Assassin’s Creed. That’s right, today I’m talking to you about a video game. Now, I’m not a big gamer by nature. It’s never really been my thing, but my roommate loves that game to pieces. I’ve watched her play it time after time, and it actually has me intrigued. The game itself has this completely fascinating story arc that draws you in. Even if you’re just sitting there and watching someone else play, stick around to watch the cut scenes sometime.

You’ve got this guy, this one person in a sea of thousands, who’s just trying to right a wrong and bring deserving punishment to the guilty. Most games have a heroic arc, but this one engages you. You fall into the story, and maybe it’s just me, but I think this is a game that was written by a writer, for a writer. There are so many different angles and twists that can happen.

The game seems to ask the player this one simple question: When you’re the only one who sees the truth, and you have the power to stand up in defense of the subjugated, will you do it, or will you hide in the shadows?

Should you pick it up and try your hand at the game, I’d say go for “Brotherhood”, or “Syndicate”. They really are quite fascinating.

It’s hot. It’s muggy. You’re trying to keep your cool, but the hotter it gets, the crankier you get. We’ve all been there. Trust me, I am one of the worst offenders of this pattern. I don’t like heat. Anything over a breezy seventy-two degrees outside is a hard and angry ‘No’ for me. It’s probably why I’ve taken so well to living in the Pacific Northwest. For the most part, our summers are mild, until it hits July, and then it’s like someone turned on the damn oven.

What does any of this have to do with cookies, let alone Godiva? Well, kids, listen up because I’m about to share my best kept #Lifehack secret with you.

When you order a treat from Godiva.com, between February and November, you get a free prize in the box. What’s that, you ask? Ice packs. That’s right, I said ice packs. You see, when Godiva ships you something they want to make sure it doesn’t melt while it’s waiting for you to retrieve it. So, as part of the shipping materials, they pack a Styrofoam cooler with anywhere from one to three ice packs depending on what time of year it is. The closer to summer, the more ice packs. And, as an added bonus, you can take everything out of that cooler inside the cardboard box it all comes in, and keep it as a mini cooler to store in the car with ice and a few drinks.

Those ice packs are not only reusable, but they are large and durable. What exactly is my summer Lifehack for those ice packs? You know how disgustingly hot the inside of your car gets in the summer? I mean, it just makes you angry, and unless you’ve got an auto start for your car, you’re going to be miserably hot while you wait for the interior to cool down. You know those ice packs I was talking about? As any logical person would do, I keep them in my freezer. During the summer, I grab one on my way out the door, and tuck it between the small of my back and the car seat. It helps to keep me cool, and those ice packs last a long time.

No joke. I take them shopping with me, or when I go to the movies. I leave them in the hot car while I’m in the store, or at the movies, and when I come out that same ice pack still has a huge chunk of icy goodness inside of it. I tuck it right back in its place between me and the car when I first get in, and move it once I no longer need it. And when I get home, right back in the freezer it goes. It’s perfect! And, if you’re as accident prone as I am, you’ve got an ice pack on hand year round for those miscellaneous injuries you find yourself with.

Ok, so we’ve talked about the ice packs. But what does any of this have to do with cookies? Well, my darlings, the cookies are the best part. Specifically, these cookies. You get a collection of milk and dark chocolate cookies that are bite sized and individually wrapped. So, for those of you trying to keep that beautiful bikini body, or doing your best to get in shape with programs like P90x, Fit In 10, Weight Watchers, and the like; those little individually wrapped cookies are the perfect little treat. You can pack them in your lunch, pop one in your purse, keep a few in your desk at work, and you’ve got an easy reward on hand for all your hard work.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Stop by Godiva.com today and order yourself a tin of those cookies. Keep the box and cooler they come in, pop those ice packs in your freezer, and enjoy those cookies. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Information care of Poet’s & Writer’s Magazine

Link to Poet’s and Writer’s Magazine

 

Sponsor and Award Entry Fee Genre Cash Prize Prize includes Application Deadline
New Millennium Writings
New Millennium Awards

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in New Millennium Writings and on the journal’s website are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay that have…

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 7/31/16
Journal of Experimental Fiction
Kenneth Patchen Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Journal of Experimental Fiction/Depth Charge Publishing is given annually for an innovative novel. Dominic Ward will judge. Submit a manuscript of any length…

$25 Fiction $1,000 Publication 7/31/16
Narrative
Spring Story Contest

A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a work of fiction or creative nonfiction. A second-place…

$24 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $2,500 Publication 7/31/16
Press 53
Award for Poetry

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Press 53 is given annually for a poetry collection. Tom Lombardo will judge. Submit a manuscript of 60 to 120 pages with a $30 entry fee by July 31. Visit the website…

$30 Poetry $1,000 Publication 7/31/16
Munster Literature Centre
Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition

A prize of €2,000 (approximately $2,260) and publication in Southword, an online literary journal published in Cork, Ireland, is given annually for a short story. The winner also receives a…

$17 Fiction $2,260 Publication 7/31/16
Delaware Division of the Arts
Individual Artist Fellowships

Established Professional Fellowships of $6,000 each and Emerging Artist Fellowships of $3,000 each are given annually to Delaware poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in…

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $6,000 8/1/16
Leeway Foundation
Art and Change Grants

Project grants of up to $2,500 each are given twice yearly by the Leeway Foundation to women and transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, or otherwise gender-nonconforming poets, fiction writers, and…

$0 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $2,500 8/1/16
PEN Center USA
Emerging Voices Fellowships

Five fellowships of $1,000 each are given annually to emerging poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The fellowships are given to writers who are “isolated from the literary…

$10 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 8/1/16
Malahat Review
Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 Canadian (approximately $780) and publication in Malahat Review is given annually for an essay. Submit an essay of 2,000 to 3,000 words with a $40 entry fee, which includes a…

$40 Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 8/1/16
StoryQuarterly
Nonfiction Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in StoryQuarterly is given annually for a work of creative nonfiction. Using the online submission system, submit an essay of up to 6,250 words with a $15 entry…

$15 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 8/1/16
Gival Press
Short Story Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Gival Press website is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of 5,000 to 15,000 words with a $25 entry fee by August 8. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or…

$25 Fiction $1,000 Publication 8/8/16
Indiana Review
“1/2 K” Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Indiana Review is given annually for a poem or a work of flash fiction or nonfiction of up to 500 words. Aimee Nezhukumatathil will judge. Submit up to three…

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 8/15/16
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

A prize of $10,000 is given annually to an emerging African American writer for a short story collection or novel published in the current year. The winner will also receive travel and lodging expenses…

$0 Fiction $10,000 8/15/16
New Guard
Poetry and Fiction Contest

Two prizes of $1,500 each and publication in New Guard are given annually for a poem and a short story or novel excerpt. Stephen Dunn will judge the Knightville Poetry Contest; Sarah Braunstein…

$20 Poetry, Fiction $1,500 Publication 8/15/16
Grayson Books
Poetry Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Grayson Books is given annually for a poetry collection. Benjamin S. Grossberg will judge. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 80 pages with a $25 entry fee by August 15….

$25 Poetry $1,000 Publication 8/15/16
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Poetry Prize

A prize of $500, publication by Broadkill River Press, ten author copies, and two cases of Dogfish Head craft beer are given annually for a poetry collection written by a poet living in Delaware,…

$0 Poetry $500 Reading, Publication 8/15/16
Glimmer Train Press
Fiction Open

A prize of $3,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given twice yearly for a short story. A second-place prize of $1,000 is also given. Using the online…

$21 Fiction $3,000 Publication 8/31/16
Glimmer Train Press
Very Short Fiction Award

A prize of $2,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given twice yearly for a short short story. Using the online submission system, submit a story of 300…

$16 Fiction $2,000 Publication 8/31/16
Gemini Magazine
Flash Fiction Contest

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gemini Magazine is given annually for a short short story. The editors will judge. Submit a story of up to 1,000 words with a $5 entry fee ($4 for each…

$5 Fiction $1,000 Publication 8/31/16
Utica College
Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize

A prize of $2,000 is given annually for a poetry collection by a resident of upstate New York. The winner will also give a reading and teach a master class at Utica College in April 2017. Submit two…

$0 Poetry $2,000 Reading 8/31/16
Snake Nation Press
Serena McDonald Kennedy Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Snake Nation Press is given annually for a short story collection or a novella. Submit a story collection of up to 200 pages or a novella of up to 50,000 words with a…

$25 Fiction $1,000 Publication 8/31/16
Snake Nation Press
Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Snake Nation Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 75 to 100 pages with a $25 entry fee by August 31. E-mail or visit the website…

$25 Poetry $1,000 Publication 8/31/16
Gulf Coast
Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given annually for a piece of short prose. Jim Shepard will judge. Submit a prose poem, a piece of flash fiction, or a micro-essay of up to 500…

$18 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 8/31/16
Gulf Coast
Prize in Translation

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given in alternating years for a group of poems or a prose excerpt translated from any language into English. The 2016 prize will be given for…

$18 Poetry $1,000 Publication 8/31/16
Black Lawrence Press
St. Lawrence Book Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Black Lawrence Press is given annually for a debut collection of poems or short stories. The editors will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a poetry…

$25 Poetry, Fiction $1,000 Publication 8/31/16
Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center
Poetry Contest

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a poem. Winners and finalists will be invited to read at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California, in April 2017. Submit up to four poems of no more than 40 lines each…

$20 Poetry $1,000 9/1/16
Black Warrior Review
Writing Contests

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Black Warrior Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Hoa Nguyen will judge in poetry, Sofia Samatar will judge in…

$20 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 9/1/16
Red Hen Press
Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award

A prize of $3,000, publication by Red Hen Press, and a four-week residency at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon, is given annually for a poetry collection. Afaa Michael Weaver will judge. Submit a manuscript…

$25 Poetry $3,000 Publication, Residency 9/1/16
phren-Z
Morton Marcus Poetry Contest

Sponsored in collaboration with Santa Cruz Writes, a prize of $1,000 and publication in phren-Z is given annually for a poem. The winner is also invited to give a reading at the seventh annual…

$15 Poetry $1,000 Reading, Publication 9/1/16
Red Hen Press
Fiction and Nonfiction Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Red Hen Press are given annually for a short story collection or novel and an essay collection or memoir. Steve Almond will judge in fiction; Pope Brock will…

$20 Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 9/1/16
Slippery Elm
Prizes in Poetry and Prose

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Slippery Elm are given annually for a poem and a short story or essay. Using the online submission system, submit up to three poems of any length or…

$15 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 9/1/16
Sustainable Arts Foundation
Writing Awards

Up to five awards of $6,000 each and up to five Promise Awards of $2,000 each are given twice yearly to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers with children. Writers with at least one…

$15 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $6,000 9/2/16
Dogwood
Literary Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Dogwood is given annually for a poem, a short story, or an essay. Submit up to three poems totaling no more than 10 pages or up to 22 pages of prose with a $…

$10 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $1,000 Publication 9/5/16
Farmingdale State College
Paumanok Poetry Award

A prize of $1,500 and travel and lodging expenses to give a reading at Farmingdale State College is given annually for a group of poems. Submit three to five published or unpublished poems totaling no…

$25 Poetry $1,500 Reading 9/15/16
Red Mountain Press
Poetry Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Mountain Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Sarah Sousa will judge. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 72 pages with a $30 entry fee ($28 for electronic…

$30 Poetry $1,000 Publication 9/15/16
Red Hen Press
Graphic Novel Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a graphic novel. Kate Gale will judge. Submit a manuscript of 75 to 200 pages with a $25 entry fee by October 31, 2016. Call or…

$25 Fiction $1,000 Publication 10/31/16
A Room of Her Own Foundation
Gift of Freedom Award

A prize of $50,000 is given biennially to a female poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer to complete a project for publication over a two-year period. The top finalist in each of the two…

$45 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction $50,000 Publication 11/2/16

ANGIE & JAMES DO STUFF

Red Bean Buns

I’ve been craving bread. Sweet and impeccably soft Japanese bread in particular. Not quite sure what started this recent desire for pillowy soft buns, but with a severe lack of Japanese bakeries on the Gold Coast, I’ve been forced to get into the kitchen and bake whenever the craving strikes. I guess that’s not such a bad thing.

Anko, Red Bean PasteDoughDough

Anpan are essentially delicious Japanese bread rolls filled with sweet, moist, melt-in-your-mouth anko (red bean paste), and honestly, they taste much better when baked at home. Nothing beats warm, fluffy, fresh-out-of-the-oven anpan! That satisfaction when you bite into one and find that gooey, sticky, sweet red bean centre… so indescribably good.

Anko, Red Bean PasteFilling the BunsFilled Buns

If you’ve never had anko before, it’s a rather dense paste made by boiling and mashing earthy red beans (also known as azuki beans). The paste is then sweetened with sugar. It is a very popular ingredient featured widely in asian desserts…

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Hello_LAlaland_Hi-Res_Cover-1

Hello LAlaland

Lost in LAlaland #1

Paparazzi, vodka cocktails, and sex. Welcome to LAlaland.

Winifred Chapman isn’t thrilled with the idea of her ten year reunion; especially not the idea of returning to LAlaland. Even in the midst of her thrilling career, she’s managed to avoid LA as often as possible, which is saying a lot for a world-renowned fashion designer. She has a life which women everywhere would envy, and has everything she needs . . . or so she thinks.

Anthony Ricci was the most popular guy at Westlake High, and the one Winifred thought would never look twice at her. A former professional athlete, he now runs a successful Italian restaurant in New York City. When they run into each other at the reunion and give in to a widely passionate night, Anthony decides he may want more than Winifred is willing to give.

Hating being known by the men she’s dated or slept with, Winifred has learned to take what she needs from them without investing emotionally. When she discovers Anthony’s old desire for her and disappears after their night together, he refuses to give her up.

Will he be able to show her that love doesn’t have to be a battle, or will LAlaland prove to be enough to destroy her carefully constructed walls?

Are you ready for the madness of LA?

Hello LAlaland

April 1, 2014

www.themadimerek.wordpress.com
www.madimerekbooks.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/AuthorMadiMerek
@MadiMerek

 

Hello and Welcome

Posted: 2014/01/15 in Uncategorized

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog! If you’re someone who likes to write and create art from the written word, then I encourage you to click on the “Words Between Friends” page and try your hand at writing flash fiction.

I can’t guarantee a set schedule to my posts, but I do promise that they will always be interesting.

Keep Calm
and
Keep Writing!