Another blogfest?! Why yes, since you asked. Today it's time for the Hone Your Skills Blogfest, hosted by RosieC and Charity Bradford (click the picture above to find out more)!
The blogfests requires the following of participants:
- On March 16, post a short story around 750 words, no more than 1000, in any genre you like.
- Read and give a critique for the person before and after you in the Linky List (and as many others as you can/want to). When you critique: a) find at least two things that really work, and b) at least two suggestions for how it can be tightened or improved.
- (Optional) When you post on March 16, list one or two (online) journals where you plan to submit your piece after making revisions. - RosieC
For my story's genre, I'm really not sure - maybe you can be the judge! I don't think I will ever seek publication for this. I just consider it another writing exercise. And I do love to practice accepting horribly brutal critique with good grace. :D So have at it!
Oh, and the word count is 761, according to Word (p.s. It was originally posted here on my FictionPress account).
Asynja Dharmo tried not to grind her teeth, but her efforts were in vain for the most part. She had been trying for the entire morning since her alarm went off in her ear to keep her cool, yet it seemed the early mornings, the lack of pay raise, the snooty attitudes of her co-workers and her lack of a photocopy girl to bring her coffee in the studio were all adding up against her. She had had it up to here.
"Synje, you're on in ten," Mark called from his spot beside Carlotta – oh, he thought he was so damn important. He was trying to get in her good graces after last week's debacle. Asynja thought snidely – and happily – that he wasn't making much progress at all. I hope he rots in the back of her paddy wagon, she thought as she purposefully ignored his comment. As if I didn't know I was on in ten, you fucking moron.
The last few minutes always went by slowly, and also as usual they brought Asynja's stress levels through the roof. At least she had her welcoming smile firmly plastered on – and from their seats on the couches in their living rooms, viewers wouldn't notice the sheen of sweat that coated her forehead. They wouldn't notice what she was not telling them either – they were all as stupid as the next person, if the nightly opinion polls could be believed.
"Seven minutes," Abigail called from her little corner of the room, causing Asynja to begin fiddling with her pen again. She slammed it a little too firmly down onto the desk's surface and tried not to look directly at the cameras – yet. Doing that before the time came to start speaking always freaked her out. She focused instead on what she'd buy for dinner tonight – not only what kind of wine would go with it. Eating alone could be a bummer but when it was really great food and a quality drop, Asynja found herself easily comforted.
Tonight's list of items to be reported included a vicious rape, a cowardly attack, a grotesque act of terrorism, a valiant shower of counter terrorism, and a small kitten rescued from a drainpipe. The cowardly attack came first, then the grotesque act of terrorism – which would of course be followed by the valiant shower of counter terrorism. The kitten story, of course, came second-to-last. She had to watch how she switched from sombre-faced to cheerfully amused – sometimes, she'd been told, she left it a little too late, so that she was looking almost happy while delivering the tail end of the latest tale of death and destruction. It was really a tough job she had – tough but satisfactorily challenging. She wouldn't have it any other way, except for a large raise and better air-conditioning – oh, and more vacation time.
"Three minutes and counting!" Mark yelled, and Asynja was startled back to reality realising that he had moved positions. Either he had moved or Carlotta had moved him. Either way he was glancing importantly at his watch and glancing this way and that, acting as if he actually knew what was going on, or what should be going on, and was the grand overseer of the entire production.
Production might seem an odd word to use for the evening news program, but since beginning her first stint as an amateur newsreader Asynja had learned that production it was indeed. The make-up on her face wasn't the only part of the show that aimed at concealing and distorting reality. But that wasn't her concern – her only concern was to do her job and do it well, better, to secure that raise. Bloody Mark Davenport had stolen her last one, and she'd sooner stab him in the back than let him do it again.
"Thirty seconds," Anabella cried, and several people looked at her in surprise – since when had she earned the right to call times? Asynja supposed even Anabella was wondering that now that everybody had begun giving her the evil eye. It didn't matter anyway. There were more important things to think about right now.
"Eight seconds," Brodie yelled, and then began counting down on his fingers for Asynja's and other crewmembers' benefit. If one could call it a benefit: it was more distracting than anything.
Asynja cleared her throat as she always did and at the precise moment, looked right at the cameras, saying, "And I'm Asynja Dharmo. Welcome to Channel Eight News Tonight." She donned her serious look and leaned closer to the camera.