NaNoWriMo!! And Other Resources

Hey all!

You may have noticed that I have been conspicuously absent for quite some time now. There’s a few reasons, not the least of which is that life has just been kind of in the way. But more to the point, my writing goals have changed and I’m not quite sure what that means yet for Beyond the Threshold.

When I first started this flash fiction blog, it was something of an experiment. I had never written in short-story form before, and had several unfinished “novels.” I wanted to explore flash fiction as a way to test out new ways of telling stories, improve my world-building skills, and create a bunch of characters and scenarios. I wanted to have fun, and see what I could learn.  It was well worth it, but I feel like I might have hit a wall for what I can do in 1000 words. In order to grow, I think it’s time to change up the game.

So, for the first time ever – I’m participating in NaNoWriMo! In the spirit of that, I’d like to share some of my favourite writer resources with all of you lover of words 🙂 If you are looking for inspiration, motivation, or just a way to geek-out writer-style, you’ll want to check these out!

Podcasts

Podcasts have become a constant in my life. They are perfect for listening to while I’m doing anything very hands-on like cooking, cleaning, crocheting – anything of that nature.

Here are a few aimed specifically at budding writers:

  • Writing Excuses: Tips, advice, and writing challenges brought to you by 3 working  authors
  • How Story Works: Story theory! Course-style discussions on how to craft a well-written story brought to you by author Lani Diane Rich
  • Comics Experience Make Comics: Everything you need to know about making comic books and participating in the comic book industry

And whether you are interested in writing or not, story-lovers need to check out these podcasts by story-teller extraordinaires:

  • Myths and Legends: Folklore from all over the world, told accurately – but with a critical and comical edge, brought to you by Jason and Carissa Weiser
  • Fictional: Iconic tales you may have never actually read, also brought to you by Jason and Carissa Weiser
  • Lore: Stories from the darkest corners of history, brought to you by Aaron Mahnke (now a TV series on Amazon Prime Video)
  • Origins: Exploring the origins of dark legends and supernatural archetypes, brought to you by author Jaimie Engle

Gamified Writing

Looking for a fresh challenge or a way to spice up the relationship between you and your story? Here’s a couple places to check out:

NaNoWriMo – obviously! Sign up for free and challenge yourself to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It’s already started, but it’s not to late to join. Update your word count, race your writing buddies, win badges and qualify to win a prize at the end.

4thewords: In this quest style game, you kill monsters in battle by writing to complete quests! Set up as many projects as you want, and choose which to write for in each battle. You’ll start off by needing 200 words in 30 minutes, but it gets tougher – pressure’s on!

Ad Hoc Fiction: This is a free weekly flash fiction contest. A prompt word is given and you have 150 words to tell a whole story, using the prompt at least once. Be creative! The competition is sharp.

Happy Writing!

 

 

 

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Beyond the Threshold is EXPANDING

Hi all!

This is just a quick update about what I’ve been up to, and some changes you will notice on Beyond the Threshold. As much as I love writing flash fiction, there is so much more within the realm of speculative fiction that I want to explore. As you may have guessed, I’ve always been a lover of books, comics, TV and movies. I spent 7 years in post-secondary education for film studies, so when it comes to discussing film and TV, I really can’t shut up. So I’m expanding Beyond the Threshold to leave room for things such as more book/comic reviews, and Top Lists for a variety of topics regarding TV and movies. I’m currently writing for a pop culture website, so a lot of this content will be linked to those published articles. And, of course, I will also continue to post my own fiction here too.

Thanks for all the support – I hope you’ll enjoy the expansion. Stay Strange!

3 Days, 3 Quotes Book Tag – Day 3

It’s the final day, and a final thank you to Irene of Books and Hot Tea for tagging me on this one. It’s been more difficult than I had anticipated – finding those perfect words. But at least I’ve gotten to revisit some of my favourite books!

So, one last time, here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post three different quotes in three consecutive days
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

To end, I’ve chosen an eerie quote from Angela Carter’s short story, “The Lady of the House of Love.” It’s been published in a collection of her works, The Bloody Chamber.

She herself is a haunted house. She does not possess herself; her ancestors sometimes come and peer out of the windows of her eyes and that is very frightening.

A sorrowful and grim passage that well represents the tone of Carter’s fairytale retellings. I recommend this collection to anyone who has outgrown fairytales as told by Disney, and is longing to return to their darker, more powerful, roots.

Thanks for reading!


Today I nominate Friendly Fairy Tales, ronovanwrites, and C.M. Rininger. Feel free to join in, or pass.

3 Days, 3 Quotes Book Tag – Day 2

Day 2, and once again, a thank you to Irene at Books and Hot Tea for tagging me.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post three different quotes in three consecutive days
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

Today I bring you a thoughtful prose from Weaveworld by Clive Barker. The story is magical, and dark, and (at times) convoluted due to its dense use of language. It makes for an extraordinary read though, and you can pull quotes from it for days. So here’s mine:

Nothing is fixed. In and out the shuttle goes, fact and fiction, mind and matter, woven into patterns that may have only this in common: that hidden amongst them is a filigree which will with time become a world.

As the first page of the story, this grandiose introduction invites the reader to fully immerse themselves into the world of storytelling, and to think about what it really means to life into characters. I recommend the book to all writers, and to anyone intrigued by words and how they come together to create meaning.


Today I nominate The Writer’s InkwellNightmares, Daydreams and Imagined Conversations; and HemmingPlay. No pressure, but feel free to join the fun!

3 days, 3 Quotes Book Tag – Day 1

A big thank you to Irene of Books and Hot Tea for tagging me on this one – it’s going to be a lot of fun. If you’re a book lover, be sure to stop by her blog for her awesome posts on all things lit.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post three different quotes in three consecutive days
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

So I’m going to kick this off with a quote from one of my favourite books, Let the Right One In by John Lindqvist. It’s not one for beautiful prose; but this complex, multi-levelled, narrative does have a lot to offer in every line. Using the guise of a vampire thriller, Lindqvist seizes the opportunity to discuss the innocence of coming-of-age, starkly contrasting a pre-teen boy’s sweet simplicity with the ugly world in which he lives. One of the most difficult topics he tackles, is sexuality.

Elias. Elias. A boy’s name. Was Eli a boy? They had… kissed and slept in the same bed and… Oskar pressed his hands against the bathroom door, rested his forehead against his hands. He tried to think. Hard. And he didn’t get it. That he could somehow accept that she was a vampire, but the idea that she was somehow a boy, that could be… harder.

 

Oskar’s struggle with his romantic feelings for Eli throughout the novel are some of the most genuine moments the book has to offer. I highly recommend this one for anyone looking for a true coming-of-age tale, tarnished with a gritty darkness that is intense enough to stay with you at night.


Today I nominate Tiffany – Book and Coffee Addict, Magic of Stardust and Words, and 23 Galaxy St. Cosmic City. Hope you join the fun, but don’t feel obliged 🙂

 

Write Drunk, Edit Sober.

Calling all writers! I now offer professional editing services.

Since beginning this flash fiction site in 2015, I have gained access to a beautifully inspirational and ever-growing community of writers. If there’s one thing we all learn pretty quickly, it’s that the significance of the editing phase cannot be understated. Many of us have probably also realized that self-editing never really seems to do the trick. That’s because as the author of the work, we are most liable to let our brains auto-correct errors. There’s nothing like having a fresh set of eyes evaluate your work; and as scary as that sometimes seems, it’s a necessary evil!

So I have decided to put my editing training and experience to good use, by reaching out to all of my fellow writers. This service is not only for your blog posts or flash fiction – if you are a professional writer or looking to become one, you can send me manuscripts and documents of all lengths, genres, and subject matter. I am a certified technical writer, which means I am trained in the art of flexibility – I can tackle any subject, and any type of document, fiction or otherwise. I am also a member of Editors Canada.

Since each piece of work is a different challenge, my prices are not fixed. Please send me a query or quote request at shylafairfax[at]editors.ca, and visit my Righting Words page for more information.

Happy writing!

 

The Liebster Award

 

Liebster Award

Thank you to electrobeth for nominating my site for a Liebster award, which celebrates new blogs. It’s quite the honour.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Display the Liebester Award on your blog.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions your nominator has asked.
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers with less than 1000 followers.
  • Ask them 11 new questions or the same ones you were asked.
  • Let the bloggers you nominate know!
  • Copy the rules into your post.

So, here goes!

11 Random Facts About Me
  1. I am a technical writer
  2. I have a cat who bullies all other living creatures in the neighborhood
  3. I have an irrational fear of fish and other sea creatures that are not mammals
  4. I am obsessed with fairytales – Grimm’s tales, to be more specific
  5. I hate wearing socks
  6. I got married in a movie theatre that was built in 1932 (it’s so beautiful!)
  7. I have a master’s degree in Film Studies – my thesis is titled Women in Slashers Then and Now: Survival, Trauma, and the Diminishing Power of the Close-Up
  8. I have had two children’s poems published in a book of nursery rhymes
  9. I hated the book Divergent and did not finish it
  10. I read too much Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews in my younger years
  11. I don’t have Facebook, Twitter, or any other popular social media
11 Q & A from my Nominator
  1. What made you start your blog? Although technical writing is a great, steady, job – it can be a bit dull. I needed a creative outlet, and writing stories had always been a hobby of mine. Problem was, I never finished them. And then I discovered flash fiction, so here we are.
  2. How do you de-stress after a long day? I have two strategies: curl up with a book or graphic novel, with some soothing background music; or curl up with my husband and binge-watch some of our favourite TV shows.
  3. What fascinates you? Society’s obsession with social media – well, it both fascinates and frustrates me. Unplug people!
  4. If you could meet any famous person (dead or alive) who would it be? Robin Wood (deceased). He is my favourite film theorist and the reason I fell in love with horror cinema. We could have a critical (but Geeky) discussion about slasher flicks. It’d be a dream come true.
  5. What is your biggest fear? Fish. AH! I hate them. Why are their eyes so far apart?!
  6. If you could live in a fictional world what one would it be and why? Hmm, as it turns out I read and watch too much horror/dystopia and subsequently only seem to engage with terrible fictional worlds I would not want to live in. I guess I’d have to choose Halloween Town of The Nightmare Before Christmas because it could be Halloween all year round.
  7. Who is your favourite fictional family? The Addams Family (from the original TV series, not the movies – although, I did like those too).
  8. If you could be any animal what would you be and why? I guess a cat because they just do whatever they want all the time.
  9. If someone was going to make a film about your life who would play you and why? Ignoring the physical, maybe Christina Ricci because she seems strange enough.
  10. What is your favourite type of weather? Early Autumn (read: sweater weather and fallen leaves).
  11. What would be your dream job? Novelist. And I’d want a weird creepy old cabin too.
My Nominations:

50 Flash Fiction

AA Czostedt

A Drop in Time

Books and Hot Tea

Douglas Graham Purdy

Fix of Fiction

Jody’s World

Thank you to all of these awesome bloggers for giving me something to read each day. If you choose to accept, follow the rules aforementioned, and here are your 11 questions:

  1. How did you come up with your blog concept?
  2. What inspires you to keep blogging?
  3. What are you currently reading (or most recently read)?
  4. What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?
  5. Are you a night owl or a morning bird?
  6. What in your life are you most proud of?
  7. Who is your hero?
  8. Do you have a phobia? If so, what is it?
  9. If you were to write the story of you, what genre would it be and why?
  10. What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?
  11. What’s your biggest pet peeve?