 6 days. These will be very useful!

November 16 - I did go to the write-in! This and that happened and... well, I ended up not write more than 100 and something words. Good thing I have been writing more than need! Today, I'll hopefully go back on track at the write-in. Note to self... again: Write as much as you can, when you can. You might need those extra words to cover for a slower writing day.

November 17 - Write-in went well. I managed to write above the daily average and progress in the story. This part has a lot of dialog and I am struggling a bit to resist the temptation of going into a dialog--description--dialog--description pattern. I am starting to feel the need to go back and read it all from the beginning. Advantage: It could help with consistency. Danger: Kick-start my inner editor who is a tyrant!

Borgatti - Private Estate
November 18 - Started a chapter. However, I think I may needed to rewrite it and/or add a character. Word count was good.

November 19 - I didn't do much writing today (ca. 400 words, so a lot less than the 1600 something I should have written), but this was a much needed pause. Rewrote parts of yesterday's chapter and concluded it. Tomorrow, Scrimmage on Twitter.

November 20 - Scrimmage went well. Word count done. The story is progressively moving towards the end. Right now, I feel that there are a few loose ends and that the text is less consistent. Note to self: Review that and text pace.

November 21 - Day off. No writing AND I have resisted the temptation of rereading what I have been doing. Tomorrow, I'll be back to work. It's time to start thinking about wrapping up.

November 22 - Back to work! Did a lot of writing. My main concern now is wrapping up. No more adding. Wrap up!

November 23 - Ca. 8000 words to go. Hard to believe it! I had a write-in today, which always helps and I am a bit more comfortable writing chapters out of order. I could never understand how writers did that. Well, guess what, I am doing it too. *rolls eyes*

November 24 - Wrap up, wrap up! Do NOT add! I have less than 5000 words to get to the finish line. Wow. The Write-In at Milk Wood helped a lot, as always. There are some plans brewing for more write-ins and edit-ins. That will be great. As to the story, here we go. The end is near and I need to tackle it! Be brave, my pirates, as I used to say to my students at school when they had a paper to write. That always made them smile. :)

Borgatti - Private Estate
November 25 - Done for the day, I think. 2300 words to go. Sinatra's song keeps echoing in my mind... And now, the end is near/ And so I face the final curtain. How melodramatic! There's a lot more work to do in the editing process, but that is ... for the editing month(s)!

November 26 - About 1000 words away from the end. I'm wrapping things up mercilessly, which means I may need some heavy editing later on to smooth the edges.

November 27 - Done! 50k+ and story! DONE! I made it! Tomorrow, a few conclusions for future reference!

Borgatti - Private Estate
Final Considerations:

Negative Aspects

1. Plunging into the task of writing 50 000 words without any sort of or minimal preparation seems quite inviting. However, it presents its challenges later on, as we try to keep up with the number of words for each day. How much can we actually blabber aimlessly?

2. Having a sense of the story, beginning and end is not enough. There's a middle for a reason and, more often than not, the middle is the most important part. Carefully establishing what happens, before/after what is paramount.

3. The characters come alive before we start writing. Improvising names and surnames, character traits, quirks, past relations, and so forth while we are writing is dangerous! It opens the door to mistakes.

Positive Aspects

1. Having a routine helps us keep up and not procrastinate.

2. Having X amount of words we must write daily motivates determination in reaching that goal.

3. We know we can write a book (at least I knew it, and I am not trying to brag) but we always feel it's something we'll never do, because it won't be good enough (I majored in Modern Languages and Literatures - English and German, so imagine the pressure!). Doing it regardless of how good/bad the result is becomes extremely liberating.

4. Many people, all over the world, are doing the NaNoWriMo challenge. We can exchange ideas, take part in writing events, learn!

5. Going through the process in a fast-forward motion stops us from over-thinking. We go for the jugular and just do it!

6. Editing is for later! We must repeat this over and over again. And once we go past that first feeling of discomfort of most likely writing a lot of rubbish, we can actually feel OK with the idea!

7. When you have someone who keeps telling you that you can do it, that you are doing great, sending you emails with amazing words and images of encouragement, sending you text messages, talking to you for hours and listening to you for hours as well, keeping your spirits up when you're beat, is the difference between continuing and simply giving up. Having a cheering team for the rough moments is essential, well sometimes it's a whole team of one (thank you, you know who you are, again, you're my rock!).


I found this an extremely interesting experience from which I have learned so much. It was another important step taken in the direction I have chosen! Writing, writing and writing!

Borgatti - Private Estate
And it was time to celebrate! Fireworks, music, dancing and a lot of laughing! Great fun! Thanks! :))

UPDATE, because I was asked why :) : Right after I finished the NaNoWriMo challenge, I decided not to validate the novel. I saw a lot of people making it a point of showing the "Winner" badge to the world. I respect their decision, but that is not my deal. I set a goal for myself, to write 50 000 words in 30 days. I wrote almost 52 000, and I have a gut feeling that after the editing process, it'll be a bit longer than that *rolls eyes*!

Achieving my goal is my validation. :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

It Took a While

This flash-fiction story was originally posted at iRez, in the Stories tag, between October 21 and 27.

Torn apart, five sisters come back home to face a painful past that still haunts them. 
This is their story. 

Photo by Honour McMillan
1.  Rain

Rain poured for hours, a reminder of tough days past. Outside, the chairs seemed to have been left behind hastily, one of them thrown to the floor, forgotten in a puddle of falling drops. A few hours earlier, the family had been sitting at that table, sharing, desperately trying to overcome differences. These differences were deep wounds that had bled for years, wounds he was never able to prevent or help heal. He tried, but he bled too. How could he do anything if he was part of the pain shared? In his passivity, he saw the children fight through the storm, growing bitter and far apart. Years past, his wife, their mother, died. An over-controlling woman with a mean streak, she took pleasure in seeing pain in his eyes first, then in the children’s. He would never forget that final walk when he let go of his pain and, he believed, his wife’s too… When he saw the girls come back, he dreamt that the page would be turned. They would finally become a real family filled with laughter and those girlish giggles he yearned to hear when they were so small. Then the rain came... He fell and was rushed to the hospital. He never woke up again, but never before had he felt so alive, the family gathered, one last time, unknowingly just for him.

Photo by Connie Arida

Patty was the eldest of the five. She drove all the way back, from where she had been hiding, the farthest away city she could find when she decided to leave home. Against her father’s will, she packed a small bag and left, sure to find a world she would conquer, free of all restrains, free of pain. After a few years of struggling, she opened the Blue Note, an elegant jazzy place where most of the city’s elite gathered for a drink and some music. The flow of famous blues and jazz musicians attracted unknown singers eager to show off their talent, hoping to catch the eye of an agent. The crowds of people coming in every night also brought a few unwanted visitors, members of the underworld trying to get a cut of the exorbitant amount of money the club made, high-rollers and petty drug dealers alike, seeking to make a fast buck. She moved in this milieu quite astutely. Her contacts in the police department kept things under control and she returned the favor by allowing them a safe haven for their indiscretions. Now she was returning home, fighting to run away once again, eager to find that slice of freedom she was still looking for.

Photo by Canary Beck

Jill turned the key to lock the door of her house by the sea. She stopped for a few seconds, hesitating between going ahead with the plan or simply unlocking the door and forgetting all about this crazy trip. Patty had the idea, and what Patty said was the rule. It had always been like that, but she really didn’t have to go along with it, she wasn’t a kid anymore. She could just disappear, like she had done a few years after her sister left home. “Why go back?” she heard herself say, getting startled by her own voice. She was now happily married, writing her books, and paving the way towards a promising career. Going home would bring back old stories, old accusations, and most of all pain. Somehow she felt relieved her mother would not be there. “Right… Let’s do this then,” she said, pepping herself to letting go of the doorknob, counting the waves splashing on the shore. She was tough, yet… just below the surface, coming face to face with the past made her feel as small and defenseless as she was back then.

Photo by Yordie Sands

Cordelia held her smiling Buddha. The wooden statue travelled with her throughout the world, finally settling down in Tokyo on her mantelpiece. A blend between modern and traditional Japanese, her apartment was as uncluttered as her daily life and her heart. She had found an unexpected peace of mind in Japan with a quiet uneventful nine-to-five secretarial job at a new technologies company, a soothing hobby learning to play the shamisen at the Harvest Moon and doing public performances. When her sister Patty set the exodus in motion, many years ago, Cordelia tried to stay. She tried to stay for as long as she could; she struggled to handle their mother’s hatred, as long as some of her sisters were still at home. But she failed. She wasn’t the last to leave or the only one to stay. That was the pain Cordelia still bore in her heart and the main reason why she sat on that plane, flying back home.

Photo by Strawberry Singh

The youngest of all the sisters, Angel felt the wrath the worst. She was rebellious, autonomous, irreverent, mocking even. The scar that ran across her back, from the right shoulder down, was a vivid reminder of the battles she had to endure. Her sisters tried to protect her as much as they could; they hid her in the attic, took her food and cleaned her wounds. However, she refused to turn away from the beast, as they called their mother, a beast filled with anger and irrationality, slashing their father’s belt against Angel’s back, thighs, arms; this cynical gesture would also hurt her weak father, a man who never stood up for his daughters. While she was still very young, Jill showed up one day. Angel was hiding out in the old oak tree. Her sister grabbed her by the wrist, no packing, no hesitating, and took off with her. They never went back. Then she rebelled against Jill too, overstepping boundaries, breaking rules and dying more and more in a parallel and hazy world of an excess of drugs. When Patty called her, she said no. However, her Master, a wise man who was determined to bring her back to life and who saw much farther beyond the pain, teaching her the meaning of trust, told her to go. And she understood.

Photo by Whiskey Monday

Mathilda stayed behind, not because she couldn’t leave, but because she was strong enough to stay. Of all the sisters, she was the only one their mother didn’t dare touch. Angel constantly brought the mother to a blind, full blown rage; Cordelia shied away from conflict, trying to convince her little sister not to test their mother’s patience; Jill ached violently for a family of her own to simply find peace, and Patty was a strong-willed soul set on a survival mode. They scattered in all directions, one by one. She stayed, for herself, for their father, even for their mother. She feared the worst would happen if she left, so she surrounded herself by books, fragments of memories and forgotten dreams, collected letters scattered in a pandemonium inside of her. In her daydreaming escapades, she sailed aimlessly with her sister Cordelia; she sang in a duet with Patty; she lived under the sea with Jill; she held her little sister Angel and told her everything would be alright. She was the only one of them who attended the mother’s funeral, her father’s fading will clutching to her arm while he whispered “I miss your sisters...”

Photo by Ziki Questi
7. Dunes

The five sisters sat in silence, looking at the soft web and flow of the sea. The old oak tree they used to climb and hide in remained faithful and kept company to the five grown women, a shared past, and a sisterhood about to unfold from the pain of loss.
“Why did you leave, Patty?” asked Angel.
Patty sunk her fingers in the warm sand. “Amazing, how yesterday it was pouring and today…”
“You’re avoiding the question and wasting time,” interrupted Angel in her usual direct way.
“I had to…”
“Why didn’t you take us with you? I came back for Angel.”
“Jill, you could afford to… I was practically living on the street and, when lucky, sleeping at friends’ places… You have no idea what I had to do…” replied Patty.
A stifling silence settled in for long minutes.
Each one of them was divided between reliving the sorrows of countless unspoken resentments and the need, the wish to find their way back to the primordial togetherness that existed between them, a bond as strong as life, broken by distance and pain.
“If you want to see it that way… Even Dad left, in a way, hiding out in his garage. Everyone left, but Mathilda…” added Patty.
Mathilda smiled. The warm afternoon seemed to plot in favor of the sisters. She knew that.
“Well, this won’t take us anywhere. It’s only us now, girls. We need to stick together,” said Cordelia, always conciliatory.
The sisters talked about the infamous belt and that evening when they had to hide little Angel in the attic, one by one secretly going up there with the needed paraphernalia to clean and dress the wound. They talked about being the last to leave school and slowly walking home together, because the bus took them back to hell too fast. They talked about the lost nights of sleep, listening to the violent arguments between their mother and father, thinking there would be consequences the next day. Amidst the pain, in reality, they talked about their togetherness. How they shared the sparse lunch bought, two sandwiches and a bottle of water for five, with the few coins their dad had given them. They smiled when they recalled reading stories before bedtime and living in them, imagining new endings, taking characters from one story to visit with the characters of another.
After long hours, the day came to an end, a soft soothing breeze whispering over the dunes. They started by sitting randomly, a great distance between them. They ended sitting side by side, looking at the sun setting behind the line of the horizon, preparing for a new day somewhere on the other side of the world as they prepared for a new life.
“We are back home now, together” said Mathilda. “That’s what matters.”
Over a period of a year and a half, all the sisters moved back into town. Patty sold her club for a ton of money to a shady character who was convinced he was buying not only the club, but all her contacts and influences and opened a restaurant. Jill and her husband sold the house by the sea to find a beautiful luxurious cabin close to the beach. Cordelia left her job and, along with Angel, moved back in with Mathilda; they renovated the house while healing Angel, and vowed to make the family grow with tons of children, to the amusement of Cordelia’s shamisen students. They also bought a boat and sailed out often, diving and singing old songs as loudly as they could, causing much distress to the poor seagulls that would scatter in all directions, away from them as they approached.
“Angel… It’ll be alright. Everything will be alright,” said Mathilda.

Angel smiled and snuggled in her sister’s arms. It took a while, but life was now good.

The End


Thank you to Canary Beck, Connie Arida, Honour McMillan, Strawberry Singh, Whiskey Monday, Yordie Sands and Ziki Questi for trusting me and allowing me to draw inspiration from their photos and feelings. Also thank you to Vanessa Blaylock for always being there when technology and I have an argument (!) and to Canary Beck for reaching out and helping me with the photos at iRez. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Last, but not least, thank you, London, for believing. You are my rock. 

Related: Is Lizzie Gudkov a Psychic by Canary Beck

Sunday, October 27, 2013


It's official. I am writing a novel in 30 days. Crazy, huh? Yep! I'm joining the thousands all over the world who have been taking part in the NaNoWriMo event for years during the month of November. Lots of crazy people out there!
This is not my first attempt. I tried before, unofficially, without telling anyone and... I failed! Go figure! It's one of the suggestions they give you is to tell EVERYONE! The pressure!
So, this year, a number of things fell into place and I am taking the plunge!
The account is created, and the book even has a name already... a tentative one, but nevertheless a name... "Obscure Connections". It'll be a mystery/thriller/suspense story, that is if things don't change dramatically, which is something that tends to happen when I am writing longer stories!
I was invited by Andrea Pring (Harriet Gausman in Second Life) of the Virtual Writers Inc. to be one of the hosts of the Virtual Writers' Scrimmages on Twitter. These will take place every Wednesday, starting at 12pm (noon) GMT and lasting 12 hours. We start this upcoming Wednesday, October 30! I'm on at 2pm GMT for a fierce word battle!
Also, if you are a Second Life resident, you might want to check the Milk Wood Wrimos inworld. Lots of write-ins, workshops and support in this extraordinarily crazy endevour!
Wish me luck!!


Betelgeuse 5
Stabbing that pile of rubbish wasn’t such a brilliant idea... It looked like a harmless heap of trash, leaking a gooey matter that seemed like something coming from the remains of a dead animal. The kids goofed about, throwing the knife they stole from the butcher’s at each other first. Then, considering the real danger of such a game, they decided to stab the stack of unusual bags. When it suddenly turned around, spitting gooey stuff all over them, it was already too late. They were all the nourishment that alien needed to complete its transformation to become a human.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lizzie in the News!

Borgatti, private estate - Photo by London Junkers
And the day came when Lizzie was in the news for something she did... I mean, wrote!

A smooth reporter called London Junkers very cleverly extracted information from me about the new flash-fiction story I am publishing at iRez, and posted a comprehensive article on it at LnL's blog!

The story is called "It Took a While" and it is published throughout this week (October 21-27).

To know more about it, drop by LnL's blog and check what Mr. Junkers wrote! First hand details, some of them... uhmm... no one else had access to, so... it's an exclusive!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Pixel Dreams

He walked past the woman sitting on the edge of the stone wall by the old road. She didn’t look at him; she stared at the floor. Something he couldn’t explain made him stop and go back. He sat beside her; she still didn’t look at him. He wanted to ask her why, but he just sat there looking at the same spot on the floor. They sat on that wall for a long time. Suddenly, she looked up. “Thank you,” she whispered. Later, she told him she decided to kill herself. She didn’t and never thought of it again.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


The river twisted and turned in a familiar path. When Rick saw that last new turn, he was confused. It was blocked by debris, so he jumped off the boat to investigate. The more he tried to shove the debris aside, the deeper he was buried in it. First, he saw an arm… He got closer, carefully. The body was face down, bloated, scratched. Although disgusted by the looks of it, Rick turned it over and saw his own face. He remembered now. He had been lost in the river, looking for the way out for weeks, after that storm…

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Right across the horizon of two-floor houses and palm trees, the promising blue line stretched as far as the eye could see. Every now and then, the uniformity of that blue vastness was scratched. The seagulls stormed the neighborhood with their impatient shrieks, impatiently looking for impatient babies to feed them impatiently. This was in sharp contrast with the quiet horizon, a line between sea and sky filled with promises of past and future, the present suspended in that blue line. If it were a postcard, no one would believe it to be exactly like that. ut it was indeed a blue vastness interrupted only by a white line of seagulls on their way out to sea, to fish impatiently, bringing back a line of fish, a line of seashells, or a line of hope.


Tatty Soup
“Some doors are best left closed,” he said, when he got back home.
She became angry at him because she thought it was better to clarify things, to talk about what was not right, to be honest. It was easy to get trapped in routines and entangled in the petty little every-day-life bickering.
“To grow above that, we cannot open all doors,” he replied.
She tried to understand, but she couldn’t… Unspoken, muddled half-truths broke her heart.
He walked away. “I’m right,” he thought, only to become so lonely in his fake righteousness.
She stayed, alone, behind a closed door.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Focus was that pesky little magazine, whose editor decided to fill its cover for weeks with actor Peter Thompson’s private life. So, Peter hated everyone there, including the janitor. He didn’t know the man, but that was beside the point.
When Peter marched into the building, determined to end the charade, the janitor, a veteran, saw him.
“Man, look at me,” he said, noticing the gun, “look. Stay focused.”
A catastrophe ensued…
The following week, Focus featured the story.
“Guard, can I have Focus to read? I want to make sure I’m not on the cover again.”
Well… he was.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Mystical Falls

Dogs were long gone, everyone knew that. Any other pets were gone too. Oxygen was scarce and people wore masks 24/7. However, human creativity has no limits. So, when the local pub placed a sign outside saying “Tonight we have races and free beer!” I was quite surprised. My first thought was “where did they get the dogs and where would they race?” The basement was so cramped and there was no room for a race track. When I got there, the bouncer said “Adjust mask lenses to nano.” It was a nanobots race, and that basement… it became huge!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Vice City

The old portrait was long forgotten in the attic. It was a pungent reminder of how silliness ran in the family. A descendant of circus clowns, Phillip determinately refused to continue in the footsteps of his family. He went to college, got a degree, and a masters. Then he found a top notch job at a broker’s office and moved up the ranks faster than anyone else. A few years later, he was laid off on some minor discrepancy, most likely caused by his jealous and resented colleagues. You can’t escape silliness, so now he’s a clown, literally and figuratively.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

There'll Be Stories Soon!

My writing room in Borgatti!
It's time to get back to work! 

Yes, I've been drafting a longer story to be written in November, but things have been pretty slow in the writing department. 

Yay for the Weekly Challenges at the 100 Word Stories that keep me going!

Sooo, after the June Avatar Blogger Month that brough to life It Takes a Village (short-story) and Blind Jump Into (flash-fiction), now is the moment to get busy again!

This time, I am working on a series of flash-fiction stories based on pictures taken by amazing Second Life photographers and bloggers. These pictures have touched me, moved me, made me think, and when that happens, I write!

A special thank you to Canary Beck, Connie Arida, Honour McMillan, Strawberry Singh, Whiskey Monday, Yordie Sands and Ziki Questi for trusting me with their work, feelings and thoughts so eloquently put into a picture. Also thank you to Vanessa Blaylock for planting the seed for this project by showing me Connie’s work and putting me in contact with her.

These stories will be published at iRez in the Wonder/Stories section.

There’ll be stories soon!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Silver Sea

The wide assortment of underwear made the store quite successful. The prices were expensive but no one worried about that. Until Mr. Vondrak, the store owner, came up with the idea of having musical panties and the male counterpart, musical boxers. It would’ve been fun too, to own one of those. The problem was the musical taste. Chopin’s Funeral March was a commercial flop and when Mozart’s Lacrimosa was added, for a tempting pay-one-take-two option, the store became eerily empty. Mr. Vondrak didn’t understand it. He wore them all the time, and he loved them; and so did Mrs. Vondrak!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Betelgeuse 5

Forever committed to his investigation, Thomas was a renowned pioneer. He created so many improvements in the genetics of humans over the years that the other races began to express their concerns quite vocally. After all the agreement was to keep all forms of life balanced so that none would be tempted, as it happened in the past, to subdue the others. But they shouldn’t have been concerned, actually. Thomas wasn’t able to share the last results of his work. By accident, his tinkering with genes produced a breed of highly effective serial killers who had a taste for… humans.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Dark Lord's Predicament


Roaming about in the dark room (yes, he was old-school), the Dark Lord checked the results of his latest work. He had recently become obsessed with photographing every unusual scene he came across, the kid next door who stuck his head in the ground looking for haunted beads (no one really knew how he did it and how the mysterious beads got haunted), the elderly woman down the street levitating above the ground and taking off at high speed, and the neighbor’s dog scratching the tree that opened a portal at the back of the garden. When the photos came up, he was pleased to see that they looked great! He thought of offering them to the people who were photographed. Well, the kid was missing, the elderly woman too and the dog was nowhere to be seen. By taking a photo of them, the Dark Lord had deleted them by accident. 
“Umm…,” he thought, “must’ve been those darn haunted beads the kid gave me, all nicely arranged in a cool little bracelet. Why did I put them in the bag where I had my camera?”

Prompts: The Dark Lord rides in force tonight and Accident

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Today was the day! My first interview as a writer promised to be a lot of fun!

Sezoni Whitfield, the lovely interviewer (I'm biased, I know, I'm a fan; she does an amazing job as the host of the #WritersKaboodle on Twitter promoting so any authors) had a lot of interesting questions prepared and, as always, she created a very friendly mood so that authors (in this case, moi!) feel comfortable.
We are usually quite nervous, although we'd never admit it! 
Just kidding! Or not...! :)

Before the interview, here are a few interesting links you might want to check:
Writer's Kaboodle
Authors Interview Process
Writer's Kaboodle Tweetchat

And here we go!

@SezoniWhitfield Hi Liz! Thank you for joining us today!

@LizzieGudkov Looking forward to our chat in an hour!

@SezoniWhitfield Would you like to move it up to now? I had a cancellation.

@LizzieGudkov Sure, why not!

@SezoniWhitfield That's the spirit! Please tell us a little about It Takes a Village.

@LizzieGudkov It's a story about how a community sticks together when strangers are stranded in their village. It's a mystery/thriller. It was a lot of fun to write!

@SezoniWhitfield Liz, what made It Takes a Village fun to write?

@LizzieGudkov Well, the locations of the story were inspired by "real" locations in a virtual world called Second Life. So, if you're a Second Life resident, you can visit the locations where the story takes place! My fiction is very connected to virtual reality. :) I get a lot of ideas from VR.

@SezoniWhitfield What are some of the real locations where the story takes place?

@LizzieGudkov This particular story takes place in Goatswood, which is actually a roleplay sim. Virtually real, that is! :) Virtual reality is the beginning, the trigger. Then come words, and a story is created. :)

@SezoniWhitfield Ahhh! Which character would you like to introduce today?

@LizzieGudkov Oh dear! It's difficult to choose one! The one I had the most fun writing is Ernest, the stationmaster! Just because he's the exact opposite of who I am. He's picky and nervous and stressed! lol

@SezoniWhitfield Haha! He sounds like a funny little chap.

@LizzieGudkov Very goofy! He's the kind of man who drives everyone crazy!

@SezoniWhitfield LOL That's what I thought! Does he wear his trousers up to his man boobs?

@LizzieGudkov LOL no no! *hopefully not by now that a bit of time has passed* I think that characters probably have a secret life that they lead when we're not looking!

@SezoniWhitfield Liz, what do you think readers will find most interesting about It Takes a Village?

@LizzieGudkov It's a fast-pace story with fun, intriguing, unusual characters. There's also a bit of food for thought about friendships, loyalty and a mystery

@SezoniWhitfield What is your genre, or do you write multiple genres?

@LizzieGudkov I think I tend to write mystery/suspense a lot more than other genres, but I must say that I am still looking for my "voice", I'm experimenting a lot both in short fiction and flash fiction.

@SezoniWhitfield Liz, Do you have a ritual when you write?

@LizzieGudkov I write very early in the morning or way late at night. I just need no interruptions. Then I'm good to go!

@SezoniWhitfield What’s the strangest length you ever went to research your book?

@LizzieGudkov Ummm...! Apart from wandering hours on end in the location that inspired this story, I don't think I did anything unusual... yet! lol

@SezoniWhitfield Do you treat writing like your own business? Is it your career?

@LizzieGudkov I was a teacher for several decades... aham, showing age... Now I write fulltime. :)

@Oceaxe111 Hi Liz. Do you have it fully plotted when you start or does that just develop as you go along?

@LizzieGudkov Hi @Oceaxe111 :) I tried both paths and found out that the best is to have a general idea. If I plot too much, I end up changing everything anyway...! So discovering a bit is good

@SezoniWhitfield The question everyone wants to know, where can we buy It Takes a Village?

@LizzieGudkov Thank you for your question @Oceaxe111 :)

@LizzieGudkov Well, it's free! Just go to my blog and check tabs at the top of page. I'm working on formats, but for now, it's in a "blog platform" format!

@LizzieGudkov @Oceaxe111 sent me a question. I'll just copy/paste here. Do you find that a character can unexpectedly hijack the plot and take it places you hadn't anticipated?

@Oceaxe111 Sorry! Haven't completely got the hang of this # business!

@LizzieGudkov No worries! YES, a big yes! It happened to me with It Takes a Village. They usually get more "extreme". At the planning stage they are milder!

@LizzieGudkov It's fascinating! It opens up so many possibilities for the story when a character takes over!

@Oceaxe111 But is it sometimes a development that you don't want and you try to resist it?

@LizzieGudkov Usually unplanned! I'm fortunate. So far the developments have been good for the story! I try to understand where it could lead me. My first approach is always "umm, let's see!" :)

@Oceaxe111 Well, it's only right that you have SOME influence ;-)

@LizzieGudkov :) true! But stories do tend to slip through your fingers sometimes, and that is fun!

@Oceaxe111 I very much look forward to reading this Lizzie

@LizzieGudkov Aww thank you! Looking fwd to your comment! And don't hesitate to say what you think. That’s how we learn!

@SezoniWhitfield Liz, do you plan on telling us where we can buy your book? :)

@LizzieGudkov I did, I did! :) It's free! Go to my blog and check tabs at top of page.  I think #WritersKaboodle is getting tired of me and is eating messages! ;)

@SezoniWhitfield Geez, I guess the stream was moving so fast I missed it! LOL

@LizzieGudkov Let me know if it went through this time! No worries! :)

@SezoniWhitfield Got it! We're good. LOL Liz, thank you for discussing your book today. It sounds like a fun read!

@LizzieGudkov Thank you for having me! It was a lot of fun! And thank you to @Oceaxe111 for your questions! And @monaeberhardt for your RT! [ I was remiss in thanking @BabsLakey1 for the RT. Thank you so much.]

@Oceaxe111 This is my first # discussion. It's a great way of doing it!

@SezoniWhitfield Indeed it was! Thank you again!

@Oceaxe111 Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)

@LizzieGudkov I forgot to share my page just in case you would like to know more about my writing!

Important: I must state that to increase legibility I have edited typos and have written shortened words properly. All of the Twitter “clatter” was removed, and a few lines were reordered, making sure the content of what the participants said remained absolutely unchanged.

Thank you to @SezoniWhitfield for the opportunity. And thank you to @Oceaxe111 for also asking really interesting questions!

To share what we create is an enriching experience. When we are fortunate enough to do that amongst interested people who are eager to get to know your work, that's truly amazing!

What a fun first interview!
It is certainly something I'll cherish!