Today's flash fiction takes us into the town of Little Pearlington in the Icarus Universe a couple of days after the beginning of The Icarus Project.
You don't have to have read any of the other stories for this one to make sense, but those of you who have read the flash fictions set on the surface might recognize Evie and Naddie.
Today's post will be a short one. I just wanted to let you all in on a change coming to Flash Fiction Fridays for the foreseeable future.
Today's post title is a bit of a misnomer. "Not in the Job Description" clocks in at 3106 words, which is well over the upper limit for flash fiction. But I thought it appropriate to give you something a bit meatier today since it's been so long since I have posted any kind of fiction here.
Another big difference is the type of prompt that led to the story and where I received it. Normally, I work from random first line prompts gotten from readers, generators, or Pinterest. However, "Not in the Job Description" was originally written as an audition for a staff writer position I applied to last year.
Obviously, I didn't end up with the job, although this audition did get me an interview with the owner and main editor. They were looking for someone who could crank out a finished novel in a month and who is comfortable writing elements of romance. I can't speak as to whether or not I could crank out a novel in a month given a full eight hours a day to write. Writing hasn't been much of an income source for me, so I've always spent the majority of my time working as a maid or administrator to make the bills, merely writing in what time I can carve out around the necessities. But, anyone who has read my work before can tell I don't really do romantic elements, at least not of the type this particular company wanted, so the job wasn't a good fit.
Still, I got this short story out of it featuring a pair of my favorite morally gray characters, Emma and Cam from the Supers Universe. So, I thought I would share this short story with you today since I still managed to make it work within the larger story as a whole. It's set about a month after the events of "Ride or Die."
While reading the other stories in the Supers Universe will clue you in on some references and connections within the short, you don't need to have read any of the other stories for this one to make sense.
I know this is when most people are talking about their resolutions for the new year. However, resolutions have never worked for me. I get overwhelmed with the thought of trying to make all those changes at one time, and I never make it past week four.
For me, starting slow with some easy things, making those habits, and then adding to them works far better. So I found where I wanted to be at the end of 2020, and then I broke down the steps I would need to take in order to get there into workable goals.
It takes me a fairly long time to establish something as part of my routine, so I have made these quarterly goals. I will come back at the end of each quarter, tell you how I did and list my new goals.
Welcome back, dear readers.
It has been well over a year since I last posted anything here, but don’t worry. I’m not about to make a bunch of excuses for why posting fell off abruptly in late 2018. I’m not going to make promises about being better in the future despite planning to try and improve. I’m just here to sum up the year and state my goals for heading into the new year and new decade.
I had the opportunity to return to a favorite company in late 2018, one I loved working for before and to which I was excited to return. Although I returned to the same position I’d had thirteen years prior, the job was very different, as one would expect after so long of a time. The company had undergone some restructuring, and my old position had been merged with the old receptionist's position.
Not long after my last post, things got turned on their head for our family. The contract C. L. was working ended earlier than expected, so we found ourselves scrambling to find steady work with which to support ourselves. We had already purchased three more gallons of paint before said contract ended. So our time was split between applying to several different postings every day and working our way through as much of the home redo as we could with the supplies we already had between assessments and interviews.
It's been a while since I've posted, so I thought I would drop by to let you all know what has kept me so distracted.
After years of lamenting how much we didn't like the colors in our house and a recent upturn in our financial situation thanks to a new job on C. L.'s part, we decided to spend a few months and a little bit on a very budget makeover of our home. Of course, budget means DIY, so I've been rather busy spending what time I have outside of homeschooling the girls and running the soap business to work on the house little by little.
Here are a couple progress photos on the master bath. The one on the left is the latest, when we're close to finishing the frame on the mirror. We were just waiting to borrow a router saw to cut out enough of a divot in the frame piece to allow it to be glued over the clips holding it to the wall.
Believe it or not, all we did was paint, change the hardware and artwork, and get a few new accessories. The countertop paint kit's protective topcoat does take a full two weeks to cure, and the cabinet paint needs at least three full days. So it was a time consuming process, but the whole thing cost about what it would have cost us to just change the countertops out for both bathrooms. And we have enough paint left over to paint the counters in the girls' bathroom as well as the cabinets in both the other bathroom and kitchen.
I'm also in the middle of designing and making all the new soaps for Contented Comfort this year since Con Kasterborous is in a matter of weeks. If you're interested in that, make sure to stop by the Contented Comfort blog every Wednesday between now and June 9 to see the fragrance introductions.
I have a lot more work to do throughout the house with a goal date to finish of July 31. Updates here may be spotty at best until then.
All this winter, there's been one thing that's caught my eye every time I take Lily out for a walk. Trees bare of their summer leaves stand out in stark contrast with the clear blue of winter skies. The appearance of one covered root to crown in ivy is even more striking, but there's been something "off" in the appearance of the tree in our backyard.
What might be wrong with it has been bugging me for months, and I got the answer the other day.
C. L. and I have been talking about making some big changes to our home for years now. We were dreaming of things we never expected to really be able to do with me just writing and soaping part time while I schooled the kids and him working as a teacher. But then last year happened, and he came out of it with a much better job.
We began thinking about actually making steps toward our dream happen. The only issue was having to wait a year or two for C. L. to have enough time on the job to get a loan for such a thing, based on everything we'd heard in the past. We said as much to his grandmother on a call last week, and she encouraged us to go ahead and try before we write off the possibility for a year or more. She's a rather savvy woman when it comes to such things, so we took her advice.
My mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, and C.L. have been getting onto me for a couple years now for spreading myself too thin, and I've been fighting them on it the whole way. But they haven't been wrong.
When something didn't work out or wasn't working as well as I'd hoped, my first instinct has always been to do more. No matter how stressed out it made me or how little time I had to put into something, just pile more onto the to do list. I ought to be able to do it all and then some, or I'm a failure all around.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
77384 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Series Book 2
Sketched w/ Some Drafting
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4