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Flash Fiction Contest!



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This issue gets real 'up close and personal.' The greatest need for Balancing Life and Writing starts right here. I mean, when you get emails from your staff that start with “Happy Monday, I really hope that you aren't reading this over the week-end” and another day you're hoping your thrown-together meal and keyboard will not join forces, it's not hard to take the excellent advice personally. The WOW! staff has profited immensely from putting our June issue together.

Many inner facets make each woman the individual she is and that includes the inner-writer and inner-nurturer. We've all felt the internal struggles and strive to get a better handle on our lives--to achieve a balance between our loves:  Life and Writing.

If gaining more control over your life/writing is your objective, let us assure you that you don't want to miss an article or feature, because each contain treasures--the tips you need to work smarter and enjoy your writing/editing/etc. more. Pick, choose, and welcome the sage advice that can help you reach your goals. And dear reader, that includes you, the one all in the writing industry want to please, because better balance in life can indeed result in more quality reading.

Please let us know how you've profited from this issue and we'll all continue to learn from each other. You can write to us at or post on our blog.

We can't close without achieving the perfect balance of appreciation and recognition:  We thank our talented contributors:  C. Hope Clark (a regular), Linda Formichelli, Susan Johnston, Christina Katz, Deb Kincaid, Beth Morrissey, and Julie Sturgeon. Next, we ask our wonderful WOW! staff to stand and smile big as we all applaud their work, generous spirit, and great energy. Contributing Editors:  Sue Donckels and Jean Lauzier. Interns:  Cher'ley Grogg, Chynna Laird, and Joanne Hirase-Stacey. A big thank you, and now let's go seeking those treasures with our names on them. Enjoy!



“I was twelve years old when my mother passed away, and a friend gave me a journal to write in, as a substitute shrink. Although it was pond scum green with tired-looking brown horses on the cover, it came with a gold lock that only I owned the key to. That gave me the security to ‘lift my skirt up and fly’ and to never look back; except to edit, of course! Now, I just wonder which family member will be reading my crazy journals when I die, and if they’ll be auctioned off on Ebay.”

Angela owns a graphic design business in Orange County, is an award-winning artist and a published short fiction writer. She is currently working on a collection of intertwined short stories for a novel.


“Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I wrote short stories when my creativity kicked in, which was usually around midnight and beyond. After I married, my husband told me that wasn't working for him. So, I turned to creating business plans, presentations, brochures and everything else we needed as business owners.during the daytime. Close to three years ago, my husband of thirty-six years died, and I returned to writing.”

Beryl is a published non-fiction writer, a writer of flash fiction, personal essays and is currently working on a novel.



How Day Trips Enrich Your Writing


If you have a hectic schedule like I do and very little time to take a proper vacation, then a day trip just may be the cure for your writing. Leave the glamour at home, forget the five star hotel and spa retreat, and indulge in something gritty for your novel in progress. I don't know if I'm the only one with a ‘fetish’ for small, rundown, once-loved now-forgotten towns...but let me tell you why they appeal to me:

  • You can immerse yourself in the culture (even only if for one day) as an observer
  • If you want to mingle with the locals, there's plenty of ‘characters’ to draw inspiration from—for your writing
  • Great photo opportunities
  • A chance to breathe in some new setting for your novel or story (even if the air isn't so fresh!)
  • And when you come home your plum tuckered from your wild ride

It was one of those afternoons where my hubby asks, “Aren't we going to do anything today?” I turn from my frantic typing on the computer and catch his puppy-dog eyes. How does he even put up with me? I say, “Sure, hun,” and know what his next question will be. From there a turbo-round of ‘where do you want to go? I dunno, where do YOU want to go?’ ensues.

It was already late in the afternoon, around 2pm, and we'd already tossed around the idea of going away, but time was fleeting. “How about the Salton Sea?”

I'd seen a really great website on a fabulous photography and art book (I urge all to check it out: ) and was intrigued by environmental issues as well as the fact that it once was a resort town and now it's a wasteland.

A two-hour drive from Orange County, the Salton Sea is California's largest inland body of water, located in the heart of the desert. There are a couple of speculations on how it formed, the most popular being that a massive flood in 1905 caused the Colorado River to break through an irrigation canal and flow freely into the Salton Basin for a year and a half.

The residents of Salton City know differently. They know that there have been numerous occurrences of flooding since the mid-1800s. They know that the salinity level is rising, and the fish and wildlife can't stand the high content. There are a lot of issues surrounding this desert city, and that's what made it interesting to me as a writer. I could get into it all, but that will have to be a different article! I can only tell you that the people I talked to are passionate about their cause... if you feel like you're interested in learning more, check out the website I mentioned above and do a little research on Google... you'll quickly find out.

Now, onto the photos! Remember that the sun was setting, so there were only a few spare moments to capture the setting, but we managed to take a few shots.


If you can write a short story on these photos as a prompt, please send them in to: and we'll post them on the WOW! Blog! Take the Day Trip with your own view! (Name the photo # you're writing about and we'll post it with your story - get creative! It's all about your interpretation.)

When we first rolled into ‘town’ we stopped at this bar and met some very nice locals. The wall behind the bar was papered with dollar bills that had been drawn on by sharpies and some of the ceiling above the bar as well. Everyone in the place knew each other and they all had a story to tell.

It's true! The drinks were cold...although I didn't indulge in the food, but imagine it was super. The hospitality was nice and the bartender had been there since the sixties! Her and her husband owned the place.

From an artist's perspective... loved the rust, telephone poles, car front and the dried shrubs. I also wondered if they really still used that icebox... could it be possible?

A drive through town proved many interesting finds...

Room with a view... I'm sure there's a story to be told here!

“Bombay Beach” - the town... a sunken city.

Beside the still pumping generator...

Con-trails? Com-trails? A beautiful backdrop.

The oncoming train, chugging through the desert.

Once decadent, now forgotten...

The water kisses the sky...

Requiem for a skateboarder...

A perfect end to an enlightening day!

Now that we've come the conclusion of the Day Trip challenge, I'm going to refresh your memory:


If you can write a short story on these photos as a prompt, please send them in to: and we'll post them on the WOW! Blog! Take the Day Trip with your own view! (Name the photo # you're writing about and we'll post it with your story - get creative! It's all about your interpretation.)

The best write-up of the month will be in the running for a paid article on WOW! Women On Writing - so get your writing on, and we look forward to your interpretation of my day trip!



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