Monday 20 July 2020

#WEPff #WINNER of JUNE challenge! URBAN NIGHTMARE! Toi Thomas Guest Post: The Revelation of Expression Through Technique.

Hi, Denise here.

June's winner for the WEP challenge, URBAN NIGHTMARE, guests for us today. Her winning entry was short, succinct and terrifying. Goes to show, we don't always need 1,000 words to get our point across. Again, congratulations Toi. Thank you for putting this piece together to inspire us.

Because of the poignancy and relevance of Toi's entry, I'm reposting here in case you missed it or would like a reminder...

It’s cold outside, but I can’t wear a hoodie.

My pants are too tight, but at least it doesn’t look like I’m carrying.

My car is run down, but at least I’m less likely to get pulled over.

I just need to make it a few more blocks…

Take it away, Toi.

The Revelation of Expression Through Technique 

Oh boy, is that title a doozy! I was pretty proud of myself when I came up with it. 

Essentially, this article is going to be all about how I discovered the necessity of "Showing" readers my emotions versus "Telling" them about it. This is not a continuation of the long-running debate over Show versus Tell. I, for one, think there is merit to both techniques, but that’s an article for another day. No, this is me, Toi Thomas, admitting that I struggle with these techniques constantly until there’s something I really want to say. 

For me, and likely, many writers out there, writing is an extension of my love of reading. It’s a form of escapism. It’s a chance for me to get lost in worlds and characters I’ve created. However, it’s one thing to write for one’s own entertainment and another to write for the masses. Pleasing others is much harder than pleasing oneself. I can tell you a good story, but you might find it a bit boring if I don’t show you any emotion. 

That’s what I discovered when I started to write something that was more than an escape. I started working on a very personal short-fiction project. Something so special and private I haven’t even tried to share it with anyone yet. Still, when using a nifty read-aloud program to hear my words from a different perspective, it was clear that they lacked impact. For the first time, I didn’t need a critique partner or beta reader to point out where the initial weaknesses were ‘cause I could hear them. It was a true revelation for me. 
I poured over that first draft and added about two thousand words to replace all the “feelings” words and convert them into physical descriptions. The whole process took thirty-six hours and I was mentally numb afterward. It may seem crazy to some to say that it took thirty-six hours to write two thousand words, but there was more to it. 

I wrote and rewrote. I cried, I yelled, I paced. Moved things around and restructured them, all in an effort to perfect this piece so that it could properly express the ideas and emotions I wanted to convey. I can’t say with one hundred percent confidence that the piece is perfect because I recognize that a second opinion is still needed. Yet, I know when I hear my words spoken back to me now, they move me. It doesn’t feel like I’m hearing words being spouted out, trying to make me feel something. I do feel something. Maybe someday I’ll share this with someone, and they too will be moved by it. 

Toi’s latest release: Why Are You Afraid?

There’s no easy way to explain racism, especially to young kids, but the sooner kids learn the truth, the better they can combat it and work to help make changes.

This is a light, yet serious, story about perceptions. This book was written to help parents start the race conversation with their children, whatever their race or skin color may be.

Toi Thomas is a geek-girl, vinyl collector, chocoholic, movie buff, animal lover, avid reader and reviewer, blogger, vlogger, and an indie author of children's books, fiction, and nonfiction. Find Toi online at the following links.

YouTube- Toi Thomas
Facebook- Toi Thomas Author
Twitter- @ToiThomas

Website- Lit Carnivale
Instagram- @CarnieTheBookworm

Thanks so much for guesting for us Toi. And congratulations again for your win for URBAN NIGHTMARE. 

And everyone, our next challenge is upon us. Please get your thinking caps on for LONG SHADOW. First post up on August 1. Entries ready by August 19 - 21. Once again, we will be practising WEP-Lite.

Denise for the team:


@ToiThomas #WEPURBANNIGHTMARE  #WEPwinner #guestpost @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge

@ToiThomas #WEPURBANNIGHTMARE  #WEPwinner  The Revelation of Expression Through Technique #guestpost @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge

@ToiThomas #WEPURBANNIGHTMARE  #WEPwinner  The Revelation of Expression Through Technique #guestpost #ShowDon'tTell @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge

Monday 6 July 2020


Hi all, the team here. Everyone helped collate this post:

JUNE 2020 saw WEP move to WEP-Lite to stay afloat during trying times. Many of the team were struck with various storms of life and need some time to recover. We're glad we went ahead with the challenge as many found it cathartic to write about various horrors. Even though fictional, there was a large dose of truth intermingled. Some of us have been personally touched by the virus and death. So, writing is a great exercise to take us away from the horror for a while. The JUNE entries were excellent and reflect that need.

Thank you, everyone, for your amazing tales, they were filled with hope, humor, love, life lessons, but especially the creativity that continues to amaze and inspire us.

It's always a delight to welcome new writers to WEP. New writers add an excitement as we eagerly anticipate a new writing style and approach to the prompt. This month we welcomed Helen Mathey-Horn  . Thank you all for making Helen welcome!


And we'd like to add in a friendly reminder about the different levels of critique while we're here. Each of you should choose a level of critique you feel comfortable with. Here's a quick reminder of what the various critique levels are:

The explanations are fairly straight forward. If you choose Full Critique Acceptable (FCA), that means people may offer a thorough critique. While we would never condone a critique that is outright cruel, such a critique may involve pointing out a lot of issues with your writing you may not have seen before. For some this may be uncomfortable. Only choose FCA if you think you can handle it and wish to use such commentary to strengthen your work in the future. Otherwise feel free to select any of the other levels you feel are right for you at this time. Alternatively you could ask for a full critique to be emailed to you.

We're sorry that we lack blurbs this month. But all entries are perpetually available to read by accessing the sign-up post.


As usual, we had a difficult time deciding our shortlists, but it quickly became apparent that everyone had a favorite: We sent this list to Nick:

Susan - Urban Nightmare
Sally - Blame
Shannon Lawrence - The Widow
Dixie Jarchow - Urban Horror
Carole Stolz - Her Urban Nightmare
Toi Thomas - Driving Home



Thank you, everyone for commenting so generously without the motivation of the Best Commenter award!  And please know that the team reads your comments, taking them into consideration when forming the shortlist. They are more important than you may think. Besides informing our decisions, it feeds the writer. Feedback is not a simple thing. It means the world to the writer.

Quite a few readers left comments on the WEP blog as they couldn't access your comments. Please turn off comment moderation for the week. There's always glitches beyond our control, but please try to make sure your blog accepts comments. It takes a patient person to comment multiple times then have to come to the WEP blog in the end. Thanks everyone!


Nick commented: "All entries were excellent ... Tough choice!"
But we had to choose ... so ...



Congratulations, Toi!

Nick wrote,  "Timely and devastating in just a few lines. This one gave me pause."

Congratulations Toi! We were all moved so much by your few words. Please link the badge to your story, Driving Home, and post it on your blog.

In addition, you've won a 5,000 word critique plus synopsis from Rohini Sundaram, and a guest post here at WEP.

Details will be emailed to you shortly.
Congratulations, on such an evocative entry!



Congratulations, Carole!

Nick wrote, "Really packs a punch. I hope the narrator can escape this nightmare."

Carole, please link the badge to your story, Her Urban Nightmareand post it on your blog.



Congratulations, Sally!

Nick wrote, "A really different take on the prompt as well as the current times. Interesting to see the rat's POV and then to find out they're just the scapegoat."

Sally, please link the badge to your story, Blame,
and post it on your blog.

Here's our prompt for AUGUST. So get those thinking caps on. The announcement will be posted on AUGUST 1st in the thinking-caps post.
And the Sign-up Link Post goes live on AUGUST 19th.

Until then, say safe and stay well!

And Sue!
Thank you, Sue, for stepping in and helping to monitor the posts and report problems, and helping us choose the winners. You made a difficult job run much more smoothly!

We'd love for you to Tweet this post or share it to Facebook 
or your favorite social media site.
#WEPFF URBAN NIGHTMARE winners announced @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners 

More writing excellence from our WEP June winners @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @LGKeltner @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

Come congratulate our June winners. #WEPFF URBAN NIGHTMARE Challenge @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

The #WEPFF writers had some fantastic entries! WEP winners announced! @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

#WEPFF URBAN NIGHTMARE winners all @DeniseCCovey @yolndarenee @OlgaGodim @LGKeltner #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners

Thank you for the writing excellence, WEP Winners! @LGKeltner @DeniseCCovey @yolandarenee @OlgaGodim #amwriting #flashfiction #wepwinners