Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Visual Dare 19: Mirror


 My life in the Mirror is the real one. I think. I peer at myself and everything behind me. Uncertain, I turn. I see everything except me. I feel lost. Where am I? I'm being swallowed by the water, sinking so far down, choking on my own vanity...

Turn back.

There I am. I am not drowning. I am free.

The fingers clutching the Mirror suggest I am anything but. I try not to look down, I hate to see it crawling, sneaking up my left leg. Instead I look at my feet, crouched above the water. I know it’s abnormal to stand on water, I ought to be sinking.

My eyes catch my reflection and I pause at the terror within them. One day the water won’t hold me. And I won’t have the strength to break free because I’m perfectly captured by the Mirror.

I’ve already drowned.
149 Words

Well then. That was weird, even for me. Hope you enjoy... Feedback always appreciated. :)
Much love,
P.S. Want to try Visual Dares yourself? Visit anonymouslegacy.blogspot.com to enter!
P.S.S. Check out my other VisDares... Like this one, or The Odd Couple, or even El Lobo!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hey, Read This. Or Read The Fountainhead.

I just finished reading the Fountainhead and quite frankly, I just had to write about it. I wrote a scholarship essay on it but I had to fit my other thoughts somewhere and you're it. Sorry. :)

[[And as a disclaimer: I will not bore you with tales of Ayn Rand's political genius, her experiences in communist Russian and belief in objectivism, although I like her a lot and she's definitely a genius...]]

The Fountainhead is huge. And I love big books. But it's HUGE. I probably would never have finished it if it hadn't been for that little thing called scholarship money. I finished the book and the essay within hours of my deadline. It was totally worth it though and I'll tell you why, since you asked. :)

For a book entirely about architects, the story you're left with has nothing to do with architecture and everything to do with art.

Oh, yes, architecture is definitely an art but you could have given Howard Roark any type of artistic talent and the message would have been the same: If you think differently and creatively the world will want to destroy you.

Well that's cheery, McKenzie, now why the heck should I keep reading this now that I'm absolutely depressed and ready to throw the Fountainhead at you for ruining my day? Look, I'm not saying every single person on lovely planet Earth is calling for your execution. You have close friends, far away friends, blogger friends, twitter friends, cousins... maybe even an arch nemesis who all appreciate your creative genius.

But doesn't it feel like we're fighting against the whole world sometimes because we want to do something different? Like, you know, actually write quality literature???

You hear it all the time:

Don't write for the market. (And yet look at all those vampire soap operas, thank you, Stephanie Meyer's hormones...)

Don't be cliche. (But it WAS dark and stormy at midnight on Halloween, I promise...)


Write what you know. (I'm pretty sure Stephen King doesn't go around murdering people and I don't think Dean Koontz can see the ghost of Elvis, so...)

Be a leader. (Can't I just tweet about a few blog posts, join NaNoWriMo and make a Pinterest Board? ...You mean, oh my gosh, TALK to people?! Make real life friends?!?!?)

Clean your room. (We all know this is overrated. Good grief.)

by *FluorineSpark
Sorry, personal rant. Anyhoo... Let me tell you why I love Howard Roark, fictional though he may be, and it's not just the fact that he's a ginger.

1. He never apologizes for what he creates. When Howard designs you a building, he builds it just as he designed it or he doesn't build it at all.
2. He works -- he creates -- for himself. He literally puts his heart and soul into his work. In a way, this strips him naked for the whole world to see and to laugh at, and often they do. But he always gets to walk away in the freedom that his buildings are his buildings and no one can take that away from him.
3. He knows every aspect of his business. From cutting rock in the quarry to welding rivets, Howard does it all. He knows that sometimes to achieve doing what he loves, he has to work his way up to the top.
4. He never follows the rules society has set for him. Can we camp out here forever? Yeah? Okay, great. THERE ARE SO MANY RULES IN THE WRITING WORLD. I listed just a few random ones that were easy to rant about.

Guys... Rules are good and all but at some point you have to write for yourself. Write what you want to read. Write what keeps you up late at night until your back is a stiff board and you can barely see the page for yawning. Write because you love it, not because someone told you you were good or told you that's what you should do. Write because something inside you is burning, burning, burning and eating away at your body until you let all that creative genius OUT.

Know your business. Maybe you have to work a boring office job filing papers, maybe you have to edit a newspaper or be an English tutor, maybe you have to read a thousand blog posts or obsessively read twitter updates... Just put yourself somewhere that will help and not hinder you, even if it's at the bottom of the pile.

If you want to write about vampires, be my guest. Just make them your vampires. Make your dystopian fantasy your dystopian fantasy. And good lord, write what you want to write about, it doesn't matter if you know anything about it. Do some research. Be vague sometimes. Be specific sometimes.

And yeah, you need writing friends. They aren't always easy to find. If you're anything like Howard Roark, people will come to respect you through your work and then they learn to love you.

One last thing. Don't let this nasty little world destroy you. You're tough. YOU ARE SO TOUGH. So be different. Be a Howard Roark. Write what you want. Change the world. Clean your room. You know. ;)

Okay. End rant.
Much love,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wedding Bells Are Ringing!

Sadly, not for me... :)

No, these wedding bells are for the illustrious Dark Fairy Queen, Anna Meade, whom we all love very dearly in the writerly world. In honor of her wedding we're putting together a Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower.

I knew it would have to be something utterly fantastic to convince me to update my blog. ;)

This is my silly, silly story that I thought up while I was at work. Congragulations, Anna! :)
Love, Kenzie

Title: You Can Do A Lot In Three Hours
Author: McKenzie Barham
Yes to Ebook!

Auntie Fergunson was a flighty creature with an unfortunate habit of squealing at anything that made her remotely emotional. She hummed pleasantly now, running her expert fingers through Anna’s hair, convincing the wild curls to be calm for just this day.
She caught Anna’s eyes in the mirror and wriggled her eyebrows. This was another unfortunate habit.
“What?” Anna asked.
“Oh, nothing, darling,” Auntie said with a mild squeal.
Anna sighed and smiled, assuming it would be another pre-wedding moment of excited squeals.
Oh, all right. You have mail.
Anna opened her mouth and closed it. “Mail?”
“Yes!” Auntie squealed.
“Auntie,” Anna laughed helplessly, “I’m getting married in three hours.”
Her tiny aunt ran out of the dressing room for half a moment and shoved the pink envelope in her
hands. A twinge of worry hit her stomach.
You can do a lot in three hours. Just look at that stamp.”
“Yes, it says, ‘America.’”
“No! Look closer!”
Anna scrunched up her eyes and gasped. The stamp shimmered before her eyes, changed images and shot tiny fireworks that rippled into three words: Super Secret Wombat. She ripped into the pink envelope ferociously.
“Don’t they know I’m getting married?! Ugh! I’m not going anywhere! I swear if they do not start reading the calendar--oh...”
Auntie giggled hesitantly. “What’s a wombat, darling?”
Anna wasn’t sure how to approach this subject. Auntie didn't even know she owned the castle they were in now. “It’s a sort of mascot, Auntie and basically, well, I...” She winced. Auntie looked at her expectantly.
Anna took a deep breath. “I’m employed by the Dark Fairy Investigation Agency and I investigate all forms of magical crimes.The pink envelope means someone’s been kidnapped. However, the wombat could mean any number of things.”
The smile on Auntie’s face shrunk microscopically.
“I’m kidding. I just have to go to the bathroom.” Anna fled out of the dressing room almost tripped over her seven bridesmaids (who were actually fairies) who waited expectantly, envelopes and weapons in hand.
“Greetings, your majesty,” they chimed simultaneously.
“Keep your voices down,” she hissed. “Now what is so important that you interrupted my hair dresser?”
“The Wombat is jealous,” whispered one.
“The Cannon is not yet fired,” said another.
“We must rescue the Knave.”
“He is not a knave,” Anna sighed. She loved her fairy friends dearly but they were insanely jealous of her fiance. Soon to be husband, if I could get my hair finished.
The fairies’ words finally sunk in. “Did you say he needed to be rescued?”

"It is imperative to The Wedding we rescue the Knave."

Anna felt her heart plummet towards her white wedding slippers.

~ ~ ~

Within minutes the fairies had led her to an alarming scene. Positioned upon a balcony outside of her castle was her largest Cannon. Behind the Cannon was a busy wombat who grinned deviously down at them. Sticking out at awkard angles were two polished shoes, undeniably attached to two struggling legs.

Anna unfurled her fairy wings and leapt toward the balcony. "Wombat, what are you doing?" she cried in horror as he lifted his match and set the Cannon ablaze.

BOOM. Showers of glitter flew through the air as Anna watched her poor groom disappear over the trees surrounding her castle. Anna knew that although being fired from the cannon was entirely safe, there was no way to tell where anyone landed.

"The Knave is lost," the fairies murmured. They did not sound particularly remorseful.

Anna glared at her Wombat. "And just what do you think you are doing, sir?"

He chuckled, paws over his mouth. Anna stalked toward him, her Dark Fairy side trickling into her eyes. She was about to stuff the Wombat into his own cannon when a voice said:

"Does anyone know what Super Secret Wombat means?"

Someone stepped out from the glittery shadows and held up a pink envelope. Anna threw her arms around her groom.

"Michael! I thought you'd been fired!"


The fairies shyly gathered around him and tugged at his shirt. "The Knave is rescued. We are glad."

"Did they just call me a knave?"

Anna shook her head. "It's a long story." She glanced back at the Wombat who was dancing on top of the Cannon. "What?"

"It is unlucky to see each other! You can't get married now!"

Anna and Michael exchanged amused glances. "I'm quite sure we can, sir."

"I'm not even in my wedding dress!"

"But... but the fairies said..." the Wombat stuttered. Anna whirled on her fairies.

"I knew this was your doing!"

The fairies wrinkled their noses and shuffled their tiny fairy feet. "The Knave is kidnapping you. We are sad."

Michael held up his hands. "We're leaving for a week and then we'll be back! No kidnapping involved, I promise."

The fairies cocked their heads. "You are returning?"

"Of course! We live here," Anna laughed. She waved a few particles of glitter from the air. "I really need to finish my hair. By the way, who was that you fired from the Cannon?"

Two fairies began to cry.

"We are sorry, your majesty."


"It was Auntie Fergunson."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Visual Dare: Up

Guys. Two whole flash fiction posts in one week? I must be inspired. ;)

Photo Source

"Aw, Brady... Mama don't like it when you climb!" Daisy yelled at her twin brother, hands on her hips.
Brady eyed the dog below. "I ain't comin' down, nu-uh!
Daisy rolled her eyes. "He's just a puppy." She patted the dog's head, who wriggled with pleasure. "See?"
"He got all the friends he needs."
"Dang it, Brady... You don't got no sense." Daisy stomped her foot.
The dog barked and Brady climbed higher up the street pole.
"We're gonna be late!"
"Say, what's this word here?" Brady pointed, suddenly curious.
"Read it yourself," Daisy muttered. "Ya got plenty of it."

100 Words

Visual Dares are the brilliant invention of Angela Goff at anonymouslegacy.blogspot.com

Feedback is always appreciated! :)

Love, Kenzie

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Behind the Curtain: Flash Fiction Contest

by McKenzie Barham

Broadway is a very broad thing indeed, Tal thought, watching sadistic dancers filling the stage below him. The audience was empty, the broken stadium seating protruding like a spine stripped of it’s flesh.
            The lower classes and their obsession with fantasies intrigued him.
            We sweep their stages and let them play. Until they die... and the cast grows smaller.
            Tal shook his head, knowing what Rhiannon would say.
            “They only perform to survive, stupid.”
            He found Rhiannon in the wings, her face frozen with painful colors. She wasn’t happy to see him.
            “Hello, Rhi.”
            Rhiannon’s sharp breath gave her away, gave Tal hope, as she painted pictures to ask why he’d come.
            Tal ignored the frenzied questions. “Are you well?”
            She stiffened. Tal reached out to touch her face but she grasped his hand before it reached her. Tal gritted his teeth. He could barely ignore the ache in his chest.
            “Chamile’s taken the throne.”
            A small snarl curled her silent lips.
            “You have to come back; we have to be there for her.”
            Rhiannon pretended to throw a crown from her head and spit upon it.
            Tal snorted. “What are titles? What is royalty? Just a random selection of genetic material capable of feeding the masses.”
            Rhiannon pointed to Tal’s heart and shook her head. You’re a true prince, she mimed. True princes shouldn’t come to this hellhole.
            “And real mime’s shouldn’t have tongues,” Tal shot back. Rhiannon cracked a smile and she looked human.
            “Chamile is working to re-open the children factories,” he said eagerly. “Rhi! It’s everything we’ve hoped for… We have to go back.”
            Rhiannon’s mouth fell open.
            Tal took her hands. “There’s going to be children again, Rhi, and-and not just children! There’s going to be babies, Rhi, think of it!”
            “Babies,” Rhiannon whispered, tears filling her eyes. “Oh, Tal…”
            Tal nodded, grinning ear to ear.
            “I suppose I failed here,” she said hoarsely, glancing at the rafters above them.
            “All the world’s a stage, Rhi. You just have to write the script.”
            She stripped off her mime robe. “And I’ll give it a happy ending.”

351 Words

Only another hour to enter the contest! I'm squeaking in. Thank you, Anna, for inspiring me to write a flash fiction. It's been too long. :)

Love, Kenzie

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Out of the Hermit Hole

I'm poking my head up to say, hi! :)

Today I participated in a flash fiction dare, something I haven't done in months and I felt like posting it...

VISUAL DARE: The Odd Couple

Breakfast is literally stupid.
Now, dearest pussy-wussy, you promised!
Sandra set out bowls, pretending to ignore them.
You foul feathered -
No name calling!
Despite the loneliness of the island, sometimes Sandra occasionally questioned her last wish. She stepped to her porch and set a green bottle on the rail.
The genie woke up with a grotesque face.
“You could have turned my parents into the same species,” Sandra grinned.
The genie glared. “The wish was odd, the couple is odd.”
Sandra winced as a crow shriek came from the kitchen.
“I'm never marrying,” the genie groaned. 

100 Words. 

Visual Dares can be found on Wednesdays at anonymouslegacy.blogspot.com. :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 5: A Day Later

Wait, McKenzie was supposed to post this yesterday right?

Well yeah. But sometimes life gets in the way. I had half of this written but by the time I got home from the restaurant there were no coherent braincells left in my brain. :)

Anyways, I wanted to share with you guys about my very newest WIP. I started it over JuNoWrimo (Which I sort of halfway did...) and I've been working steadily on it for awhile now. A few weeks ago, my writing group decided to write a synopsis of our WIP in 300 words or less. This is hard.

I wrote one but I didn't like and later I realized I just didn't have enough story to go with it. This one is better, if still on the rough side.

My tentative title is, "The Duchess."

Some inspirations from pinterest.
Want to see more?

The Duchess:

The Pandora, a small airship, is desperate for passengers but a short flight from New Brunswick to New York and an unsolved murder on board ruin their reputation. Grounded, without any profitable cargo, Captain Amos Blackwood has no choice but to take the money of a mysterious Duchess. She and her ward, Samuel, need passage across the Atlantic, an arduous three week journey. Soon panic fills the crew as another murder takes place. They are trapped above the ocean where strange things are also happening. Unfamiliar sea creatures with glowing scales and sharp fins seem to be folling the Pandora. The Duchess seems to have more answers than most but when someone else is killed, she and Samuel take it upon themselves to find the murderer and ensure everyone reaches England safely.

It feels really gross... so y'all let me know what you think. Thanks. :)

Love, Kenzie