Map to NaNo

The end of October tends to be a struggle for me. You see, November begins National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  And I am a Pantser (one who does little to no planning and writes by the seat of their pants). Which means I have little to do for my beloved NaNo beyond counting down the days.

My best friend Nikki, however, is a Planner. So her Octobers are generally filled with outlines and character sketches and maps and really lord knows what all else. I have tried to be a Planner, and outline the story before I can “legally” start writing it. And it killed my story. Took all the fun out of my process. I felt like I’d already written it and had no interest in doing so again. Weird, I know. I’m a flash fiction writer though, and I find it much easier to write something wordy and cut it down than to expand on something brief. S, wordy naNo time is perfect for me, when the goal is verbose over brevity, in order to hit the word count.

So, again, October, the second half in particular, is a struggle. I’ve done the most that I can and may have stumbled upon an outline method that is SO bare bones that I can actually use it. Going from this NaNo-prep blog entry, I have discovered the Subway Map outline (this example using The Hunger Games).


Isn’t it gorgeous?!

Hm, perhaps to think so you need to be in love with a city with a major metro system? I’m a London girl myself (stuck in Texas), so the beauty of this outline system appeals to my aesthetics and the limited amount of info needed is a plus for my pantser-self. My outline uses even less information than this one does! So now I have a super-brief outline for my upcoming novel that’s pretty enough to hand on a wall, AND I’ve killed a little dreaded October dead-time. Now I only have 13 days, 6 hours, and 55 minutes to fill.

Anyone for a game of Scrabble?





Camp Nanowrimo

April 1 begins Camp Nanowrimo, the summer version of my November madness, with a little flexibility thrown in. My goal this go around is to write 30 short stories (flash fiction) in 30 days. To whet your whistle, here’s one I’d written previously. Enjoy!


Sharp heel clicks on the restaurant floor, followed by the shuffling steps of one being led to execution. A proffered chair squeaks and is ignored in favor of another pulled out roughly. Offers of wine frostily denied. Sweet tea, no lemon. Just water, please. A silent glare over the menus, lost on the recipient, but noted by the waiter who hastily retreats. Silent, tension-laden moments, broken by the delicate placement of bread and drink on clean white table linens. Orders made, terse response regarding salad dressing on one side, forced joviality about the specials on the other. 

Left alone again, bread is cut with more force than necessary as the accusation is finally aired. Other diners either flinch or perk up their ears at the drama unfolding. Murmured bets are placed by the waitstaff on the outcome, their own waiter placing a fiver on drinks being thrown, hoping to recoup his certain lack of tip. An embarrassed entreaty for quiet tones is disregarded as the tirade continues. 

Past promises, broken; future happiness, dashed; present dalliance, uncovered. Proclamation of innocence and artfully earnest explanation interrupted only by meal delivery. Stony silence juxtaposed with quick talking and attempted cajoling as food is pushed around plates, mostly uneaten. Account given, a lull falls as each side surveys the other.

Muffled gasps from nearby tables when insurmountable evidence is brought forth. Stunned silence and a look of panic is quickly replaced by attempts at backpedaling. These, met only with disdain, finally morph into contrition as admission is made. The lid on the wronged party’s anger metaphorically flies, followed by the literal flying of the sweet tea, no lemon, into the offender’s face.

The suddenly vacated chair falls over, causing the all-too-attentive bystanders to jolt. Shoes again echo on their path to the door, punctuating the sputters of one drenched in drink. The opposite chair moves backward just as quickly, but remains upright as its occupant fumbles for cash. Money is thrown on the table and the second diner follows the first, calling out, unheard through the already closing door. Shoved open again, the door hangs ajar for a moment, as though allowing the tension in the restaurant to exit as well, before quietly falling shut, signaling the end of the public confrontation. 

The waiter is already at the table, righting the fallen chair before collecting the bills that barely cover the cost of the uneaten meal. By the time the dry table linen is laid, discussion of the spectacle is winding down. No one will even make the connection when news of the murder is made public.

50 Precious Words

Vivian Kirkfield is running a fabulous little contest. A children’s story using just 50 words.

#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge is OPEN

This uses two of my favorite genres, kidlit & flash fiction, so you know I’m in!  Here is my tiny entry, based on a true story!

In Charge

Mom’s out of town.keep-calm-youre-in-charge
Dad’s in charge of little brothers and me.
Macaroni for dinner, twice.
Oh no…
Dad has the flu!
I’m in charge?!
Feed brothers- PB&J.
Dad looks green.
Brothers tucked in bed.
Dad’s snoring on the couch.
What’s that sound…?
Mom’s home!
Hurrah! We survived!

Valentiny 2017

Welcome to my entry for the Valentiny 2017 contest! Hope you enjoy it!

Bob’s Valentine Dilemma 

Bob had never understood Valentine’s Day. All the candy, flowers and stuff were nice, of course, but did it all have to be about hearts and L-O-V-E? Bob had to give a Valentine to everyone in his class. They were friends, but did he L-O-V-E them? Bob thought not.

So what to give them all for Valentine’s Day?

An apple? No, that “you’re the apple of my eye” stuff meant L-O-V-E.

Bubble gum? “I’m stuck on you!” N-O-P-E.

Pizza? “Have a pizza my heart!” Ew.

Chocolate? “Sweets for the sweet!” Blech.

Flowers? “My tulips are for you!” Yuck!

Suckers? “I’m a sucker for you!” Sigh.

Then, Bob had it! It was unique, it was clever and it wasn’t all lovey-dovey gross!

On Valentine’s Day, Bob proudly handed out a single mitten to each of his confused classmates. With each one came a card… “Warmest Valentine wishes!”


Good afternoon all! I found out this morning that I’m a finalist in the Halloweensie 2016 contest that I had posted about before!  (yay!)  Be a dear and go vote for your favorite at the link below.  I’m not supposed to tell you which one is mine, but it does occur to me if you just scroll a bit on this blog, you’ll find out for yourself.  Is that cheating? Surely not.  Anyway, go vote for your favorite, whichever that may be!

Thanks everyone!


NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

Here we are, 5 days into November, and you know what that means? Yes, I’m still munching on the kids’ Halloween candy, but not that. It means National Novel Writing Month!

Yes boys, girls and others, that’s writing 50,000 words in 30 days! 1,667 words is the daily goal, and man is it hard. But it’s also one of my favorite times of year. The community, the general craziness of the whole idea, the forced deadline — it just gets me.

This year I’m moving right along at a steady clip of around 2,000+ words a day, which means that today I met tomorrow’s goal. A good feeling, let me tell you. It lets me know that I could have a nasty 24-hour virus or, you know, have Thanksgiving, and still finish on time.

My best friend Nicole and I had our first official write-in together yesterday at a little diner. We didn’t freeze like we did last year, and no one minded that we hogged a table for several hours. Bonus: by working in a diner, halfway through we got to have a Cake Break!

“That’s all very nice Meagan,” you may be saying. “But what are you WRITING ABOUT??”

Well, my friends, I’ll tell you. First I ask you to note the lovely graphic that is my book cover, made using Canva.


Now we’ll get to the nitty gritty. My book is a fantasy, and not the usual kiddie fare I show here. Consider yourself warned, though all that I’ll say here is tame.


Alex Hudson’s great-uncle Ezekiel just died, leaving her a magnificent house in his will. After meeting the only clause, that she view the house within 48 hours, Alex and her roommate Zadie find the house comes with hidden responsibilities. Now Alex is the new Gatekeeper to the doors to Heaven and Hell, and she can’t leave her post. Things get even more complex when an Angel gets kidnapped. If It’s not returned in 2 days, all of Heaven, Hell and Earth will cease to exist. While Alex has to stay behind and learn her new job, Zadie and her demonic helper are off on a road trip to save the world as we know it.



“Miranda!” Zeke exclaimed, forgetting the Angel drama immediately. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere! I lost my power to compel you to appear, I was afraid you’d left when I died.”

“Of course not Zeke, you told me you were going to come back here to help Alex, I wouldn’t leave,” Miranda said, then seemed to wish she hadn’t. “I’ve just been staying out of the way until everything calmed down. And I wouldn’t have shown myself now except I happened to be in the hallway when your firefighter walked, quite calmly, out the door with your “stolen” Angel.”

Alex and Zadie listened to this report with no small bit of incredulity, because while they’d gotten used to Zeke already, seeing another ghost in old-timey dress was a bit much to take in.

“This day has exceeded my medication,” Zadie said, tongue in cheek, under her breath to Alex.

“Tell me about it,” breathed Alex.

“Hello,  Miranda. Still skulking about I see,” Dee taunted.

“Demon,” Miranda said in curt greeting. “And since Zeke’s going to be rude, I’ll introduce myself. I’m Miranda Van Buren. You must be Alex, and from my eavesdropping, which I do apologize for, I’ve gathered that you’re Alex’s friend and roommate Zadie. It’s a pleasure to meet you properly.”

“Right, yes. Nice to meet you too. I’m afraid I don’t understand exactly… who you are though?” Zadie said, covering for Alex’s reflexive move to shake hands with the incorporeal being.

“Ah. Miranda’s… a house guest of sorts. A house ghost really, ha ha,” Zeke said weakly.

“Miranda haunts the house, properly, like a ghost should. Whether she’s wanted or not. I really must say I do approve of the idea Miranda, though your execution leaves much to be desired. You seem to do more dusting than scaring,” Dee said as she filed her nails. Miranda glared at Dee, and looked at Zeke to defend her.

“No, Miranda does not haunt the house. She rather lives here actually. The empty bedroom in the corner there, that’s hers…”

“Though she doesn’t need to sleep. Or eat, or shit for that matter,” Dee cut in. Miranda gasped.


That’s all for now darlings. Hope you liked the little peek into my head. Ta!





Halloweensie Contest 2016

The following is my entry for the 2016 Halloweensie Contest, run by the ever amazing Susanna Leonard Hill.

Night Fright by Meagan Friedman

“Ah, perfect,” Webster the spider said as he put on his vampire costume. “This will scare everyone.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t scare anyone at all.

“Not a single scream,” he complained.

Luckily, he had backup costumes.

Now he’d be a ghost!

“Not a single scream.”

How about a mummy?

“Not a single scream.”


“Not a single scream!”

Webster gave up and went home. If you couldn’t be scary on Halloween, what’s the point?

As Webster sat in the moonlight, everything started to shake.

“AAAAH! A SPIDER!” someone yelled as they walked through his web.

Webster smiled.