Category Archives: Writers Crusade

First campaigner challenge: shadows crept…

As part of her fourth campaign, Rach has issued her first challenge. Exciting!

I'm a platform-building campaigner badgeHere’s the challenge in Rach’s words:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:

  • end the story with the words: “everything faded.” (also included in the word count)
  • include the word “orange” in the story
  • write in the same genre you normally write
  • make your story 200 words exactly!

My entry is below. It meets all the criteria above except it’s not quite my normal genre. I had fun writing it, and I hope you have just as much fun reading it. Let me know what you think. 🙂

The last flame

Shadows crept across the wall of the cave as the sun set on the last day of my life. My heart began to pound beneath the satin fabric of my tattered party dress as I watched the last hints of orange disappear from the horizon.

Six hours to go. Six hours until I’d take my last breath. My vision blurred as tears formed in my eyes. Dammit. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.

Beside me, my campfire flickered. I warmed my hands over the flames and examined my fingernails. Only one was still perfectly coated in red polish, the rest were chipped and torn.

To think the party was only two nights ago. To think I’d been worried about whether my shoes matched my dress. I glanced at my feet, covered in bruises and cuts, dirt and blood. My toenails had fared better than my fingernails though – only three were chipped.

I sat down beside the fire and breathed in the smoke. All I could do now was wait. As the hours passed, each flame dwindled to nothing. The night became deathly cold. I hugged my legs to my chest and shivered.

Finally, the last flame died. Everything faded.


Make sure you check out the other entries!


Filed under Competitions, Just for fun, Writers Crusade

Thanks to Rach and her crusaders!

Yesterday was the final day of Rach Writesplatform-building crusade for writers, and I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to Rach for running such a fabulous event. When I signed on to be a crusader (after seeing a tweet from Aimee Salter about it), my blog was only nine days old. Twas just a bub!

But the crusade introduced me to so many wonderful writers who welcomed me to the blogosphere with open arms. Not only that, they entertained me, educated me, challenged me, and encouraged me.

Over the past three months, my humble blog has racked up over 3,400 hits, and I have no doubt that the majority of those are thanks to the connections I’ve made through the crusade. Although the crusade is coming to an end, the connections and friendships I’ve made over the past few months will continue for a long time to come. Thanks so much to all those crusaders who have welcomed me to the blogosphere and made my blogging debut so enjoyable and worthwhile.

If you’re interested in reading my entries to the three crusade challenges, here are some handy links for you:

 How about you? If you participated in the crusade, what did you get out of it? Are you planning to sign up to the next one in August?Writing crusader badge


Filed under Writers, Writers Crusade, Writing

Show Not Tell: the final crusader challenge

The awesome Rachael Harrie, crusade organiser and Rach Writes blogger, has issued the third and final challenge for the authors’ platform-building crusade. The challenge is to write a passage in 300 words or less that shows (rather than tells) the following:

  • you’re scared and hungry
  • it’s dusk
  • you think someone is following you
  • and just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: shimmer, saccadic, substance, and salt.

Yep, pretty tricky! Here’s my response.


I crouch in the long grass behind a Scribbly Gum and try to calm my breath so I can listen for footsteps.

Shit. There they are. Off to the right. I thought I’d lost them, but obviously not. 

The footsteps come closer. If they get much nearer, they’ll hear my rasping lungs for sure.

The footsteps stop.

Silence. Painful silence.

My eyes make saccadic movements as they try to peer around the tree. But the rest of me stays perfectly still, and I force my eyes to stare at the scribbles on the tree trunk until my vision shimmers and blurs.  

Whispers of conversation make their way through the trees to me. No substance. Just sound. But their tone seems relaxed. Maybe they’ve stopped looking – for now.

Then, the unmistakable smell of food. Sandwiches. With cheese and some kind of salty meat.

Ham. Definitely ham.

Those bastards. They must know I haven’t eaten for days. I try to imagine how the ham would taste, but the bitter tang of blood in my mouth overwhelms my imagination.

Would now be a good time to escape, while they’re distracted by their dinner? Or should I stay here for another hour until the lingering sunlight has disappeared? Once night falls, it will be so much harder for them to find me. But what do I do in the meantime? Stay here like a rabbit waiting to be hunted down?

I touch my swollen, blood-caked lip and pain shoots through my face. Decision made. I can’t wait here for them to catch me. I’d rather be shot trying to run than found cowering in the bushes.

Writing crusader badge


Filed under Competitions, Writers Crusade, Writing

2nd crusader challenge: the goldfish bowl teetered…

The awesome Rachael Harrie, crusade organiser and Rach Writes blogger, has issued the second challenge for those of us participating in the authors’ platform-building crusade. The challenge is to:

Write a flash fiction story (in any format) in 100 words or less, excluding the title. Begin the story with the words, “The goldfish bowl teetered” These four words will be included in the word count.

Here’s my response. (Note: I have no idea where this came from.)

My turn

The goldfish bowl teetered in my boyfriend’s hands as he leant towards me, his eyes glassy.

‘Your turn.’ He winked.

Heart pounding, I took the bowl and stared down at the collection of keys, then glanced at the seedy, ogling collection of men lining the room. Suddenly, I could barely breathe. What the hell was I thinking when I agreed to this?

All I wanted to do was leave. But that wish would only be granted when I chose a key. And even then, I wouldn’t be leaving alone. One of those men would be coming with me.

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Filed under Competitions, Flash fiction, Writers Crusade, Writing

All about me (and 15 other people)…

A lie revealed

On Wednesday, I posted my response to the first crusader challenge, which had to include one secret, one lie, one interesting quirk, one annoying habit, one of my best character traits, and one of my favourite things in the whole world.

These were:

  • Secret: I have a touch of OCD (not much of a secret for those who know me well!)
  • Interesting quirk: when I’m writing, I can only listen to music where the singer is the same gender as my narrator
  • Annoying habit: matching the colour of the clothes with the colour of the pegs when I’m hanging out the washing
  • Best character traits: always being there for my friends
  • One of my favourite things: I included three: my husband Mark, my dog Lucy, and writing
  • Not one of my favourite things: doing the washing.

 And drumroll…

  • The lie: I’m not allergic to green ants.

Congratulations Jolene, Laura, Regina, projectfraeya, Eileen, Joy and Amanda. You all guessed correctly. I had a number of other interesting guesses and comments though, including many who’d never heard of green ants. Unfortunately, they are real (see Wikipedia for more info) and we do have loads of them in our back yard. I’m just not allergic to them, thank goodness.

 Very interestingly, Mark (my beloved husband) wasn’t sure what the lie was. When I told him it was the green ant allergy, he said that he’d assumed so, but suspected I might have thought I was allergic, since I’m such a baby when it comes to being bitten. Gee, thanks, hon! I’ll remember that next time a green ant munches on your big toe. 😉

 Stylish blogger award

Moving on, I’m delighted to say that this week I’ve been honoured with not one but two ‘Stylish Blogger’ awards, from Laura J Moss and Cleveland Dietz II. Aww, shucks… Thanks, guys!

 Stylish blogger awardNow that I’ve received this award, I must pass it on to 15 stylish bloggers I’ve recently discovered. (Don’t think I’m not grateful, but does this seem like the blogging equivalent of a chain letter to anyone else?)

The other condition of this award is that I must reveal seven things about myself. Luckily for me, I’ve already revealed five things above! So, two more. Hmm. Better make them interesting. Here goes:

  • When I was 19, I was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver.  I had to be cut from the vehicle and broke my jaw, both ankles and my foot (don’t worry, I recovered 100%.)
  • While on my honeymoon (aged 20) in Thailand, I was bitten by a monkey. I’m still waiting for the rabies to kick in….

 Stylish bloggers

And now, to pass on the honour of being deemed a stylish blogger. My awards go to:

For being one of the best networking enablers I’ve ever ‘met’:

 For challenging me with her thought-provoking posts:

 For giving me valuable tips about how best to enter the blogosphere:

 For entertaining me with a topic I’d never normally read about:

 And for never failing to capture my interest with their blog posts:

 Check them out – they’re uber stylish. 😉


Filed under Blogger award, Writers Crusade, Writing

Crusading challenge number one – my attempt!

The first challenge for the authors’ platforming-building crusade has been set – a get-to-know-you with a twist. And as I’ve surfed around the blogosphere, dutifully following my fellow crusaders’ blogs, I’ve seen there’s some stiff competition out there. Am I intimidated? Of course!

So what’s the challenge? In 300 words or less, I must tell one secret, one lie, one interesting quirk, one annoying habit, one of my best character traits, and one of my favourite things in the whole world. The post can be in any format but must include the words “bloviate”, “fuliguline”, “rabbit”, and “blade”, and it must end with “I may have revealed something about me that isn’t strictly true, can you guess what it is?”

My attempt is below. Let the guessing begin! (Unless you’re a friend or family member. You know the truth, so you’re not allowed to guess. :-))


A (Satur)day in the life of Cally

After a beautiful breakfast with my husband on our deck, I go downstairs to hang out the washing on our Hills Hoist clothesline. This menial task takes me longer than most as I insist on matching the colour of the pegs with the colour of the clothes. I’ve tried to break this habit, but it feels wrong and makes me uncomfortable – obsessive compulsive, perhaps?

I wish I could go barefoot and feel the blades of grass between my toes, but I’m allergic to green ants and our backyard’s full of them. I don’t fancy spending the afternoon in hospital, so my shoes stay on my feet. While I slowly make my way through the washing basket, my Maltese, Lucy, sits next to me, toy in mouth, begging me to try and take it. I smile, knowing if I so much as move in her direction, she’ll take off faster than a rabbit. It’s one of her favourite games.

When I finally finish the washing, I return to the deck with my laptop to write the next chapter of my novel. Because the chapter is from Seb’s perspective, I have Kings of Leon playing – the gender of the singer must match the gender of the narrator. Weird, I know.

This chapter should be easy; it’s about Seb getting frustrated with his best mate as he bloviates about his sexual prowess. But today, the words won’t come. They swim through my mind in a fuliguline fashion, not staying long enough to grasp.

Just as an idea forms, my mobile rings – it’s a friend who’s going through a hard time, calling for support. I answer instantly, because although I desperately want to finish that chapter, nothing’s more important than my friends.

I may have revealed something about me that isn’t strictly true, can you guess what it is?


Filed under Competitions, Writers Crusade, Writing

I’m a crusader!

Right now, Rachael Harrie is my blogging hero. She’s established the Writers’ Platform-Building Crusade, which allows aspiring authors and newbie bloggers (like me) to connect with others in the same position so that we can all build our writing platforms. Such a fantastic idea!

I haven’t learnt too much about it yet, but from the little I do know, I definitely want to be involved! From what I can see, there’ll be ‘challenges’ for crusaders, so I’ll keep you posted on any craziness that results!


Filed under Tangled, Writers Crusade, Writing