YA Buccaneers

Walk The Plank: November Flash Fiction

Walk the Plank is the YA Buccaneers monthly flash fiction writing challenge. The challenge is to write a 200-word (or less) short story, using the beginning and ending prompts they provide. Since this month is NaNo Madness, they have TWO options for you to choose from:

  1. Write a flash fiction story that begins with, "I walked as quietly as I could into the room ..." and ends with, "That's when I realized he knew ..."  (Prompts are included in final word count.)
  2. Share 200 words of your current work-in-progress (for NaNoWriMos, that's your NaNo project!). 

Since I'm not doing NaNo this year, I opted for challenge #1. And I'm happy to say, I not only used both the beginning and ending prompts, but Word also says I hit the mark on 200 words exactly!


I walked as quietly as I could into the room, hoping to not wake him. The ship swayed, not helping my already unsteady balance. With each tentative step the floor boards creaked and I froze.

He slept so peacefully, the strong set of his jaw slack with unconsciousness. I almost felt bad for what I had to do.

But then I saw it.

The golden compass glistened in the moonlight and I stared, mesmerized. It rightly belonged to my family, so it wasn’t really stealing – I’m not sure he’d agree.

My fingers caressed smooth metal as they closed around it.

But then a hand snaked out, snaring my wrist. His actions so fast, he was out of bed before I could understand I’d been caught.

I’d be hung for stealing from a Prince, but I could only sigh.

Ripping the hood from my head, his grasp loosened as he stared in disbelief at the tendrils of blond that swung from my ponytail.

It was now or never.

I pecked him on the cheek, then dove out the open window. Turning back only once, a mischievous smile played along his lips.

That's when I realized he knew...this was only the beginning.

If you'd like to join me and the YA Buccaneers for this month's Walk The Plank challenge, head on over and check out all the details!

YA Buccaneers NaNoWriMo Treasure Hunt

To celebrate the upcoming entire month of November and all it means for us writers, we YA Buccaneers thought it would be fun to host a NaNoWriMo Treasure Hunt!

And what exactly does that entail?

Well it's simple:

1. Each YA Buccaneer crew member will post a tip on how to navigate the high seas of NaNo on their own personal blogs.

2. Anyone who would like to join us will simply hop from blog to blog to read all the great NaNo tips. We'll make sure to provide a link to the next blog you hop to!

3. Leave a comment on each blog. 

4. Enter your name on the RaffleCopter widget at the bottom of each post -- the more blogs you visit = more entries to win!

And voila! You're entered in our treasure hunt to win a copy of NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM by Chris Baty -- an excellent guide to help you with your MS during the 30 days of NaNo!

So, my NaNo tip for the Treasure Hunt?

Don't get caught up in the small stuff.

NaNoWriMo is a time for unabashed writing...not editing. There will be time for that later! All you need to focus on during this time is writing. Getting all those crazy words in your head, down on paper.

Yes, some of it will be trashed later.
Yes, some of it will be completely unusable.

But yes, some of it will actually stick when all is said and done.

The point of NaNo is to write.

So don't sweat the small stuff...that's all fixable later. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on NaNo - will you be entering this year? Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Drop a note in my comments below -- and don't forget to enter your name in the RaffleCopter widget to win! 

For your next stop on the NaNoWriMo Treasure Hunt, please hop on over to The Dread Pirate B's blog for her advice on conquering NaNo this year! Stop by the YA Buccaneers to catch up on any blogs you may have missed, too!

I hope to see you around the NaNo-sphere next month!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What's Up Wednesday: 10.16.13

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by my ever-so-lovely YA writer friends, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. The idea? Well, it's a great opportunity to touch base once a week with all of our blog friends and let them know what's up. Should you wish to join, head on over to Jaime's blog and sign up with the link widget at the bottom of her post! 

Wow, it's been for-ever since I've posted a WuW post!!!! But I have good reason for being on hiatus, I promise!


I recently used an Amazon GC to buy several book series I've been waiting to read, until all of the books were released -- and a couple of weeks ago, they all came in the mail:

All three titles in Melina Marchetta's FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK series (reading now)
All three titles in Kerstin Gier's RUBY RED series (CANNOT wait to read this one!)
All three titles in Rae Carson's THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series

Plus ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, and so many others (including ALLEGIANT coming in the mail next week!)...you can say I have plenty to read for the rest of 2013! 


I finished all of my revisions for WTWF in August and actively started to query in September. And I have to say, I'm thrilled to see the responses I've received! More on that to come soon!

I've also been working on my outline for my new WIP that I'll be writing for NaNo next month -- and I'm super excited about this one!

Oh! If you're in need of some inspiration to write - join the YA Buccaneers Word Sprint! Two rounds, one hosted tonight from 6-7pm PST, and one tomorrow night from 4-5pm PST on Twitter! #YABWordSprint


Our beautiful summer here in Seattle...and the gorgeous fall we've been having.

I so didn't want summer to come to an end. We really lucked out here in Seattle...and had one of the best summers EV-VER (and I had the good fortune of having the time off to enjoy it!) -- I'm already missing the sunny skies and warmer temperatures. And not looking forward to the months ahead of dreary, rainy weather.

At least while it was still nice out, my husband and I did manage to run in two races:

The Zombie 5k - Run For Your Lives

And The Color Run in Portland, OR.


My husband and I went down to Mazatlan, Mexico last week, for 8 full days, to celebrate our 8th Anniversary!

While the weather was gorgeous, I managed to spend an entire 24 hours in my room, sick as a dog...we're still not sure if it was something I ate (or drank) or if it was from the Mexican OTC Aleve I took, thanks to a severely strained calf muscle issue. Either way, it wasn't pleasant...but at least it was in the middle of our vacation, so we still had time to enjoy the pool!

But now we're back and it's cold (although it is sunny, so there's that!)...and I'm already missing the palm trees and pool. Oh well. We'll see the sunny weather again next June!

Other than that, this fall has managed to be a tad crazy with a few other fun things that I'll share at a later date. Let's just say that when it rains...it pours. And I'll take it.


It's #TalkLikeAPirate Day Today!

Yep, a day for all us sea lovin' swashbucklers, today is Talk Like A Pirate Day!

And to celebrate a day made just for the YA Buccaneers, we're giving away some RRRRRRRRRR-mazing prizes and critiques to anyone deemed worthy of the best pirate speak tweet!

Think you can throw down a pirate book mashup? 

Think you can give us your best pirate speak query advice?

Well we'd love to see it!

Don't forget to include #YABPirateTalk so we can read all your fabulous creations -- and stop by to see all the great tweets we've amassed so far!

Check out our post today over on The YA Buccaneers for all the deets!

I hope you'll join us, after all, it's not every day you get to Talk Like A Pirate!


What's Up Wednesday: 07.24.13

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by my ever-so-lovely YA writer friends, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. The idea? Well, it's a great opportunity to touch base once a week with all of our blog friends and let them know what's up. Should you wish to join, head on over to Jaime's blog and sign up with the link widget at the bottom of her post! 


I'm almost finished with WANDERLOVE by Kristen Hubbard for YA Buccaneers July Reading Mutiny challenge -- and I'm absolutely loving it! So many wonderful things I can totally relate to, but I'll save all of that for my review.

If you'd like to join us for the Reading Mutiny challenge, we'd love to have you (just click here) - and of course, there are prizes involved!!! 

Also, while I run, I'm reading Jennifer Echols THE ONE THAT I WANT. I thought FORGET YOU was okay, but I liked ENDLESS SUMMER and GOING TOO FAR more.


Writing Goals for this past week:

1. Relax. 
2. Send WTWF off to my CP's to have at it with their red markers! 

I sent off WTWF to my second round of CP's finally on Monday -- and I'm looking forward to their feedback.

The feedback I've received from my first round of CP's has all come in, and they've provided some really great suggestions. I worked on what I thought would make WTWF stronger over the weekend while my husband was out of town...and I'm very happy with all of the little changes I've made. 

Writing goals for this week:

1. Work on revising chapter 18 & 19.

Oh! And if you're in need of some inspiration to write today - join the YA Buccaneers Word Sprint! Two rounds being hosted on Twitter tonight - the first is at 5pm PST and the second at 6:15pm PST! #YABWordSprint


Ronin chillin' in the kiddie pool.Summertime!

The running joke for all us Pacific Northwesterner's is that summer doesn't show up around Seattle until July 5th. Well, we lucked out and summer arrived a little earlier than that...and it hasn't left yet!

I love the sunshine, the warm days when wearing shorts and a tank top are the perfect attire, and there's nothing but blue skies forever.

Everyone is just in a better mood around here - me included - when the sun is out...which means Seattle can be an awfully grumpy place for 9.5 months out of the year!

So while I've got it, I'm out in the sun enjoying every moment!


I took a stab at writing a round of Flash Fiction for YA Buccaneers Walk The Plank challenge (see my post below). I've only done flash fiction a handful of times, but I've had so much fun every time -- especially when there are obstacles in place that you need to try and adhere to. 

If anyone else wants to join us, I'd love to see what you all come up with!


Walk The Plank: YA Buccaneers Flash Fiction Challenge

Over at YA Buccaneers, we're drumming up excitement around writing flash fiction, something I've only ever attempted a handful of times -- but every time, I've enjoyed the unique challenge and outcome it brings.

Walk The Plank is our monthly Flash Fiction challenge - in other words, write a short snippet that makes the biggest impact. The goal: Write a story in 200 words or fewer, excluding the title, around the monthly theme.

And this month's theme? ADVENTURE!!!

Think you're up for that? Well, there are a few rules that apply:

  1. Write a short flash fiction story in 200 words or fewer, excluding the title, around this month's theme of ADVENTURE!
  2. For an extra challenge, begin your story with the words, “I set sail” (these three words will be included in the word count).
  3. And for an even bigger challenge, use the same beginning words and end with the words: "my adventure continues!" (also included in the word count).
  4. For those who want to prove their Flash Fiction prowess, hit all of the above challenges, PLUS, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

I'm always one for a challenge, so I knew I'd give this round of Walk The Plank a go. And I'm happy to say, after a lot of finagling, I hit all 4 of the rules.

Without further adieu, my submit for July's Walk The Plank flash fiction challenge on adventure:


I set sail on a gray day, the ocean a vortex of choppy waves.

This isn’t helping my stomach that I left in my room, on the 12th floor of my hotel. Nor are the saltines I’ve been consuming by the boatload.

But then the sun breaks and the water calms, as we sail further out. And now I’m more anxious than anything as I don my wetsuit. Around me, others wriggle into their own, strapping on various pieces of gear.

I’m finally doing it, number forty-eight on my bucket list: scuba diving.

As one of the crew helps strap the weighty air tank to my back, I panic. I’m a Taurus for crying out loud. A land lover, preferably with my feet solidly in dirt.

But then he smiles, a reassuring hand on my shoulder.

With one last shaky breath, I pull my mask into place and wait for the thumbs up.

Then I plummet down, down, down into the warm ocean, as water swirls around me. Fish are everywhere; turtles, too. The water is so clear, I can see all the way to the sandy bottom.

And as I swim through unchartered territory, I know my adventure continues!

So, do you have what it takes to Walk The Plank? I think you do. And I can't wait to read it! Stop on over at YA Buccaneers when you're finished and let us know - don't forget, prizes are up for grabs, too!